Action to be taken over empty shops

Empty shop units in Lace Walk are to be given a facelift, the owners confirm.

Empty shops, described as “disgusting”, are to be given a facelift, their owner has confirmed

The Co-operative, which acquired the properties in Lace Walk, Honiton, when it purchased Britannia, says it understands the concerns raised.

It is to actively market the units but, in the meantime, is happy to discuss display options with Honiton Town Council and business leaders.

Colin Wright, chairman of Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry, recently said the vacant units were “disgusting and detrimental to the town”.

He made the comments in the presence of local MP Neil Parish.

Town councillors have also drawn attention to the shops’ appearance.

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A spokesperson for The Co-operative told the Midweek Herald: “As a community retailer, we understand the concerns raised.

“The properties are being actively marketed, maintenance work is planned to clean and paint the fascias, and dress the windows.

“In addition, we will be happy to discuss matters with the town council or chamber of commerce to explore ways in which we can further co-operate.”

The Co-operative further gave the Midweek Herald the telephone number of its estates manager - to pass on to the chamber of commerce.

The chamber’s secretary, Margaret Lewis, was pleased to have the number as chamber members would like to arrange non-advertising displays to fill the shops’ windows until the units are let.