A new SPAR convenience store incorporating a Subway outlet is set to open early next year in the heart of Kingsbridge following the sale of The Quay Public House in Fore Street.
Devon based commercial property specialist Charles Darrow was tasked with finding buyers for the Grade II listed building.
Kingsbridge resident and local forecourt and convenience retailer Julian Holliss quickly agreed terms on the ground floor leasehold of the property, whilst a sale was completed for entire building. Julian, who has been looking for a site in Kingsbridge for many years, intends to open early in the New Year, after a significant investment.
Julian was recently recognised by the national retail trade after scooping two major trade awards in London in the space of a fortnight. His Townstal Road Garage site in Dartmouth was awarded Best Wales and West Country site at the Forecourt Retailer of the Year Awards and he received a highly commended forecourt retailer award at the prestigious Retail Industry Awards.
Julian has strong family connections with Kingsbridge. He attended school in the town, his daughter Jemma was a pupil at Kingsbridge Community College and his son Will is currently in year 10. He also played rugby for Kingsbridge RFC where he is now one of the junior coaching team, as well as being a long term club sponsor. His grandparents ran both the former Ship and Plough public house long before it became Costa Coffee and Arnolds corner store in Church Street.
He said: “I have many fond memories of socialising in The Quay back in Helen and Nigel’s halcyon days, so I am as sad as anyone to see its demise as a public house. However, these are changing times and it is my intention to play a part in rejuvenating one of the town’s most prominent and recognisable buildings, which has been deteriorating for some time.
“I have been running a SPAR store with a Subway franchise in Dartmouth and aim to bring that retail model and experience to Kingsbridge for the benefit of the local community. A cornerstone of Subway’s meteoric growth is in supporting local communities and we have done just that in Dartmouth, sponsoring the Regatta Road Race, local rugby, football and cricket clubs as well as other community activities. There is no question that we won’t be doing the same in supporting Kingsbridge.”
The Quay received planning permission this year to convert the upper parts into residential accommodation, which will also now be implemented by the freehold purchaser, who is a regional specialist in the complexities of converting listed buildings.
“We will, of course, strictly adhere to listed building planning conditions and ensure that the external appearance of our redevelopment is completely sympathetic to and in keeping with the heritage of the building and the area in general,” said Julian.
The overall investment in the building will total more than £1million and has been hailed as great news for the area.
Jon Clyne, a director of Charles Darrow, said: “This building is the gateway to Kingsbridge and was in desperate need of investment for the good of the town. While it is always sad to lose a public house, we had very little interest from prospective tenants and when Julian approached us with his plans, an investor was quick to come forward to secure the entire property and retain him as the ground floor tenant.
“With the developers’ expertise in restoring listed properties, coupled with an award-winning retail tenant for the ground floor, I believe this is great news for Kingsbridge and the wider region.”
The freehold of the property was sold off an asking price of £425,000.