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Chippenham’s retail market bucks national trend with a raft of new lettings – HPH

Chippenham’s retail market has bucked the national trend with a raft of new lettings, according to property investor HPH.

Around 47 shops pulled down their shutters for the final time every day last year, according to the Centre for Retail Research.

Provisional figures show that 17,145 shops across the UK closed permanently over 2022, the highest number in the last five years, and 2023 will be similarly challenging, according to industry groups.

But in Chippenham,  HPH has agreed long term deals with three new retail businesses in the popular market town of Chippenham, with independent retailers are venturing into the gaps left on UK high streets.

55 New Road, previously let to the British Heart Foundation, has been taken by Tanner Leisure Ltd on a 10-year lease and transformed into a 6,300 sq ft entertainment destination in Chippenham’s town centre.

Part of the Enigma Rooms franchise, the venue offers urban axe-throwing and multiple escape rooms.

Rajeshdai Grocery, the first Asian grocery shop in Chippenham, has recently signed a 10-year lease on 3 Station Hill.

With varieties of hard-to-find authentic products from Nepal, the store has a range of cupboard essentials, fresh and frozen ingredients, drinks and snacks.

1 Station Hill had previously been let to the same barber business for 40 years, and has now been taken over by a new unisex hair salon, Salt’s Hairdressing & Barbering, on a five-year lease.

The growth of Chippenham, which has over doubled in population in the last 30 years, combined with its excellent road and rail connections, schools and housing will no doubt play a significant part in the strength of the retail offering in the town, helping it to buck the current national trend.

Lindsay Holdoway, managing director at HPH said: “The retail decline has provided new opportunities for the independent retail and leisure sector and the change of planning use has been helpful as a greater variety of businesses can now use traditional retail units.

“The letting to Enigma Rooms is a great example of this, with the leisure market under-served in the town. To let nearly 10,000 sq ft of retail space in the current climate is really positive and Chippenham as a town is shifting its retail offer to assist with sustainability of the High Street.”

Huw Thomas acted for HPH in Station Hill and Carter Jonas and ARC Retail acted in the letting of 55 New Road.

Image: Matt Lincoln

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