Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland B&Q store which was closed due to cutbacks could be opened as a new retail hub

A former B&Q outlet in Craigavon closed in April is set to be transformed into a new retail hub with four shops (stock picture)
A former B&Q outlet in Craigavon closed in April is set to be transformed into a new retail hub with four shops (stock picture)

By John Mulgrew

A former B&Q store which shut its doors this year amid cutbacks across the DIY chain is being turned into a new retail hub, it can be revealed.

The huge store in Craigavon closed in April this year.

Now, fresh plans have been submitted to break up and turn the building into four separate shops.

The plans include external alterations, including the creation of retail entrances and shop fronts, a change in front facade, new service entrances, additional car parking and site works.

The application has just been submitted by Portadown-based construction firm Turkington Holdings.

It's the first redevelopment of the now empty B&Q stores, which have shut across Northern Ireland.

The chain confirmed last year that it's shutting four stores here, around half its Northern Ireland network, resulting in the loss of up to 300 jobs. That included the Boucher Road store in Belfast, Buncrana Road in Londonderry, along with branches at Ballymena and Craigavon.

However, despite initially saying that it would shut the Sprucefield store, located just outside Lisburn, it will now remain open.

It's understood property firm CBRE is acting as agent for the Craigavon B&Q site.

International property investment manager, Cordea Savills, bought the B&Q warehouse at Craigavon three years ago in 2013. It was sold for £11.9m, with agents Osborne King acting for the buyer.

Speaking at the time, Trevor Turkington, director of Turkington Holdings, said: "With the support and expertise of our bank, Ulster Bank, and our property advisers, we have been able to secure another significant sale, which underlines both the returning confidence in the local market and the quality of the product that we are able to bring to it."

Meanwhile, earlier this year the Belfast Telegraph revealed that Harry Corry's sales at its Boucher Road store have plummeted by a third after the closure of the neighbouring B&Q store left restricted access to the business.

Boss Willie Corry said footfall is down 40% after access to the main entrance at the retail site was blocked off close to B&Q, following its closure last year.

And reducing the access into the site has led to a huge fall in sales, according to Mr Corry.

He now wants improved access to the area to ensure his business, and other firms, see a return to previous shopper numbers.

Last year, Harry Corry had to enter into an agreement to pay part of its debts to creditors.

Elsewhere, the Valley Retail Park in Newtownabbey is also undergoing an expansion.

London-based AEW UK, which paid more than £7m for the Valley Retail Park in Newtownabbey last year, is planning two new units.

Belfast Telegraph