FORMER department store Trinity House, in Axminster, has been bought by a local property company and will be split into several retail units.
Axminster Property Ltd, owned by local businessman Ian Styles, confirmed yesterday that it had purchased the town centre building.
The department store and café closed down last year and there were fears that this prominent building would be left empty for some time, but a spokesperson for Axminster Property said it had already received a “great deal of interest” for the new units.
Kelly Apps, estate manager of Axminster Property Ltd, said: “As a company we manage in the region of £20,000,000 worth of property ensuring that they are always kept in the very best order. We are on the whole 100% occupied most of the time so we would like to ensure the local community that the building is in safe hands.
“Mr Styles has made this possible to the benefit of the town and in essence will, with the Axminster Property team, be responsible for its future.
“We entered into negotiations now some months back and appreciate everyone’s patience during this time, when it has been unclear what was happening. There were some legal loop holes to jump through but we are there now.
“We wanted to ensure that the building was not left empty for longer than necessary to secure the future of Axminster. As you will appreciate a building in that location of that size left abandoned could be disastrous for a wonderful little town like Axminster and we are just too passionate about this area to let that happen.”
Mr Styles, the former managing director of Axminster Tools & Machinery, added: “We are delighted to welcome our first of many tenants and will be releasing more information on who will be joining us at Trinity House as soon as we are able.
“Work will start very soon on a facelift for this classic building that we sincerely hope will form a new centre of excellence in retailing, encouraging businesses to thrive in the redevelopment and emergence of Axminster town centre as a place to shop.
“It won’t happen overnight but we are determined it will and can happen with investment and support from all of us in the Axe Valley and surrounding areas.”
Anyone interested in one of the units at Trinity House should contact 01297 302439 or email firstname.lastname@example.org