Entrepreneurs optimistic about future of redeveloped Gosport shopping precinct
THE redevelopment of a shopping precinct in the heart of Gosport could revitalise the area, according to business owners.
The Carisbrooke Centre in Bridgemary is going through a major redevelopment, which will see 17 flats, two homes, an extension to the McColls supermarket and 34 new parking spaces.
The plans were approved by Gosport Borough Council in April 2018.
While the development hasn’t been without its adversity – with one store owner voicing a number of frustrations – retailers seem to be excited about the future of their businesses.
Sean Hyndman from Norma Jeans Hair and Beauty said: ‘The builders were really accommodating for us, they would stop drilling if we had a massage appointment or anything like that.
‘It’s definitely going to make things a lot better. Having twice as many parking spaces will be great for all the businesses here.’
Martin Clarke, the owner of Peels Chippy, said car park closures during the redevelopment did have an affect on his business, but adds that some disturbance was inevitable.
‘They were ripping the whole site apart, of course it’s going to have some sort of impact,’ he said.
‘There was a time when the car park was closed off for about three weeks and we lost loads of customers; we had to close because nobody was coming in.
‘But I’m hopeful it will be beneficial to everyone in the long run.’
But one business owner, who wished to remain anonymous, was less satisfied with how the development has progressed.
They said: ‘I’ve had problems with the car parking, a leak they created in the roof and I’ve struggled to take deliveries.
‘It does feel like we're coming out of a hole though.’
Lucy Edwards, construction and design assistant at The Malins Group, says the redevelopment should be wrapped up by February next year.
She said: ‘This is a huge change for the precinct – it hasn’t been in the best state over the past few years so we’re looking forward to completing the development.
‘We appreciate there was some disruption through our main contractor, but businesses were made aware of what would be happening prior to work beginning and I haven’t heard any complaints come our way.’