Keen interest in trading opportunities

February 28 2018
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WELLS is attracting a lot of interest among businesses keen to take on the shop units being vacated in the city centre.

The East clothing store in Wells High Street is the latest to face closure after the company went into administration.

But Paul Knight of chartered surveyors RMW Knight sounded an upbeat note, saying: “There are more tenants looking than there are properties available.”

He said that there had been half a dozen viewings already at The Present Company site in the Market Place, all from organisations not yet represented in Wells, and that more viewings are booked.

East, which opened its first store in 1994, employs five staff in Wells.

“Currently the store continues to trade and there have been no redundancies. The joint administrators are looking at all options available,” said a spokesperson.

Of the companies rumoured to be coming to Wells, Seasalt clothing company told Wells Voice that they have not yet confirmed a shop in Wells, and The White Company said that there are no plans at present to open here.

Wilko was going to open a branch in the premises recently vacated by What!, but has abandoned several planned openings around the country after poor Christmas trading.

• February saw the opening of the LOAF.bakehouse bakery and cafe in Market Yard, in the premises that were occupied by Markethouse.

It is being run by Aloisia Williams and her husband Danny, who was the general manager at The Sheppey at Godney for a number of years.
“We’re baking a lot of our own artisan breads and patisseries,” said Danny.

“I’m a huge foodie, I love cooking. That’s driven the kitchen side of it. I love making people happy and giving them good products.”

He said that LOAF.bakehouse will be very much a family cafe, with a play area for children, and that there will be a big emphasis on vegetarian food.

• A new vape shop has taken over the former premises of Hilary’s Antiques in St Cuthbert Street.

City Vape is being run in association with Vape At No 1 in Shepton Mallet.

It will sell e-cigarettes, starter kits, mods, tanks, coils, e-liquid and accessories. The shop will be open five days a week, from Tuesday to Saturday.

Lee and Ben Chard

Lee and Ben Chard

• Brothers Lee and Ben Chard are taking over the running of The Sherston in Priory Road. Their family has been running The Travellers Rest in Pensford for more than 15 years, but they spent a lot of their childhood growing up in Wells.

"We are very motivated and determined to make The Sherston Hotel a success and a place people look forward to visiting," said Lee.

They will be opening the doors for a Meet and Greet event on Friday, March 2, from 6.30pm onwards, to which all are invited.

• Picture, top: Danny Williams in LOAF.bakehouse