AN INDEPENDENT cycling shop has joined national chain stores by moving to the new £64m Whiteley Shopping Centre.
Solent Cycles, run by 39-year-old founder Mike Paget, has signed a seven-year lease on a 1,500sq ft corner unit.
As reported in The News, the shopping centre officially opened on Thursday, May 23 and is 91 per cent occupied.
The letting was handled by Fareham commercial law firm Graeme Quar & Co, which has been dealing with the cycle shop for 17 years.
Graeme helped Mike get the lease and renewals on his first shop in West Street, Portchester, in 1995, plus a second store at Marine Parade West, Lee-on-the-Solent, seven years ago and the third one in West Street, Fareham, four years after that.
Solent Cycles now employs 11 people overall, including manager Leon Topps, mechanic Craig Ponting and sales assistant Alex McDonald at Whiteley.
Mike said: ‘There is a clear business case for our products and services at Whiteley, both from the neighbouring residential communities and visitors coming to a shopping centre which could give Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth and West Quay in Southampton a run for their money.’