The Changing Face of Our High Street

Ruddington’s historic village centre is currently undergoing some of the biggest remodelling in decades – with two major demolition and reconstruction projects now underway at either side of High Street.

It’s hoped short term pain will lead to long term gain by enabling new businesses to trade from brand new purpose-built premises on the sites of both the former Thomas’s Greengrocers storage building and the old Barclay & Cook Convenience Store.

Meantime there are changes underway at some of our existing High Street shops, too. Sadly one of these is the closure of Julia’s Kitchen – run by Julia Towers – who began trading on Church Street in 2012 before moving into the larger at 14, High Street premises vacated by Gracie’s in 2016. For a few months around a year ago she was joined in her cake shop by fledgling confectionery business Sweetie Boutique – before owner Sue Kosciekowski secured High Street premises of her own at number 18.

Julia is going online-only for now

Julia, whose last day in the High Street shop was today (30th November), told “My lease is up for renewal and, with the lack of trade and footfall in the village, I’ve decided not to stay in Ruddington. I am looking for new premises but haven’t found any yet.” Julia added: “I will still be trading but, at the moment, online only.  I am sad to go as I’m coming into my 8th year of trading in the village but it’s just not financially viable.”

Neighbouring shops are, however, springing back to life. Thomas James Estate Agents has just moved its offices from across the road to 20, High Street (below) into what was formerly part of the D&M Windows showroom. (The D&M entrance is now around the corner on Charles Street.)

Meantime NEW village Estate Agents Benwell Daykin is awaiting planning approval to move into the former Evans Pharmacy shop – after our Chemists relocated to Charles Street in May. Shaun Daykin says he and business parter Ricky Benwell hope to be ready to open at 12, High Street on January 6th next year.

Rumours have also been circulating around the village recently that Ruddington Post Office is under threat, after people surfing property websites discovered the business up for sale on the web for £100,000! It’s been run by the Patel family for the past twelve years – but has been at 4, High Street under previous Postmasters for generations.

Ruddington Post Office. [Photo: Chaplin BOND]
The Patels – who own the building and also the two properties at either side – are keen to put villagers’ minds at rest that it is just the leasehold up for sale, with the Post Office and store being sold as a going concern to future tenants. A “lifestyle change” is cited as the reason for the sale, with all fixtures and fittings included in the price. Anyone who may be interested in taking on the successful business is invited to contact agents Chaplin BOND.

As to which type of businesses will next move into the former Julia’s Kitchen unit, and Thomas James’ old offices (over the road at 17, High Street) only time will tell. However, with village trade on the up, boosted by recent initiatives from the award-winning Ruddington Village Centre Partnership team, it’s unlikely they’ll remain empty for very long.

What’s next for the old Thomas James premises?

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