Ripon’s high street is bouncing back, as the city emerges from 18 months of covid lockdowns.
Independent retailers, regional and national chains, are taking over voids in readiness for the Christmas period.
The former Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home stores on Market Place East Kirkgate are being prepared for new occupiers.
Both long-established brands closed in October, as owners Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group went into liquidation amid trading conditions that it described as a ‘brutal environment.’
Outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Mountain Warehouse, which currently has a small shop in Fishergate, is making the short move across Market Square.
Its relocation to larger premises is due to be completed within the next four weeks.
An autumn opening has been scheduled by Loungers Limited – the national café-bar chain – for its Claro Lounge on Market Place South.
Located next door to Ripon Town Hall, the building, which was formerly a Natwest bank branch, has been vacant since 2018.
An autumn opening is also planned in The Arcade by Yorkshire Cancer Research in the 4,000 sq ft unit formerly occupied by a Fultons Foods store, which closed in February.
Along with new entrant The Real Junk Food Project, which redistributes surplus food, The Arcade will be home to four of Ripon’s 12 charity outlets.
The mall underwent a £100,000 refurbishment after Bradford-based property development and investment company Frank Marshall Estates acquired it in 2019 from the Westcourt Group.
The imminent arrival of new names in the city centre, follows the opening in July of Halls of Ripon in Fishergate – where more than 20 retailers and The Hive coffee shop are located.