Work is taking place today (Monday) on one of the vacant shop units due to open soon at Harborough District Council’s offices in Market Harborough.
Two of the three retail units at The Symington Building, in Adam and Eve Street, have been vacant for the past 18 months but a Spar convenience store and an Insomnia coffee bar are set to open soon.
Work started this morning (Monday) to the entrance of one of the vacant units.
It means a section of the foyer in the council’s building will be cordoned off today to allow for the removal of shop-front panels for the coffee shop.
The work is “likely to take up to one day to complete”, says the council, with the cordon due to be removed by tomorrow (Tuesday).
The Symington Building will remain open as usual.
“Any disruption during the works will be kept to a minimum,” the district council said in a news release.
The council’s retail units are a key plank in the local authority’s ‘transformation programme’ to sweat its assets.
The HQ building - the Victorian-era former R & WH Symington corset factory – was refurbished in 2013 at a cost of £5.75million and re-opened in January 2014.
The Gallone’s ice-cream parlour opened at the first retail unit in July 2014 but the other two units have been unoccupied since the building re-opened.
A Simply Fresh convenience store was first mooted for one of the vacant units but it emerged a fortnight ago that a Spar shop would be opening instead.
Work took place on July 30 on the vacant units which required the temporary closure of the archway between the Fox Yard car park and Adam and Eve Street.
The Insomnia coffee company has grown from a single location in a Galway bookstore in 1997 to an estate of more than 100 coffee outlets across the UK and Ireland. It has a partnership with Spar in addition to other retailers.
The company is owned by Irish entrepreneur and businessman Bobby Kerr, a ‘dragon’ on the Irish version of the Dragons’ Den TV show, Harry O’Kelly and John Clohisey.