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Call to stop Hereford shops moving from centre to old market site
AS work finally gets underway at Hereford’s old livestock market, a independant business owner says promises to safeguard the future of the city’s High Town have been broken.
Luke Conod, owner of clothing shop FIT, says he was told by a contractor that River Island would not be returning to the city centre home damaged by fire two years ago as rents will be cheaper on the Old Market development.
Diggers this week moved onto the site that will become a multimillion pound retail development featuring Waitrose, Debenhams and a multiscreen cinema.
Luke says he was assuared by project bosses that national chains already based in and around High Town would not be moving across town.
But claims that River Island swapping High Town for the old livestock market goes against that promise and prompt fears that others would follow.
“Initially, just Next and one other retailer could be approached from the centre of Hereford – that was the agreement,” said Luke.
“Now, there seem to be no restrictions.”
River Island spokesman Rosie Day said that the firm “cannot comment at this present time” about any proposed move for its Hereford store.