Bid for Cradley Heath to be revamped with more traders
A high street is set to be transformed in a bid to boost shoppers and trade, under 'exciting' plans.
Bosses from London-based property group Oyster , which owns owns most of Cradley Heath High Street, says it has ploughed thousands of pounds into the area in recent months.
It promised that all 22 shops they own on the High Street and precinct will be rented out by the start of next year.
Finishing touches are also being put to the flats above, which are set to go on the market for around £70,000 each.
The former market hall, which has stood empty since last June, could also be turned into a Home Bargains store.
A spokesman for Oyster Properties said: "We are hoping that by the start of next year every shop will be rented out. It is an exciting time.
"We are working in stages for the town to make sure that we attract more traders and younger families.
"There will be 21 new flats on top of the shops which we are conscious to be as affordable housing under the help to buy scheme. These will be finished by the end of this year.
"Footfall has improved greatly recently with the arrival of new tenants and we want to continue with that.
"Stage two will be looking at the former market hall, which sadly was no longer viable as a market due to the rates.
"Therefore whatever comes there has to be a viable solution. The ultimate scenario would be to have a Home Bargains store in there.
"We want the best for the town and for it to continue to get bigger and better. Hopefully we can attract more families too."
Among tenants to snap up the shops are a gym, beautician, fruit and vegetable stall, jewellery shop and cafe.
Gary Link, from fish mongers Pier 39, based inside the precinct, said the future was looking brighter for the area.
He explained: "In the last few weeks we have had more potential traders come and view the shops than what we have had in the last few months. I have heard that a lot of people are interested in moving to Cradley Heath, which is great news.
"The more shops we get then the more people we will get coming here. There is a lot of potential at the moment."
Before the indoor market was closed last year, it was left with just one stallholder.
Concerns were raised about falling footfall at the 40-stall capacity market hall, despite a five-figure investment by the property group.