Council needs to bring in big name shops: MP

Lynette Meredith from Work Out Your Money

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MORE should be done by Portsmouth City Council to attract big name shops to Cosham.

MP Penny Mordaunt says High Street already has enough cafes, banks and charity shops and would benefit from a wider variety of businesses.

And she wants the council to consider reducing shop rental rates so start-up businesses can move in.

Ms Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North, said: ‘We all want shop space to be taken up, but the council ought to be encouraging a wider variety in High Street.

‘A lot of the residents tell me they would like an Argos.

‘Traders have a vision of Cosham being a market town and want the shops to reflect that.

‘Under the Government’s Localism Bill local authorities can now reduce shop rental rates – that’s something the council needs to look at doing in Cosham.’

The MP’s comments follows the announcement that a Poundland store will move into High Street.

It will replace an empty shop which was occupied by Bonmarche, the ladies’ clothing retailer, which closed after retailer Peacocks went bust last month.

It is unknown when the bargain store will open and how many jobs will be created.

Traders have welcomed the move but say there is already a discount shop in High Street – Poundstretcher.

Dil Dave, who owns Drapewise, said: ‘No-one likes to see an empty shop so in that aspect it’s good news.

‘But when you bring a shop like that into the area it’s only going to bring in one form of clientele. We already have a Poundstretcher.

‘Hopefully, it will mean more people will come to shop here.’

Pat Scott, owner of Mays of Cosham fish and chip shop, said: ‘It’s a good idea and the council should think about getting more of those shops up here.

‘It’s a pity that it’s not going to be moving in right next door to me.’

Ms Mordaunt added: ‘I don’t have doubts about a Poundland store because there’s definitely a market for one in Cosham.’

Trading director for Poundland David Coxon said: ‘Poundland has grown significantly over the past 12 months and it’s fantastic to see this expansion continuing with a new store in Cosham.

‘We’re looking forward to opening our doors.’