The former HMV store on Chapel Street in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

Workers have today begun the process of clearing out and converting the former HMV store in Southport town centre, raising the question – is this the site of the new Waterstones bookshop? 

The former HMV site has been closed, with no signs of life, since its sudden closure in February 2019. 

After three and a half years of remaining empty the sight today of builders toiling away to revamp the building was a welcome one. 

Stand Up For Southport revealed in June how Loungers UK has submitted a planning application to invest £1million in transforming the current Waterstones building, on the corner of Lord Street and Nevill Street, into a new Lounge restaurant, creating 30 new jobs. 

Waterstones said it was forced to move from its long-standing home at the heart of Lord Street after its landlord gave the firm intent to serve notice.  

The firm was quick to announce it was keen to start a new chapter in the resort, saying: “Just to reassure all our customers we are not leaving Southport, just relocating!

“We will have exciting news to share with you soon about our new store, but as people are speculating on social media we just want to clarify.

“Thank you all for being concerned but we are all fine.”  

Speculation has since mounted about where the new Waterstones store could be, with possible vacant sites on locations including Lord Street, Chapel Street, Tulketh Street and elsewhere. 

The arrival of workers in the former HMV store could prove to be a clue. 

It would certainly be a prime site to occupy, with the area enjoying a real renaissance in recent months. 

Earlier today, Stand Up For Southport reported how Baltic Creative has been chosen as the preferred operator for the new ‘Enterprise Arcade’ – a high tech, collaborative and affordable workspace for small businesses in the former Crown Buildings on Eastbank Street.

The former HMV store on Chapel Street in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

The former HMV store on Chapel Street in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

 

German Doner Kebab wil invest £500,000 in converting the former McDonald’s building on the corner of Eastbank Street and King Street, opening later this year. 

And planning permission was recently granted by Sefton Council for the conversion of the upper floors of the former BHS department store on Chapel Street into 30 new apart hotel rooms, with three retail units, a cafe and a pub on the ground floor. 

The former HMV store in Southport was among 27 in the chain’s portfolio which closed in February 2019. In a shock move, even HMV’s flagship London store in Oxford Street was axed. 

The CD and DVD retailer was bought out of administration by Canadian retailer Sunrise Records, rescuing some stores with the loss of others.

Do you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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