Modern Nails is first Wheatsheaf business to secure new premises after shopping centre closure
Date published: 02 December 2020
Photo: Rochdale BID
Modern Nails' new premises
Modern Nails has become the first of the Wheatsheaf traders to relocate, after the building’s owners announced that they would not be reopening the shopping centre after the national lockdown.
The nail salon has moved into the former Vodafone store at 32 Yorkshire Street where it will continue to trade. The five shops fronting Yorkshire Street - The British Heart Foundation, Fulton Foods, GW Menswear, H&T Pawnbrokers and Craze – will remain trading in their current locations.
The MCR Property Group announced the shopping centre’s closure on Friday 20 November, saying it was no longer ‘financially viable to keep open’, citing both a nationwide shift in shopping habits and reduced footfall due to Covid-19 as reasons.
The remaining independent businesses and tenants are in the process of looking for new premises and securing contracts.
Businesses will now be able to claim a council grant to help them fit out any new unit they find, with financial support also available to help store stock in the meantime.
Rochdale Council leader Allen Brett, said: “We’re sorry that MCR Property Group were not able to make the Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre work.
“Changing shopping habits have been impacting the high street for some time and now Covid has hit, it’s had a truly devastating impact, as news of the collapse of the Arcadia Group collapse this week also highlights.
“We know that these factors, and other problems like high businesses rates, are beyond our control and there’s a limit to what we can do as a local authority. But we want to support local businesses and jobs as much as we’re able to.
“This grant funding will hopefully make it easier for these businesses to find new premises and continue to trade and contribute to our local economy, as they have done for so many years.”
While Peacocks has gone into administration and New Look and Select are in CVAs, the council, RDA and BID have made contact with the other businesses to offer them the financial support. They are also helping the businesses find alternative premises by brokering conversations with building owners.
Councillor Brett added: “Grants, when we are able to offer them, are only one of the ways we support people economically.
“We also help residents access jobs and training opportunities in a number of ways, including through our employment links team. This team supported 450 people into employment and helped a further 1,450 access qualifications in the last financial year and they’re working really hard to help people who have lost their jobs during this awful pandemic and match them to new opportunities.
“If any residents, including those affected by the Wheatsheaf closure, would like to access Employment Links, they can contact them on: ELP@rochdale.gov.uk or phone or text them on: 01706 646471 or 07794 210859.”
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