Gloucester shopping street full for first time in nine years
SHOPPING hot-spot College Street is fully stocked with traders for the first time in nine years.
The popular tourist pathway to Gloucester Cathedral has had various vacancies over the years.
But every unit is now full thanks to the latest letting by Kingfisher Church.
It is opening a craft and gift shop called Treasure Seekers in the street.
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It will be stocked and staffed by volunteers as part of a scheme to help people gain work experience.
The news has been welcomed by existing traders and city bosses.
Paul Peacock, owner of John Lawrence Menswear, said: "It's absolutely brilliant.
"It's nice to see the whole line of shops full and hopefully will generate more passing trade."
The street is already the busiest pedestrian route in Gloucester, with a footfall of 400,000.
Gloucester MP Richard Graham said: "All of us like being here and I am optimistic that with recent announcements on B&M and TKMaxx we're seeing more retailers coming into the four Gates in the city centre."
Ivan Taylor, chairman of Westgate Quarter Traders' Association, said: "It's brilliant news.
"We have now got a lovely entrance to the Cathedral."
The unit the church has taken used to be a baby clothes shop and has been empty for 18 months.
It is now being refitted ready for the opening on October 24.
Most of its stock will be gifts and crafts handmade by the Treasure Seekers group and all the profits will go back towards its running.
Manager Craig Tucker said: "The aim is to provide job opportunities for adults with learning difficulties, young people who are out of work, single mums on benefits and other people who struggle to get jobs with no experience."