THE vacant former Woolworths store in Barnstaple's Green Lanes is sparking interest from a number of retailers, according to shopping centre bosses. The unit is currently empty following the nationwide closure of the firm's 807 branches earlier this month

THE vacant former Woolworths store in Barnstaple's Green Lanes is sparking interest from a number of retailers, according to shopping centre bosses.The unit is currently empty following the nationwide closure of the firm's 807 branches earlier this month, a casualty of the current recession."It's certainly not all doom and gloom as there is quite a bit of interest in the old Woolies store," said Green Lanes Shopping Centre manager Jan Dayman."The store is still owned by the administrators but our letting agents are working behind the scenes with a number of interested parties."We haven't been told who they are but the unit will be let - it's just a matter of who gets it first."We will be making an announcement as soon as we are in a position to do so."Mrs Dayman said that various retailers had also expressed their interest in moving into the two further empty units and two vacant kiosks in the shopping centre."The situation is not as bad as people are making out," she added."Well over half of the shops in the centre traded well over the Christmas period, recorded above target figures for December, and good figures for the year."And the footfall at the centre was slightly up on last year, rising by one per cent on the 2007 figures.