‘Desperate’ to fill eyesore ex-shop

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THE former Wilkinson store on Hucknall High Street has become a major eyesore, claims town centre manager Mark Armstrong.

He says he is ‘absolutely desperate’ that action is taken to find a new use for the derelict property.

The premises have been empty since Wilkinsons moved to Central Walk more than four years ago.

Mr Armstrong said: “When I contact the company, they repeatedly tell me that somebody is interested in moving there but nothing has happened so far.

“At least I would like to see some improvement in the look of the premises. Certainly, it is very unsightly at present.”

Posters were stuck all over the windows of the store last week to advertise a circus on the field at Hucknall’s border with Bulwell.

At a meeting of Hucknall Tourism and Regeneration Group (HTRG), members disputed a claim that fly posting on empty properties was legally permissible.

No-one has been available to comment for Wilkinson.

HTRG chairman Ken Robinson said he thought a new mini-supermarket would be ‘useful’ on the sites of Hucknall’s former Lamp Cabin shop and Dispatch Office, both now unoccupied.

He had written to Sainsbury’s to find out if the retail giant was interested in this idea. In reply, Sainsbury’s managing director, David Tyler, said he had visited the site but felt there would be insufficient trade to justify the company opening new premises in this part of Hucknall, although they would keep the matter under review.

Coun John Wilmott (Lab), who is deputy leader of Ashfield District Council, said regeneration of the town centre — which included tackling the problem of empty shops — was ‘right up there’ at the top of the council’s priorities.

n OUR PHOTO shows the now unsightly former Wilko shop on Hucknall High Street