Poundland has ‘no plans to close’ Biggleswade town centre store as new shop 'coming soon' to retail park

Poundland sets its sights on the end of February
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Poundland has confirmed its new shop in the former Outfit unit on Biggleswade’s A1 Retail Park will not mean the closure of its town centre store.

The new shop will be located in the unit which has been vacant for over two years – with coming soon posters currently in the windows.

A spokesperson for Poundland said: “We’re excited about the opening in Biggleswade in the former Outfit store. It will be one of our ‘destination’ stores with the broadest and widest ranges we can offer.”

A1 Retails Park sign (inset) and Poundland logo. Picture: National WorldA1 Retails Park sign (inset) and Poundland logo. Picture: National World
A1 Retails Park sign (inset) and Poundland logo. Picture: National World

They “anticipate an opening date towards the end of February”, with a firm date expected in the coming weeks.

The news will come as a relief to some shoppers and councillors who had feared it could spell the closure of the town centre shop. In Bedford, Poundland closed two of its town centre shops when a third opened its doors.

Holme ward councillor Jonathan Woodhead had taken to Facebook to express his concerns, saying: “A new Poundland store is opening at the A1 Retail Park soon and there are questions about the future of the current Poundland in the town centre. I am keen to retain the store in town as it remains a draw and is convenient for many.”

But after the Biggleswade Chronicle revealed the store will stay open, he added: “'If Poundland are to stay in Market Square, Biggleswade then that is welcome news. The town centre store is accessible to everyone (especially those without a car) and provides an important offering for residents of the town. It is therefore good news if we can sustain two branches of this national chain within Biggleswade.”

This news comes after Central Bedfordshire Council approved plans by the retailer in February last year to allow food sales in the retail park store, which was expected to create up to 30 new jobs.

Speaking at the time Independent Biggleswade South councillor Hayley Whitaker, who called in the application, said: “Poundland is one of the busiest shops and definitely acts as a draw to the town for some shoppers. Duplicating that offer will doubtless set the clock ticking on the lifespan of the town centre outlet.”

Conservative Biggleswade North councillor Ian Bond warned: “The whole purpose of this condition was to protect the town centre, rather than trying to destroy its viability. Poundland occupies the biggest shop in Biggleswade based in a former store of retail chain Woolworth. It would be difficult to fill by the sheer size of it.”

But now Poundland has confirmed that: “There are no plans to close our other Biggleswade store.”

On social media, residents had mixed views about the new shop. One user said: “Wish it was a Home Bargains instead.” A second said: “That’s good if it's a bigger store they will stock so much more like clothes, we really need a B&M or Home Bargains though, that would be brilliant.”

While another added: “Will be great to have another retailer join the retail park after the unit has been empty for so long, glad in this climate that stores can be opened and jobs can be created.”