First clues emerge over future of BHS site

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BHS in Bridge Street closed two years ago.

PART of the former British Home Stores (BHS) site in Bridge Street, Stratford-upon-Avon could become two restaurants and a hotel.

Hermes Investment Management, the finance company which now owns the BHS building told the Herald on a recent site visit that two restaurants at the front of the more modern part of the building facing Bridge Street and a hotel to the rear of the property overlooking Guild Street are proposed.

Stephen Ellis, senior asset manager at Hermes Investment Management said; “There are plans to sub divide the front of the building in to three units. We know two restaurants are definitely interested in two of the units but the third remains empty. There are also plans to incorporate a hotel to the rear of the building. The main structure of the building adjacent to Bridge Street is listed so that’s a more detailed project.”

When Mr Ellis was asked what type of restaurants were involved or if they were part of a national chain or if Stratford already had these restaurants in another part of town, he declined to offer any information as the matter was as he described it, “confidential.” There was also no news on a potential hotel operator either.

He would not be drawn on project costs or any financial figures relating to the incorporation of two restaurants and the hotel except to say “considerable costs were involved.”

“We are working together with Stratford District Council but these things take time and even if two new retailers occupied the former BHS site by Christmas it’s not certain they would be operational until next year,” Mr Ellis said.

The next step for the BHS site which has lain empty for two years next month, is the ongoing assessment of the site. In total 12 reports need to be completed before a planning application is submitted to Stratford District Council. The reports cover an important range of issues including structural, ecological, archaeological and heritage considerations. The whole process could take 11 weeks to clear the necessary planning hurdles.

  • 1jamessmith1

    Another 2 restaurants and a Hotel
    Would some one please explain to me why the town needs these?
    Don’t we have enough all ready?

    The rent and business rates are likely to be at the top end because of the location.
    How do they intend to be viable between September and May?
    These types of businesses are the most extreme protagonists of zero hour contracts.

    This type of business is notorious for advertising jobs with a competitive salary (sorry we mean legal min, but hope that people are to stupid to realize what we mean)

    Like a shop that piles the stock high to allow them sell it cheaply, they pile the staff high and pay them cheap. Usually as many under 25 or 21 as they can to avoid paying adult rate for to many.
    Inexperience isn’t a problem… More hands to split the job among to reduce the risk.

    No such thing as paying staff enhanced rates at busy times such as weekends.

    In what way doesn’t it make sense to have better paying jobs?
    Why not invest in staff training, that is a recognized business expense?
    How long can it take to train staff? I.E, one or two evenings per week at Stratford college

    Better paid jobs and staff don’t rely on in work benefits as much.
    So then you are not collecting business rates with one hand, then paying out in work benefits with the other. This might even allow lower business rates to help every one after a short time.

    • jontyoung

      Maybe you could contact the chair of worldwide capitalism and complain. It’s not unique to Stratford.

      • 1jamessmith1

        jontyoung given that locals will combined eat out so many times a year, corp orates have a set entertaining budget and tourists will be limited. Saturating the town with hotels and restaurants is pointless . As you increase the number of hotels and restaurants, so the risk of each one failing increases too. It needs some thing different