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Primark to be asked about Chapman's store takeover

A fresh bid to bring discount fashion retailer Primark to Carlisle could see it open a store in Victoria Viaduct.

Chapmans shop photo
Carlisle's Chapmans shop

Joe Hendry, leader of the opposition Labour group on Carlisle City Council, says Primark could take over the building occupied by Chapman’s when the retailer closes in the autumn.

He has asked council chief executive Jason Gooding to approach Primark and the owner of the building to see if a deal can be struck.

Dr Hendry said: “I am continually asked if and when Primark might come to Carlisle. I understand that they would require a floor area in the region of 30,000sq ft. Chapman’s is a very large premises and might fit Primark’s requirements.”

He added: “It would be a huge boost for Carlisle’s shopping and there is clearly a demand for such a store. When I return from Glasgow [by train] some Saturday evenings, I see many Carlisle ladies with bags and bags of Primark clothing.

“Such a facility would stop the haemorrhaging of the city-centre shopping experience that is such a concern to many of us.”

The nearest Primark outlets are at the Metro Centre in Gateshead, Newcastle and Glasgow.

The company has long been linked to Carlisle.

There were rumours it would take over the Littlewoods store in The Lanes, which closed in 2006.

Then in 2009 Primark’s deputy managing director, Seamus Halford, told the then Carlisle MP Eric Martlew that it wanted to open in the city.

Mr Martlew said at the time: “He told me Carlisle is one of their target locations. But they have, as yet, been unable to locate premises large enough to meet their requirements. Their property agents are actively looking for sites.”

Chapman’s announced two weeks ago that it would not renew the lease on its Carlisle branch.

It will also close its flagship Newcastle store, bringing to an end a business that dates back to 1847. A closing-down sale starts at the end of May and the Carlisle store will shut in September with the loss of 20 jobs.

Have your say

Jim. Is not the Tesco v Council seemingly ongoing attempts in trying to revert their decision of 2007. I believe the council rightly prefer that the Morton site is preferable to Tesco than the Viaduct. Is it not true, the council want them to stay where they are in the town, instead of moving? It's not rocket science too know the pickle their planning acceptances will create in allowing two major supermarket stores, as almost bidding neighbours. The obvious traffic grid locks has already been foreseen. Yes, they have long-term vision but not in regard Rickergate residents blocking their purchase of property and what was, or still is a council owned Italian restaurant. Was not a new Central Plaza Hotel planned in this area? Go a bit further back and the lanes was planned prior to WW2. That is long-term vision that at least was fruitful which made the city a superb regional shopping area, although loss of many local established shops, some that could not afford new rents. As previously mentioned the three separate buildings of Hotel, Tesco (if they move) and Chapmans would be a opportunity to extend the shopping centre within it's present environment, even linking onto city carparks (via a lift ...) via rear present derelict (name?) lanes, aside Bush Brow.

The vision of a new 'Her Majesty's Theatre' (the old one was demolished) is still perhaps also a dream not planned despite attempts by many in wanting the former ABC Cinema of the Lonsdale. West Cumbria's Rosehill Theatre recently got, was it something like 2 million.... ? Primark remains a vision with it being used now as a tool for voting....... Thanks, Jim for prompting me further on this topic. I'm, keeping up in the queue at the Carlisle City Picture House (it was demolished for a favourable store) for the present all action showing.

Posted by Roy on 2 April 2012 at 21:22

Roy you said: "If Carlisle Council had any vision of long-term planning they would have let Tesco move to the Viaduct"

Tescos have planning permission for the viaduct site, they got in 2007.

Do keep up.

Posted by Jim on 2 April 2012 at 13:10

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