December 2018

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Published on 4 December 2018

Opening event to celebrate Market Walk Shopping Centre makeover

Newton Abbot's Market Walk Shopping Centre is starting a new chapter with an official opening ceremony on 12 December 2018.

Market Walk has undergone a £1.9million refurbishment in a bid to provide a more modern, welcoming environment.

In September 2017, Teignbridge’s Full Council approved the investment package for Market Walk Shopping Centre. Councillors unanimously supported the scheme to modernise the shopping centre and create an open and spacious place to visit and shop.

Classic Builders were appointed to carry out the construction work. Work involved removing the old-fashioned concrete entrance structure at Courtenay Street and the look of shopfronts have been transformed with a brighter range of colour cladding and a glass canopy from Courtenay Street to Market Street.

On the day of the opening event, people will have the opportunity to view the long-term plans for Newton Abbot town centre.

The master-plan will be on display in a vacant unit next door to Oggy Oggy Pasty Company between 10.30am - 2pm. Teignbridge representatives will be on hand to answer any questions.

Cllr Jeremy Christophers, Leader of Teignbridge District Council and Group Leader for the Conservative Group on Teignbridge District Council, said:

“Market Walk looks great and we have welcomed the very positive feedback from people saying the same.

"This is a vital investment in our town centre as it shows our commitment to making Newton Abbot a great place to visit and spend time, whether that’s meeting a friend for lunch or doing Christmas shopping.

"The challenges that retail are facing are well-known and we need to ensure Newton Abbot is viable, sustainable and able to thrive. We are now taking the next steps in our vision and people are welcome to come along and view our master-plan for the future.

"As a transformational council, place-making is a key element in our vision to support both the daytime and night time economy.”

Teignbridge District Council’s Executive Portfolio Holder for Economy, Skills and Tourism, Tim Golder, said:

Market Walk is looking fantastic and many people have commented on how much brighter it is – and done just in time for Christmas. What we have sought to do with Market Walk is to enhance the overall appeal of the town centre so that people spend leisure time here.

“The regeneration of Newton Abbot will bring real long-term benefits and opportunities to the town and district and I hope local people and visitors alike will be attracted to Newton Abbot to enjoy the new experience offered by Market Walk as well as the many great shops and places to eat and drink.”

Adam Brimacombe, Director of Classic Builders, said:

"Everyone at Classic Builders is incredibly proud to have contributed to the works at Market Walk. As a Devon based contractor with a significant local presence; it’s a privilege to be part of such an important scheme rejuvenating Newton Abbot.”

“Delivering the works at Market Walk has been a true privilege. It’s projects like these which drive us to do our very best and allow us to be part of vital work regenerating town centres.

“Market Walk has been an incredible opportunity for us. Not only have we been able to work on an exciting local project but, more importantly, we have been able to collaborate and help this part of Newton Abbot enjoy a new lease of life.”

“Classic Builders is thrilled to have contributed to the works at Market Walk. Very few projects have such a direct impact on shoppers, local business owners and the economy. In fact, we are so proud that we have included a photograph of the project on our 2018 Christmas card.”

Completion of the work has been welcomed by councillors across the council.

Cllr Gordon Hook, Group Leader for the Liberal Democrats on Teignbridge District Council, said:

"Many local authorities are experiencing increasing financial pressure as central government cuts support. To maintain services, income generation has become an increasingly significant part of local authorities function. It is not an activity they are accustomed to, and some local authorities are taking a gamble on investments and will come unstuck. It is sincerely hoped that purchasing and managing Market Walk will prove a sound investment.

“It must be the case that local management of our town centre rests with local people and profit generated helps maintain our vital services. I much prefer to see local profits invested in local facilities and local services and the needs of local people, than taken out of the local economy to some faceless and unaccountable shareholders. The early indications are favourable and I will be doing my utmost to ensure financial viability. This investment must be made to succeed. For the benefit of all we must all get behind the Newton economy."

Cllr Mike Haines, Group Leader of the Independents on Teignbridge District Council and Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said:

“This is a new chapter in the life of Market Walk and we look forward to welcoming visitors and shoppers to see for themselves the new design. The glass canopy has certainly got people talking and looking up at it. Changes in the way we shop bring challenges but the regeneration of Newton Abbot is aimed at bringing long-term benefits, both economic and socially.”

Cllr Jackie Hook, Teignbridge District Council’s Ward Member for Bushell in Newton Abbot, said:

“I know there are some residents who feel it is wrong for Teignbridge to have purchased Market Walk but the expectation is that the investment will earn a long-term income for the council which will be spent on providing services to residents.

“Councils need to be innovative in thinking of new ways to make income in the face of the severe cuts to local government funding from central government. Now Teignbridge owns Market Walk it also gives the council control to develop the area to the benefit of the town, rather than a distant landlord who had little interest in our town and did not invest in Market Walk. I hope residents will take the opportunity to come and view and make comment on the long term plans for the town centre.”

With less money from central government in future years, council’s finances will need to be increasingly ‘home grown’ and tied in with local economic fortunes. The decision by Teignbridge to purchase Market Walk was unanimously supported by Full Council in December 2015 and the deal was formally sealed in February 2016.

The £13 million acquisition of Newton Abbot’s Market Walk shopping centre was the largest investment in Teignbridge‘s history and gave Teignbridge a greater ability to positively influence the future development of Newton Abbot’s central shopping district as well as regular and reliable source of income.

More recently, Executive agreed to deliver the next stage of the regeneration for Newton Abbot which includes the development of a new cinema and restaurants.