Cumnock’s Christmas will be all the brighter this year with the news that building of the long anticipated new Farmfoods store will start early in the New Year.
The final piece in the jigsaw of Cumnock’s revitalised Town Centre, the new 10,075 sq.ft store, and a 6,405 sq.ft unit for lease, will occupy the site left behind by the demolition of the outdated Glaisnock Shopping Centre. Seven smart new units on Townhead Street, provide new premises and a bright new outlook for new businesses and retailers which have served Cumnock for decades. The units were designed to fit in with the town’s existing historic buildings, and built by East Ayrshire Council, the look of the town centre is set to be further enhanced by the addition of the new units which will also be built in a complimentary style. Councillor Jim Roberts, Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure said: “We’re delighted that the new Farmfoods development will start early in 2018. Redevelopment on such a grand scale as that in Cumnock can never be achieved quickly, but since we started, with the building of Rothesay House, the renovation of so many of our precious historic buildings, and the renewal of the central shopping area, the transformation has been dramatic. With this move, Cumnock will have a centre it can truly be proud of. “Shopping locally is key to the survival of our communities, keeping the money in the local economy and ultimately giving people job opportunities. As the regeneration has progressed it’s been great to see the increasing confidence in the town, the enthusiasm of the traders despite the difficulties of the wider economy and the specifics of coping while redevelopment takes place.” “Farmfoods has shown great confidence in Cumnock, doubling the size of this store from their original Glaisnock Centre unit, and it will be exciting to see which business or businesses take over the additional unit. 2018 will be a great year for Cumnock Town Centre and I’m looking forward to seeing the whole thing finished by New Year 2019.” Sharon Hodgson, East Ayrshire Council’s Economic Development Manager welcomed the news that a contractor is soon to be appointed by Farmfoods. “We’re genuinely excited to see this development take shape. Throughout the key shopping areas of The Square, Glaisnock Street and Ayr Road, there is a huge range of shops and services, the vast majority of which are independent businesses owned by local people. It’s this, and the genuine commitment to offering great service, excellent choice and good value too, that can make shopping in Cumnock such a rewarding experience – all with free parking! “Cumnock really is a town with so much to offer. From designer brands to everyday bargains, Cumnock’s local, independent retailers complement the bigger names to give our town centre its own distinctive character. “With so many of Cumnock’s retailers owned and operated by local people, many of them family businesses going back generations, Cumnock town centre excels in offering traditional, old-fashioned good service designed to meet the needs of the local market. Pride is taken in providing service with a smile, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for – just ask! “It’s great for eating out too, with everything from stylish contemporary venues to cosy cafes and tasty takeaways, Cumnock offers an excellent selection of places to eat, stay or to enjoy some drinks. There’s something for all tastes and budgets. “From hair and beauty to specialist financial and legal advice, Cumnock’s many enterprising home-grown service businesses offer a broad array of expertise. With almost 200 retail, service and professional businesses listed in and around the town, it’s certainly worth a visit this Christmas.” “In the last few years Cumnock has undergone massive change for the better. It’s not been an easy time for business owners, but now that the first phase of new retail units is open and many of the buildings are renovated, there’s a new confidence growing in the town. People are realising the benefits of spending in Cumnock, helping support local business, keeping the money in the local economy and ultimately giving people job opportunities.” Background Cumnock has always had a proud tradition as a market town and centre of industry. With beautiful historic buildings dating back hundreds of years it has recently embraced major improvements to the townscape, giving retail, hospitality services and education a welcome boost in the town. The redevelopment kicked off with the creation of Rothesay House, a one stop shop for all local Council services. The work continued with extensive renovation and modernisation of the Town Hall, the closure and demolition of the outdated Glaisnock Shopping Centre and the creation of an exciting new seven unit retail development at Townhead Street. Some of the retailers from Glaisnock shopping centre opted to relocate to these stunning new premises, while the remaining units attracted new businesses to the town leading to the creation of several new jobs. With the help of Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme funding from East Ayrshire Council and Historic Scotland, private business and home owners have eagerly embraced the opportunity to restore many of the fine traditional sandstone buildings in the town centre, bringing new accommodation, business opportunities and vibrancy to its heart. Renovation of flagship properties, such as the Dumfries Arms Hotel, the Royal Hotel and Cumnock Town Hall, has made Cumnock a popular venue for weddings, with the Registrar’s office at Rothesay House reporting a brisk upturn in bookings in and around the area. The new development comprises a 10,075 sq. ft. unit which will be owned and occupied by Farmfoods (double the size of the original Farmfoods store in the Glaisnock Centre) together with a unit of 6,405 sq. ft. which will be owned by East Ayrshire Council. This unit will be available to let as a single unit with the option of dividing this unit into smaller units is available. The construction of additional car parking, and upgrading of the footbridge link to Rothesay House will also improve the overall look and feel and connectivity of the Town Centre. Tenders for the construction of this new development were issued on Friday 8 December with the closing date for returning priced tenders being Friday 19 January. A contract will be awarded as quickly as possible following the tender evaluation with an anticipated start date of mid-February 2018 and a completion date of November 2018.