Stores to re-open

TWO national retailers are poised to move into former Woolworths stores in Redcar and Middlesbrough, giving a boost to Tees Valley’s embattled high street.

TWO national retailers are poised to move into former Woolworths stores in Redcar and Middlesbrough, giving a boost to Tees Valley’s embattled high street.

Value retailer Waremart has taken a temporary nine-month lease on a 32,500 sq ft unit in Middlesbrough’s Hillstreet shopping centre.

The firm, which sells DiY equipment, has an option to extend the lease and plans to open for business in the centre on Saturday.

Hillstreet centre manager Peter Drabble, said: “Considering that times are hard, it’s nice to get a large unit filled.”

The unit has been empty since December when Woolworth’s vacated the centre.

Meanwhile, a national retailer is pondering a move into the vacant former Woolworths store in Redcar’s ailing high street. Sources said a decision could be made “within weeks”.

Council officials described the news as a welcome boost to the town, which has been rocked by departures of big name brands including McDonalds, Hallmark, Shoe Express and - in a few weeks - Littlewoods.

Cllr Mark Hannon, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council’s Cabinet member for economic development, said: “We’re dead keen to get this company on board.

“We’re talking about a major retailer that does not currently operate in Redcar.”

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