Former Barclays bank in Sudbury receives early interest from developers as estate agent Gordon Birchall says there is still enthusiasm from businesses to set up shop in town centres
An estate agent selling a former Barclays bank in Sudbury said there was initially strong interest in the building when it was put on the market three months ago.
Gordon Birchall, from Birchall Steel in Sudbury, said the early interest in the historic Market Hill building was mostly from developers looking to revamp the ground floor into a couple of units and create flats upstairs.
Although a buyer hasn’t yet been found, he said queries about the former bank and other commercial units in smaller Suffolk towns, showed there was still enthusiasm from businesses wanting to set up shop in town centres.
Mr Birchall, who has more than 35 years experience in the industry, said he wanted to dispel the tales of woe that seemed to surround town centre businesses in the county.
He said: “I get a bit irritated by the constant comments that there are loads of empty shops, which simply is not the case.
“While demand is very town sensitive and some of the larger centres in the region have been suffering, we have found demand in the local towns to be very steady.”
Mr Birchall said contrary to negative comments he had read, the retail sector in Sudbury, Stowmarket and Hadleigh looked reasonably healthy, with significant interest in vacant units being marketed by his company.
He said: “We started marketing the former Barclays in November shortly after completing the sale of the former HSBC.
“There was strong initial interest mostly from developers looking to revamp the ground floor into a couple of units and look to do flats on the upper parts although there have been a couple of owner occupiers who have looked at the building but as yet we have no takers.
“It is a very substantial building most of which was actually built for the founders of Barclays.”
Offers for the town centre property are invited in the region of £675,000. Mr Birchall said careful consideration will be given to all offers received.
Ahead of its closure in July, Barclays said less than 10 people used its Sudbury branch exclusively for their banking needs, making it hard to justify a continued physical presence in the town.