Exciting time for town as business premises are snapped up
Businesses premises in the town centre that have remained empty for years are being snapped up by entrepreneurs
4th April 2021
By Warren Wilkins
The future is looking bright for Newquay with one business leader hailing “positive signs” and another looking forward to an “amazing year”.
Businesses premises in the town centre that have remained empty for years are being snapped up by entrepreneurs planning to open independent shops in time for tens of thousands of holidaymakers who are expected to descend on the resort this summer.
A number of new businesses are opening whilst some businesses have moved to larger premises.
Established business owners have been making an effort to ensure premises look their best as shopfronts are being spruced up in preparation for non-essential retail shops being permitted to open on April 12.
Newquay saw a surge of visitors last summer as more and more people enjoyed a Cornish break rather than a holiday abroad, and it’s expected to be repeated this year.
Newquay Tourist Information Centre has reported a huge amount of enquiries for holiday accommodation.
John Weller, who has a substantial interest in commercial properties in the town centre, believes lots of factors are coming together that will help the town thrive.
Mr Weller, a former Newquay Mayor and leader of Restormel Borough Council, said: “A lot of the empty shops are being leased out. This is a positive sign for Newquay’s future.
“It’s exciting so many young people and entrepreneurs are taking the opportunity to invest in their own ideas.
“There are going to be a lot more eateries in Newquay. The high street is changing. There will be winners and losers and I think Newquay is in a good place to take advantage. The small business units are putting the town in good stead.
“People will be taking a staycation holiday as they will not going to be able to go on a foreign break. The long range forecast is also predicting it will be a hot summer.
“Newquay is going to become a lot more affluent.
“The county has also been prioritised for superfast broadband so people can live and work here remotely.
“There is additionally going to be investment in the airport and spaceport, which will bring highly-paid jobs.
“Everybody wants to live in Cornwall because it is safe and a great place to live. We just need more wealth creation so that everybody benefits from this.”
Many in Newquay have found the affects of the pandemic damaging, with a severe housing shortage impacting people, particularly in the private rented market, as reported in the Voice last week.
But a number of businesses are opening, including Newquay Waffle Stop, The Old Counting House Cornish food delicatessen and the PB Running sports outlet, whilst some businesses, such as Fat Willy’s and Newquay Activity Centre, have relocated to larger premises.
A number of hot-desking businesses are opening to cater for the surge of people relocating to Newquay as they are able to work remotely.
The £7.8 government investment in Cornwall Airport Newquay and Spaceport Cornwall is also expected to create high-paid jobs.
Newquay estate agents are experiencing an increase in demand for commercial property lettings.
Dan Ball from David Ball estate agents said: “We have had a lot more business interest.
“A lot of empty shops are being leased out. They are filling up. People are taking advantage of the influx of visitors to Newquay. Last summer it was like the Boardmasters every day. I think it will be the same again this summer.”
Jonathan Start from Start and Co said: “We have seen a very strong demand for independent businesses looking to open in Newquay. This is down to the size of the units and landlords being more realistic about rental values and the expected demand for a busy summer season.
“These independent businesses are confident about investing in Newquay for all-year round business. When you walk through the town it’s really positive.”
Newquay Mayor Louis Gardner said: “There are very few empty units where work is not going on. Even amongst the more established businesses people are making an effort to adapt and improve their appearance.
“I do think Newquay could well experience its busiest summer ever.
“Initial indications from Newquay Tourist Information Centre is it is already experiencing a huge number of enquiries and bookings. All the feedback from accommodation businesses is very positive.”
Rob Barber, who has relocated Newquay Activity Centre to Fore Street, said: “I could see Fore Street is a real up and coming retail zone.
“We can see this year is going to be an amazing year for Newquay.”