A PROPERTY investment and development firm has purchased a Midcounties Co-operative store and has revealed a plan to rebrand it as a new retail park.

Goold Estates has bought the Stourport store, which closed on Saturday (January 27), and the adjoining car park on the corner of Tan Lane and Lombard Street.

The firm is planning to remarket the property as Tannery Retail Park, which will be available to let in its entirety or as a multi-let retail and leisure scheme, with up to five individual units ranging in size from 1,300 to 29,000 sq ft.

The site was originally home to Stourport Tannery, which was built in the early 1700s and was operational for more than 260 years.

It was acquired by the Beakbane family in 1880 and later supplied sheepskin leather to the Worcester glove trade before its eventual closure in the 1960s due to fire damage.

Anthony Williams, director at Goold Estates, said: “My father attended the primary school on Tan Lane and remembers both the Tannery and the devastating fire in 1964.

"I was disappointed to learn of the store’s closure but we are delighted to have acquired the site and will shortly be marketing the property to let as a whole or subdivided to provide a new multi-let retail park.

"I’m confident that the size of the units, together with the large car park, provides a unique opportunity to attract national retail, food or gym occupiers to Stourport town centre.”

Firm Johnson Fellows acted on behalf of Midcounties Co-operative and has been retained by Goold Estates to market the property to let.

Chris Gaskell, partner and head of retail agency development at Johnson Fellows, said: “It was a pleasure to sell the site to Goold Estates who acquired the property with little fuss and to required timeframes. We very much look forward to working with Goold Estates on bringing this site to the occupier market.”

Ahead of the closure of the Co-op, people shared their sadness on the ‘We Love Stourport-on-Severn Past and Present Day’ Facebook page, with residents praising the staff.

Sarah Preece said: "Such a shame. I do hope all the staff have other job options. Such a loss to the town".

Phillip Kelly said: "I for one will miss the Co-op. Sad to see it's closing. Good luck to all the staff."

Sandra Blackmore said: "The staff were their greatest asset. Very friendly, chatted to and took time with the pensioners too. All of you will be missed. Good luck."

Midcounties Co-operative said: "All affected colleagues have new roles in nearby stores and look forward to continuing to serve our loyal customers.

"The Travel, Post Office and Pharmacy that currently operate within the Stourport site continue to trade as usual. 

"We aim to relocate these businesses to a new location within Stourport over time and the Post Office has already initiated a public consultation regarding a proposed new site on the High Street, with updates expected soon".

A new Your Coop Food convenience shop opened at Areley Kings in November, which Post Office facilities.

The Post Office based at the Co-operative store at Lombard Street is set to move to 28 High Street with the final arrangements now being made.