Harborough Council steps in to reclaim retail units

Uncertainty surrounds the future of a new convenience store and cafe earmarked for the two vacant retail units at Harborough District Council's revamped offices
Uncertainty surrounds the future of a new convenience store and cafe earmarked for the two vacant retail units at Harborough District Council's revamped offices

Uncertainty surrounds the future of a new convenience store and cafe earmarked for the two vacant retail units at Harborough District Council’s revamped offices.

A Simply Fresh store and a coffee shop were destined for The Symington Building, in Adam and Eve Street, but have yet to open.

Simply Fresh was meant to open in August.

However, their future was thrown into doubt last Wednesday when the district council issued a forfeiture notice to reclaim possession of the two units.

A council spokesman said: “The council has taken possession of the premises and the matter is now being dealt with in accordance with the appropriate legal processes.

“The council will await the outcome of the current legal processes before considering future options for the units.”

The Mail understands the issue is over non-payment of rent and that the council was owed about £3,500 which was two weeks’ late.

The tenant for the two units, who lives in Leicester, wants to open a franchise store for Simply Fresh, as well as the cafe, and has reportedly spent £250,000 on fixtures and fittings for the two units.

A spokesman for Simply Fresh said the tenant was away this week but will likely make a full statement next week.

“He has invested a lot of money already,” the spokesman said.

The Mail understands the council will not be able to re-let the units for six months due to the terms of the lease.