McAlpine urges Next to reconsider out of town move
MSP Joan McAlpine has written to Next urging them to reconsider a move to an out of town retail park.
The SNP MSP has also asked for a meeting with bosses.
Ms McAlpine hopes that a recent rates revaluation, which has slashed the store’s business rates, will encourage the store to commit to the town centre.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:
“The store is so important to Dumfries town centre and the council’s planning policy is supposed to promote the town centre first.
“I am asking for a meeting with Next to urge them to reconsider. The substantial reduction in business rates due to the revaluation should encourage them to reconsider such a move. But I also want to see what else they require in order to stay.
“There has been a lot of buzz about regenerating the town centre in recent years, with organisations such as the Stove putting forward bold plans for housing, recent rebranding of the Loreburne Centre and measures in place from the Scottish Government to encourage investment.
“There has been such hard work going into regenerating the town centre in recent years, and this would be a huge blow.
“I hope that we can find a way forward.”
Ms McAlpine has also written to council bosses asking for assurances that they are doing all they can to keep Next in the town centre.
“I have called on the council administration to provide assurances that they will do everything possible to encourage Next to remain in Dumfries town centre – including retaining the existing bulky goods criteria for Cuckoo Bridge retail park.”