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Plans to revitalise former Debenhams store have fallen through

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Exciting plans to revitalise Lynn’s former Debenhams store have come to a grinding halt.Kelly Ranger, who used to run a pop-up market at The Place on New Conduit Street, revealed her plan to revitalise the old department store on High Street in October.She had hoped to fill it with shopping and leisure attractions, offering businesses a series of self-contained units to operate from with a model similar to Afflecks in Manchester.

Plans to revitalise Debenhams in Lynn have fallen through

However, she has now told the Lynn News that she will not be pursuing the idea due to the “over the odds” prices she was being quoted by the London-based agent which owns the building.She said this “isn’t fair on anyone and is unsustainable long term”.“The constant brick walls I have faced within Lynn town centre has left me feeling very deflated and a little bit lost,” Ms Ranger said.

Kelly Ranger says she has faced ‘constant brick walls’ in Lynn’s town centre

“I’m unable to support my family on a few markets a week and I’m unable to stump up capital to open a shop myself. This has forced me to seek full-time employment in a factory, which is depressing.“It’s a sad situation as our town centre could be beautiful with some selfless help for small businesses.”In November, Ms Ranger hosted a meeting with potential clients to gauge interest in the Debenhams project – with between 20 and 25 people turning up.Nearly ten businesses put their names down to mark their interest at the meeting.This gave Ms Ranger hope that the building could have been back in use by Christmas, but her plans were quickly dashed.The department store has been lying empty since the business closed in 2020, although Starlow Investments was granted permission to build flats in its two upper floors last year.It originally shut down when Covid-19 restrictions were put in place in early 2020 but, after two months of speculation, bosses confirmed it would not reopen.

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