Replacing an old High Wycombe nightclub with offices and shops could provide a lifeline for small independent traders, a business-owner hopes -amid ongoing struggles to find suitable premises.
Adeel Qureshi, who owns Crime Clothing, says he is “excited” about the plans to regenerate 9 to 16 Oxford Street, which was formerly known as Octagon Parade and housed Pure nightclub.
The High Wycombe resident says the plans could provide hope for independent businesses if the new offices and shops plan offers smaller, more affordable units.
Mr Qureshi’s business is currently online-only because he has struggled to find a suitable shop space amid the spiralling costs of rent.
He said: “I see the regeneration plans as hope for small local independent businesses like mine.
“My biggest problem is finding the right square footage, most vacant A1 retail units are far too big. I hope that the regeneration of the nightclub into retail units and businesses will consist of smaller units offering 200sq feet to upwards of 500sq feet.
“Smaller units with flexible contracts would mean a more affordable rent and a better chance at having a physical location where my customers can see my products.
“It also would give me an opportunity to test the local economy to see if there is a need for my business in the area without the huge risk of going bankrupt if there is no need.
“It also allows seasonal businesses to open its doors to the general public.”
He said the plans could be a “positive step” for small businesses in the town.
Developers say the work will “re-energise” the west end of Oxford Street if given the go-ahead.
Wycombe District Council planners have until April to decide on the plans.
Source: Local Bucks