Arcade revival is boost to city
Ripon’s flourishing arcade is celebrating the imminent arrival of two new occupiers.
Yorkshire Cancer Research and The Real Junk Food Project are moving into to the city’s popular shopping area, which has recently undergone a £100,000 refurbishment.
Bradford-based property development and investment company Frank Marshall Estates bought the 16,484 sq ft arcade off a guide price of £2.2m from the Westcourt Group in 2019.
Edward Marshall, director of Frank Marshall Estates, said: “These are two great deals for everyone concerned.
“The arcade, which links the city’s main car park to the historic Market Square, is a fabulous new location for Yorkshire Cancer Research and The Real Junk Foot Project.
“It is the beating heart of the city, with a really strong and consistent footfall.
“It gives us great pleasure to welcome our two new tenants to the arcade, who have seen the improvements and made the decision to join the arcade family and help us take this place forward after it had fallen into a state of neglect and decay.
“We believe our sensitive refurbishment has given the arcade a new identity, making it much more visible and more of an attraction from the Market Square side in particular.
“Ripon is a sleeping giant and we are confident our attractive, new-look development will give the city centre the game-changing regeneration boost it needs,” said Mr Marshall.
Yorkshire Cancer Research, which is taking over the old 4,000 sq ft Fulton’s Foods store, has chosen Ripon as its fourth shop as part of wider plans to create a network of retail stores.
The shop, which opens this autumn, is expected to raise more than £100,000 a year to help support the charity’s life-saving research across Yorkshire.
It will sell a wide range of items, including men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, kids’ clothing, toys and games, items for the home and small furniture.
Juliet Glendinning, Director of Brand and Relationships at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “We are thrilled to be opening our latest shop in this fantastic location in the heart of such a thriving community.
“The shop is a particularly exciting prospect for Yorkshire Cancer Research as it will allow the charity to accept and sell donations of small furniture and household items.”
Meanwhile the Real Junk Food Project, the UK’s largest environmental charity, redistributing surplus food from right across the food industry, will open in a 520 sq ft unit in the arcade this autumn.
A spokesman explained: “The project feeds schools, organisations in the third sector and individuals as well as offering bespoke catering for corporate events, weddings and other celebratory events.
“The food feeds bellies not bins and between April and June 2020, we intercepted nearly 2 million meals.”
Ripon Arcade, which faces the Market Square, has 15 units currently occupied by North Yorkshire County Council and retailers such as Scriven Opticians, Home Bargains, the British Heart Foundation, Blue Cross, Westwood’s Barbershop and Social, Cafe Tempo, PR Books and the Card Factory.
There is one empty 241 sq ft unit empty but Edward Marshall is confident that the new tenants will lead to increased occupier interest in the arcade.
He added: “We have great faith in the city.
“More affluent people are moving into the area with lots of housing to be built over the next few years and plenty going on in the area, for example, the superb new hotel, Grantley Hall. The great rural location is also a superb asset.
“We have had great support from our tenants in the arcade who we know well and enjoy working with.
“PR Books has committed to the arcade, following our investment, while the Post Office, such a part of the Ripon community, has led to a much-increased footfall into our building.
“Café Tempo, who regularly win awards for their quality products have refurbished their café, giving it a great new look and have committed to staying with us. “Westwood Barbers have invested heavily in their contemporary and stylish new look, while Scrivens opticians have refurbished the outside of their shop,” he added.