Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Barclays to move into uni building in Southend High Street
11:10am Saturday 12th September 2009 in News
BARCLAYS will move into the ground floor of the Essex University building in Southend High Street.
Contractors have already started work on the site of the former George clothing store and the bank says it expects to move in early in 2010.
The new branch will have significantly more floor space than the current branch by Victoria Circus, as well as a dozen counters.
While business leaders welcomed the empty shop being filled, they said they would rather it was used for retail purposes.
Denise Rossiter, the managing director of the Essex Chamber of Commerce, based in Westcliff, said: “In an economic downturn, it is just important to get businesses moving into the area. In an ideal world, it would have been nice for it to have been a shop.
“But the important thing is it will not be empty. The good thing about a bank is it will provide support for many other local businesses.”
Michael Watts, Barclays retail area director for south Essex, said: “We see Southend as an exciting area for growth and our new flagship branch will complement some of the regeneration work which has already started in the area.”
The current Barclays bank site is available to rent.
University of Essex registrar Tony Rich said: “The university is delighted to have secured such a high-profile tenant for the retail unit in Southend High Street.
“This is another step forward in our wider efforts to improve facilities and opportunities in Southend, and provide outstanding higher education in South Essex.”