Shrewsbury property shortage frustrates restaurant chains' efforts

National restaurant chains who want to invest in Shrewsbury are seeing their efforts stifled because there are not enough suitable premises to go round, a commercial property company has warned.

A number of national restaurant operators have expressed an interest in having a presence in the county town according to Halls Commercial, but there is a lack of suitable properties for them to take on.

Rebecca Welch from Halls said the company is hoping to find them prime premises.

She said: “These businesses can see Shrewsbury is a thriving town with lots to offer. It is somewhere they want to be and they all have a lot to offer in return to people living and visiting the town.

“Shrewsbury is known for its independent businesses and that is something of which all the national businesses are very much aware. They add hugely to the town’s economy and are a big part of why the town is such a success and brings in so many visitors.

“The main problem is that there are too few premises which offer 2,000 sq ft or more within close proximity to the most desirable trading stretch encompassing High Street, Mardol Head and The Square.

“The retail units here are simply not big enough.”

The news comes after Cote Brasserie opened in the former Viyella/Country Casuals unit in The Square, after a hotly contested fight to secure the larger unit.

“National chain restaurants will typically require a minimum of 2,000 sq ft on the ground floor in order to accommodate a critical mass of covers, as well as adequate kitchen space and facilities,” Ms Welch added.

“Opportunities come forward very rarely and are often traded in ‘off-market deals’ rather than being openly advertised.”

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