A former card store is to reopen as a coffee shop – becoming the fifth such outlet in a town centre.
Plans for the new Harris+Hoole cafe in Biggleswade market square have been opposed by many, who believe there are already too many coffee shops in the town.
But others say the move shows that business in Biggleswade is still thriving.
Biggleswade mayor Councillor Tim Woodward said: “Shops like this will provide jobs to local people and fill the town’s shop spaces, keeping the town centre a vibrant shopping destination. The alternative is boarded-up shop fronts.
“I think it is a tribute to Biggleswade that companies want to invest in the town centre in these economic times, and hopefully this will encourage others to follow suit.”
Biggleswade Chamber of Trade chairman Martin Thomas said: “It is good not to have empty or boarded-up shops.
“My only concern is that there is already a cafe serving coffee next door to where the new one will be, but it is pleasing to see new businesses opening in Biggleswade.”
But readers spoke out against the new outlet on the Biggleswade Chronicle Facebook page.
Andy Hancock said: “You can get a cup of coffee in ten places in the town centre already if you count the coffee-selling pubs.”
Maggie Ashwell added: “No more coffee shops! How about a nice craft shop for those of us who do crafts? That would be nice.”
Anita Neal said: “I don’t want to see any empty units, but could we please have something other than a coffee shop, takeaway or an estate agents?
“I wish the ‘smarter’ stores were coming into town rather than out on London Road – I fear we will end up with an empty high street.”
A spokesman for Harris+Hoole confirmed that the company will be opening a new branch in the premises, but said an opening date is yet to be confirmed.
The outlet is expected to provide around 10 new jobs.
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Weather for Biggleswade
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 12 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West