Chichester District Council 'confident' in future of House of Fraser site

East Pallant House
East Pallant House

Chichester District Council have responded after the news the House of Fraser will close in January.

The response follows yesterday's news (October 23) that House of Fraser in West Street will close in January.
A spokesman for Chichester District Council said: "We really value Chichester city centre and understand that its continued success depends on having a good mix of shops and other facilities for a wide range of people. We have no control over the identity of the retailers that go into the units, this is down to the landlord of each building, however, we want to do what we can to support the vitality of the city centre.

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"We know that retail is undergoing huge changes at the moment, trends are changing all the time, but there are still many opportunities for those who can offer the consumer an excellent choice and experience.

"To assist our independent retailers with this change, we have been running a Retail Training programme for high street independent retailers and this is backed up with grants to improve shop fronts. This training has been very positively received by all those who have taken part. Additionally, we have supported small businesses with our Enabling Grants scheme to help fund growth projects.

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"The House of Fraser site is in a prime location and we are confident that it has a positive future. Despite the huge changes going on nationally, the retail picture in Chichester city centre is very positive. Where there is turnover of units, these fill relatively quickly. Our high streets are doing well in comparison to other cities and towns. The average shop vacancy rate in the South East is running at 10% yet in Chichester, ours is 6.8% - one of the lowest in the country.

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"To ensure that Chichester remains resilient in the future, Chichester District Council has been leading the Chichester Vision which was developed last year and is now in its delivery phase. The Vision is supported by all three local authorities in the city and the Chichester BID (Business Improvement District). Work is already underway to improve the look and feel of the city so that it continues to be attractive to both visitors and businesses.’’

READ MORE: Shoppers in Chichester react to House of Fraser closure

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