Major name set for town high street

A MAJOR high street name is set to open a new store in central Weston next month.

Caff� Nero will soon move in to the slot previously occupied by Priceless Shoes in Weston’s High Street.

The new caf� is likely to open towards the end of September, and will provide up to eight new jobs for the town.

The move has not been universally welcomed, with one caf� owner saying the new store could have a damaging effect on local businesses.

The high street coffee giant, which was founded in London in 1997 and has more than 500 stores across the country, has signed a 10-year deal to take on the site.

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The shop unit, which is owned by the Sovereign Shopping Centre, has been vacant since Priceless Shoes’ owners went into administration in January.

Work on refurbishing the site is currently underway.

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The firm’s UK managing director, Nigel Riding, said it would create ‘six to eight jobs’ for people in the town.

He continued: “We’re delighted to be coming to Weston. At Caffe Nero we are known for the quality of our coffee and the standard of our service.

“We also set ourselves out to be involved as part of the community as much as possible while also providing an amenity for people to come to and relax.”

Clare Morris, owner of Coco Browns cafe in Regent Street, campaigned against the opening of the Costa Coffee branch, which is also in High Street, last year.

She said: “I can’t quite see how lots of coffee shops, cash for gold and betting shops are going to help attract people into the high street area.

“The fight has all gone, I just feel that all I should really concentrate on now is re-educating peple to support their local caf�s and businesses and make people understand that if they don’t do that we will go under - that’s the bottom line.”

Nick Cooke, manager of the Sovereign Shopping Centre, said: “It is another good name to come to the town, it’s good that big national names are coming here.

“That site is quite an important location in the High Street so this is good news.”

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