Torbay Council is continuing to develop proposals for the future of Torquay Town Centre following the announcement last month that the government was awarding £21.9m investment from the Towns Fund to drive economic regeneration in the town.
The work becomes even more important following the news that the Debenhams site in The Strand in Torquay is potentially going to close.
Torbay Council, working with TDA, had already purchased the Debenhams site back in May after the news the company had gone into administration.
Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said: “First of all, our thoughts are with all the Debenhams staff who face uncertainty at an already difficult time – it has been a very challenging year for the retail sector due to COVID and this is another blow.
“There is positive news as well though following the recent announcement that we are getting £21.9m investment from the Towns Fund.”
Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council and Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “The benefit of us purchasing the Debenhams site means that we will have more control over its future use to ensure maximum benefit to local residents and visitors, and we have already, with TDA, been working hard to identify alternative options for the site- it is included within the Town Deal proposals.”
Councillor Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, said: “The Council through TDA is currently developing detailed plans so that we can prevent the site being a blight and to bring it back into use as quickly as possible if and when the store has closed.
“Our decision to make the purchase earlier this year ensures that the site will meet the objectives of the Town Centre Strategy in supporting regeneration and improving the economy. We want to ensure that the site will not remain empty and that we have a vibrant Strand for residents and visitors to enjoy.
“We hope to be able to provide a more detailed update on plans for the site soon.”
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