Budget retailer eyes former Barnstaple Focus store

Planning permission being sought on behalf of national discount store chain.

A NATIONAL budget retailer could be setting up shop in Barnstaple’s former Focus DIY store.

B&M Retail Ltd, recently recognised as one of the top 100 fastest growing private companies in the UK by The Sunday Times, sells a wide variety of branded products at discounted prices at some 300 stores nationwide.

It sells everyday essentials such as food, toiletries and household goods but it also has key strengths in soft furnishings, toys, home-wares and seasonal goods.

An application submitted by NRT Planning on behalf of Threadneedle Property Investors seeks to change a number of planning conditions to enable the sale of a wide range of products at the Coney Avenue store.

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A statement submitted to North Devon Council planning officers said B&M would bring the unit back into active economic use and create jobs in the local employment market.

It said: “The existing store has remained closed since Focus entered administration over a year ago.

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“Threadneedle Property Investors are seeking the reoccupation of the unit by B&M, a successful discount retailer who are now trading in a number of former Focus stores across the country, including from a number of former Focus units.

“B&M will be making a considerable investment in Barnstaple, which will increase the critical mass of the town.

“The development will bring a high floorspace, vacant premises into viable economic use, avoiding its long term dilapidation and creating a number of jobs in the local employment market.”

A spokesperson for B&M said the firm had no comment to make at this stage.

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