Old town centre Boots could become betting shop

A former Boots chemist which has been empty for more than a year looks set to be turned into a bookmakers.

The former Boots store in Darlaston town centre. Photo: Google
The former Boots store in Darlaston town centre. Photo: Google

Boyle Sports has submitted proposals to Walsall Council to take over the vacant unit on King Street in Darlaston and open a betting shop, creating six new jobs in the process.

The company was formed in 1989 by John Boyle and now has more than 300 branches in the UK and Ireland.

In their application, the company said the new shop would help boost Darlaston town centre with increased footfall and investment as well as the new jobs.

If the plans are approved, the shop will open from 8.30am to 10pm, seven days a week.

Agents Lichfields said: “44 King Street has been vacant since May 2020.

“The change of use to a betting shop to enable Boyle Sports to occupy the property and commence trading at the site would bring a vacant unit back into beneficial use within the town centre, thus ensuring that the unit contributes to the vitality and viability of the area by attracting additional trade.

“Trade at the premises itself would be supported by the nearby residential area and the Darlaston Bus Interchange which would bring customers within close walking distance to the betting shop.

How the Boyle shop could look if approved. Photo: Boyle Sports

“Moreover, if a market demand did not exist for a betting office in this locality, it is unlikely that the applicant would be seeking to locate to King Street.

“The proposal itself will increase pedestrian footfall in the immediate area and increase the number of linked trips to other town and district centre premises.

“As the unit is currently vacant, it does not support any jobs or provide any meaningful contribution to the economy.

“The proposal provides for economic growth as it signifies investment by Boyle Sports in the unit.

“On average £210,000 is invested by Boyle Sports in the fitting out of each new unit. The proposal will create three full time and three part time jobs.”

A decision on the application is expected in October.

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