Last week BHS announced the devastating news that thousands workers across the nation will face redundancy. The chain’s collapse will mean that there will be up to 11,000 job losses across the country.

Although it is yet to be confirmed how many people are employed at the Exeter branch, the demise of the BHS store has left dozens of staff facing unemployment. What’s more is that the city council is left wondering how to fill its soon to be empty space in Fore Street.  

Exeter’s BHS store is one of the biggest retail units in Exeter city centre and brings the council £67,000 a year in rent. This is somewhat daunting for the council as property experts predict finding a new occupier to take on the premises will be hard to find due to its current format.

But according to leading fixed fee estate agent eMoov.co.uk, it’s not all doom and gloom. Their local property director for Exeter says there is reason for the council should remain optimistic in finding a suitor for the premises due to the current regeneration of Exeter and if a replacement tenant can’t be found they should perhaps look into future regenerational developments alongside those already underway.

With the recent news that after 88 years the BHS store in Exeter’s Fore Street will be closing, it will be interesting to see how the future of the premises will affect the surrounding area and property market. It has been widely reported that the council will lose around £67,000 in rent that BHS were paying, but as the freeholder they will have the decision as to who takes on one of the biggest retail units within the city centre at 40,000 square feet.

With demand for retail space in Exeter buoyant I am positive that there will be a number of worthy suitors, yet there could also be interest to convert the premises into residential or student flats. Case in point we listed a one bedroom flat in Haldon Road recently, which was sale agreed within a couple of days achieving a price above the asking price with other interested buyers missing out. So clearly there is a growing demand in city centre living and the convenience of being so close to the shops, restaurants and transport links that brings.

Lewis Rossiter

Local Property Director, eMoov.co.uk

If you’re looking for an estate agent in the South West, click here to contact Lewis Rossiter and get a free valuation.

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