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Promising signs for Accrington's Victorian Arcade

Accrington's Victorian Arcade looks to have turned a corner following an increase in traders opening for business.

ON THE UP: Accrington’s Victorian Arcade has experienced an increase in traders

Accrington's Victorian Arcade looks to have turned a corner following an increase in traders opening for business.

Two years ago only three of the 20 units had been taken, but occupancy rates have now quadrupled with another four units recently snapped up.

The signs for 2013 are also promising with the owners saying there has been interest in the remaining eight units at the Warner Street arcade.

Willie Penman, director of operations at InShops – which has owned the grade two listed arcade for eight years – said things are better than this time last year.

He said: "A lot of people are still struggling but we seem to be in at the start of some kind of revival and we are quite busy.

"Retailers are looking for competitive offers and we are able to offer some very competitive rates at the moment. People are realising they can have a shop unit at a very competitive rate rather than be stood outside at a market stall in bad weather.

"There’s interest in the remaining units and we’ll be looking to progress that."

Ann and Terry Pearn opened Ann’s Cafe in the arcade - which was built in 1896 - eight years ago and now employ three members of staff.

Ann said: "People have made an effort with their shops to make them look smart and sell nice things, which helps encourage more people to come to the arcade and come back when they get good service and value for money."

She added: "I’d worked in hospital pharmacy for 33 years and when we both got to 50, we decided we wanted to do something different. We are doing all right.

"We’ve a lot of regular customers who know we offer good, home-made food."

 

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