A major regeneration project is due to start in King’s Lynn town centre in the next fortnight.

The former Beales department store, built in the 1960s, is to be demolished to make way for a new H&M clothing store and four new shop units in the Vancouver Quarter.

It is hoped the scheme, expected to be completed next summer, will create around 45 jobs for the town, while attracting new retailers and improving the general appearance of New Conduit Street and Broad Street.

The redevelopment has been made possible by a “dynamic” deal between West Norfolk Council, LAP and US investment management firm Oaktree Capital. The borough council has agreed a 250-year renegotiated lease on the empty premises, clearing the way for the new shops.

Letting agent GCW was appointed to the Vancouver Quarter following its purchase by a joint venture between LAP and Oaktree Capital.

David Gooch, of GCW, said: “This deal has come about thanks to a dynamic public/private sector partnership and confirms what can be achieved through innovative collaboration.

“The redevelopment will greatly enhance Vancouver Quarter’s tenant line up and its appeal as a shopping destination.”

Alistair Beales, cabinet member for corporate projects and assets, said: “We are excited to be supporting the development of the Vancouver Quarter.

“It will be the catalyst to regenerate this part of the town centre, building on our investments in the bus station, car parks and heritage assets.

“An improved shopping offer will make a real difference to Lynn in terms of its vibrancy and offering visitors and local residents even more reasons to visit regularly.”

Beales closed its Lynn branch in August last year after announcing in April its decision not to renew its lease on the building.

Chalcroft, the main contractor, has already started setting-up the compound and undertaking preparatory work, including putting up hoardings around the site.

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