Poundland to take over Heron Foods site in Hexham

Poundland fascia. Photograph by Graham Soult

Poundland fascia

One of the few empty shops in Hexham will soon be occupied again, with Poundland set to move into the former Heron Foods site in Priestpopple.

Though no opening date has been confirmed yet, store jobs have been advertised and a planning application submitted for “one internally illuminated fascia sign and one internally illuminated hanging sign”. Drawings of the signage attached to the application confirm Poundland as the retailer in question. [UPDATE, 14 Nov 2011: The opening has now been confirmed for this coming Thursday, 17 November.]

The move is significant in that it’s outside Hexham’s main pedestrianised thoroughfare of Fore Street, where multiple retailers have tended to cluster. That street, however, is consistently fully let, with Mountain Warehouse (in the former Stead & Simpson) and Iceland (in the old Woolworths) among the recent arrivals.

Priestpopple, Hexham (4 Dec 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Priestpopple, Hexham (4 Dec 2010)

Priestpopple and Market Street, in contrast, have tended to have a higher proportion of independent stores. Nevertheless, the former Heron site is in a good location – close to the bus station, opposite the side entrance to Beales department store (formerly Robbs), and on the way to the hidden Marks & Spencer in Maidens Walk – and Poundland’s arrival is likely to drive footfall further.

Beales' side entrance, Hexham (18 Sep 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Beales’ side entrance, Hexham (18 Sep 2011)

Hexham’s shop vacancy rate is traditionally in the low single figures, and this letting again confirms the Northumberland town’s attractiveness to retailers – as well as Poundland’s continued foray into more upmarket locations. The joy of Hexham as a shopping destination is that it combines a good mix of chains with some superb independent shops and cafés, such as Dillies (flower, chocolate and wine shop) in Market Street, and the delightful Artful gallery and Cornmill Coffee Shop in St Mary’s Chare.

Dillies, Hexham (19 Aug 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Dillies, Hexham (19 Aug 2010)

As I’ve noted before, however, tentative plans for the relocation and redevelopment of Hexham’s bus station need to be progressed if the town is to capitalise on all those big-name retail space requirements that currently cannot be met.

7 Responses to “Poundland to take over Heron Foods site in Hexham”

  1. Steven Huntington said:

    Nov 15, 11 at 17:12

    I’d like to also comment that Poundland have opened a new store in Peterlee in the old Woolworths store on Yoden Way…

  2. Graham Soult said:

    Nov 15, 11 at 21:15

    Thanks Steven! I’d heard about that – seems like a trip to Peterlee is in order!

  3. Lee said:

    Nov 18, 11 at 17:28

    Poundland are opening a new store in Ashington in the Former Ethel Austin premises. Workmen are in now.

  4. Graham Soult said:

    Nov 18, 11 at 17:36

    Blimey! Poundland’s opening programme never lets up, does it?

  5. Soult's Retail View » Hexham Poundland opens; Ashington to follow said:

    Nov 21, 11 at 00:39

    [...] opened the doors of its new Hexham store last Thursday (17 November) – and I understand that another Northumberland Poundland will be [...]

  6. Soult's Retail View » On the hunt for ex-Woolies – and thriving high streets – in the Scottish Borders said:

    Jan 27, 12 at 21:18

    [...] as a centre for knitwear production. Overall, it felt like a town that could be doing a lot more, Hexham-or Barnard-Castle-style, to capitalise on its assets: promoting independent retailers, and [...]

  7. Soult's Retail View » Woolaballoo.com and Deli at Number 4: Hexham’s new breed of web-savvy independents said:

    Jul 01, 12 at 23:28

    [...] often commented on Hexham’s very low retail vacancy rate, and the fact that the town’s empty units rarely stay empty for long. Arrivals in the last eighteen months have included Poundland taking over the [...]

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