Huge JobCentre on the way to Fareham town centre as Poundland shuts up shop
A HUGE JobCentre is being planned for Fareham town centre.
The new JobCentre is part of the Department for Work and Pensions’ national roll out of temporary centres across the UK.
The new centre will take over the larger Poundland store in West Street, which was formerly the 99p Store and before that Woolworths.
Poundland has run two shops in the town ever since it bought the 99p Stores, its biggest rival, in 2015.
Poundland said it was sad to go but reassured customers that it will continue to run its store in Market Quay.
A spokesman from the discount retailer said: ‘We're as disappointed as our colleagues and customers to be closing our store in West Street, Fareham, on Wednesday, September 15.
‘Sadly, our lease has expired. We’re still offering customers amazing value at our nearby store at Market Quay.
‘Where we close a store, it goes without saying we always work hard to look after colleagues directly affected.’
A spokesman for the shopping centre said they were delighted to have the new occupier on the way, as the JobCentre intends on bringing both floors of the unit back into operation.
A large renovation is set to take place with the 28,000 sq ft JobCentre potentially opening early next year.
He said that rumours of a hotel in this location were untrue, although Roubaix Group Ltd, the niche property investment business which owns Fareham Shopping Centre, was still considering plans to bring in a hotel, after a plan to bring in an 84-bed four-floor Premier Inn in office space above Waterstones were shelved in 2017 due to large costs.
He also said that clothes retailer Next, which neighbours the JobCentre unit was also staying put as they were ‘very much part of the shopping centre’s long term vision.’
He said: ‘This is great news to have the JobCentre moving in.’
A DWP spokesperson was more coy about the plans.
They said: ‘A new temporary jobcentre is being considered for Fareham, but for commercial reasons we are unable to provide any further information at this stage. Once leases are signed on temporary premises, we will update the list and details will be published on gov.uk.’
They said that the smaller JobCentre office, at the rear of the shopping centre, would be staying open for the foreseeable future.
Leader of Fareham Borough Council Sean Woodward welcomed the move.
He said: ‘For those of us who loved Poundland, and I include myself among those people, it is great that Poundland will still have a presence in the town centre.
‘We may be losing one store but we are gaining a JobCentre which is bringing investment and employment into Fareham. It is very good to see.’