A “spectacular” new shopping arcade could be set for the heart of Northallerton.
Property specialists Mandale are looking to breathe new life into the town centre by investing £1 million into creating a new shopping arcade with domed glass roof.
Mandale, who have been at the heart of a series of Grade A commercial property refurbishments across the North-East and beyond, are applying for planning consent to revitalise retail units on the North Yorkshire market town’s Regency Mews.
Along with a parade of six retail units overlooking the Tesco car park the firm has owned for 30 years, Mandale recently invested an undisclosed fee to purchase three further high street units.
The two parades are lined via an existing open-air mews – but plans are afoot to transform the outdated cut into an attractive, modern shopping destination that retains its old-world charm.
Mandale property specialist Joe Darragh said the firm is excited about the prospect of giving the town’s shoppers an investment boost.
“It will be spectacular when it’s complete,” he said.
“We’re going to create something very special that we’re confident business owners, residents and visitors will all love.”
The high street area boasts a number of national brands including Costa Coffee, Pizza Express, New Look and Waterstones, as well as local independent names such as Betty’s tearooms, Lewis & Cooper and Barker’s department store.
But Darragh believes positive steps need to be taken to avoid a deterioration in the offering.
He added: “Northallerton has a won a reputation as a lovely place to live and visit but last time I counted there were 12 shops vacant on the high street. Twenty years ago that was unheard of.
“Unfortunately M&S and Morrisons are among those who’ve pulled out, but we’ve always been big fans of Northallerton and we’re keen to invest money into it and create a real feature.
“We feel the high street looks a little bit unloved at the moment so the new shopping arcade would give it a real boost.
“Our plans are to refurbish all the units, creating an open aspects to those beneath the glass dome. It will be a fantastic environment that shoppers can stroll through in comfort and warmth along a parade between Tesco and the high street.
“We believe the completed development will attract that sort of quirky, specialist and boutique shops that people love to visit.
“We’re excited about it – and so too are the existing clients who are thrilled about the prospect. I think we’re all in agreement that the town and the retail sector generally needs this type of boost.”
If planning permission is granted, the development should be completed in less than 12 months.