A ‘NO brainer’ proposal to bring a new café to the Kingfisher Shopping Centre has been given the green light.
Plans by management to change the unit next to Thorntons to A3 use were approved unanimously at a Redditch Borough Council planning committee meeting.
Centre manager Ken Williams said they had secured a 15-year lease, dependent on the change of use, which would bring a new business in which was willing to invest £150,000 in fitting the shop and equipment and hire ten part-time workers and seven full-time.
He added: “This proposal is further progress in our business strategy to revitalise the Kingfisher Centre.
“It will enable a new permanent letting on a long-term lease while also securing the existing temporary occupier in another temporary unit close by.”
Coun Joe Baker said: “One thing I think is dangerous for any town centre shopping centre is an empty unit. It doesn’t look good and doesn’t give confidence in a centre.”
Coun Roger Bennett said he admired and appreciated what the management were doing in the town centre although queried when they would stop adding new fast food outlets to the centre, to which Mr Williams said they currently had food offerings in six per cent of the units compared to upwards of ten per cent in other shopping centres.
He added by concentrating the food outlets in one area – the Hub and Kingfisher Walk – it could appear there were a large amount but they did not take up a huge proportion of the centre’s one million square foot floor space.