Burnham's Morrisons site could be turned into tourist attraction
MP says the town's former Morrisons site is well suited to becoming
a new indoor leisure facility or tourist attraction if no replacement
supermarket can be found.
exclusively to Burnham-On-Sea.com, James Heappey has warned that
it's important to spend time to find the right replacement for
am concerned that we shouldn't simply fill the building with a
new retailer as quickly as possible. We have got to make sure
that it is the right sort of retailer because Burnham High Street
has adjusted over the past 20 or so years to the fact that there
has been a supermarket at this end of the town selling groceries,"
we now bring in someone who sells TV, fridges, hardware and clothes
- someone like a Wilkinsons - then that would directly compete
against some of the businesses already here and push them out
as well, just as the butchers and bakers have gone already."
am really concerned that we should be careful about what we wish
for. We want to be sure that either time is spent getting the
right retailer into that building as it is, or a discussion is
held about what else could be there that would compliment the
town, not compete with it."
need to be careful and strategic about what we put there."
what type of store he could see working well in place of Morrisons,
he said: "A grocer would not compete with what's already
here - it's a like-for-like replacement for Morrisons - that would
be great but I think it's unlikely."
Lidl and Asda are out of the running because they're already here,
and I think it's unlikely we'll see a Sainburys or Waitrose, but
I think Aldi could come and have a go where Morrisons has failed.
It could be that you see something completely different, something
like a PC World which wouldn't compete with any existing shops."
continued: "There is an argument, though, that in a seaside
resort the site becoming vacant is an opportunity to look at some
sort of indoor leisure facility or tourist attraction that broadens
the town's tourist appeal and complements the High Street - it
would be something that would also generate footfall in the High
is an opportunity to discuss the site strategically rather than
rush in immediately to put in something that might in the long
term end up doing more harm than good," he said.
comes as Burnham-On-Sea Chamber of Trade and Commerce holds a
meeting for town centre businesses to discuss several business
topics including the future of the Morrisons site with the MP
this Friday (January 22nd).
closed down its Pier Street store at the end of last November
with the loss of dozens of jobs. Rumours have been circulating
since that several retailers are interested in taking over the
site, but none have so far materialised.
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held over Burnham Morrisons closure at council debate
to close its Burnham-On-Sea store