Future of Royston Town Centre “hugely positive”

PUBLISHED: 10:30 06 April 2011

Town centre manager Geraint Burnell

Town centre manager Geraint Burnell

Archant

TOWN centre manager Geraint Burnell has said the state of the Royston’s shops is the “healthiest he can remember.”

With 19 new shops opening over the past year-and-a-half, Mr Burnell, who has been at his post for seven years, said things are set to improve further with new outlets due to open in the next few weeks.

“We have had a flurry of shops open over the past 18 months, and now the town centre looks just about as healthy as I can remember,” he said.

“I can’t say definitively why more have opened recently but it’s a hugely positive sign that things are going our way.

“With the development of Angel Pavement complete and Fish Hill due to get underway, all indications are that the whole town will be filled for the first time in a very long time quite soon.”

In the next two weeks, the Saks salon (April 11) and the Déjà Vu dress agency (April 16) are due to open, and the transformation of the old Toy Shop into a Costa coffee shop is almost complete.

These are the next steps in recovering Royston’s town centre from the “terrible” situation it was in two years ago, said Mr Burnell.

“As recently as 2009 we had 20 vacant shops in the town, which was terrible for us,” he said.

“At one point there were eight empty shops in Angel Pavement alone so the improvement we have seen is huge.

“We have seen a turnaround of 19 shops in that time – about a quarter of our total – so things are looking bright.”

Mr Burnell also revealed a new brochure titled Royston Focus, which details the shops, bars and restaurants of the town, will launch next month.

“At the beginning of May we will be delivering Royston Focus to the households of the town and the surrounding area,” he said.

“The first edition will centre on what the town centre has to offer and the second will focus on the industrial sites and other areas of Royston.

“A lot has changed in the town and we want to let people to know so they can visit what we have to offer.”

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