Stockton's new Iceland opens its doors in Wellington Square as part of town centre transition plans
National food retailer Iceland has opened its doors after relocating to larger premises in Stockton as part of exciting changes to the town centre.
Iceland is the latest retailer to open in Wellington Square, moving from its previous home in the Castlegate Centre as part of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's ambitious plans to transform the town, open up the High Street to the river and create a new urban park.
Iceland takes up the former Lidl unit in a space that is around 2,000 square feet larger than its previous Castlegate home.
The store will be open 8am-7pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sundays. The store will also feature exciting news ranges from the likes of popular national brands like Piccolino, Ed's Diner and TGI Fridays.
Iceland is relocating after the Council bought the Castlegate Centre and Swallow Hotel, with bold plans to demolish the site to make way for Stockton Waterfront, the an urban park with performance spaces, spaces for young people, public realm improvement and the bridging of Riverside Road to allow uninterrupted access from the High Street to the River Tees.
Iceland joins a growing number of retailers who have worked with the Council to complete successful moves into Wellington Square such as financial retailer Ramsdens and independent retailers Bluecorn Bakery and Junior Jungle. Fellow independents Katie's Kards and iStation have also taken up premises in Wellington Square.
Katie's Kards and Balloons, Ramsden's and Bluecorn Bakery have all reported successful sales figures their relocation into new premises.
Nigel Cooke, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration, said: "It's really exciting to have Iceland, one of the town's established national retailers, open in Wellington Square in a much larger premises.
"Despite the bold changes that the town centre is undergoing, it remains important for Stockton to have a healthy retail offering at its heart in Wellington Square and the north end of the High Street.
"This move shows the confidence that national retailers have in our plans, combined with the fact that the likes of independent businesses like Katie's Kards seeing their highest trading figures to date in a new premises shows that our town centre is set for a bright future.
"We recognise the role that retail plays across all of our six towns. By creating a compact retail core that fits demand as well as encouraging new uses in Stockton through the urban park and public-facing facilities, we are ensuring that our town is fit for future generations."
An outline planning application for the demolition and redevelopment of the Castlegate site was approved earlier in August. Following completion of the relocation of tenants, the site demolition is set to begin in early 2022.
Katie Green, owner of Katie's Kards and Balloons, said: "Business is doing really well. After a tough year and having to adapt the way the shop was run, it's great to be back open and see Wellington Square so busy and vibrant
"There's a real buzz around Stockton town centre. Customers are back out shopping, people really seem to be pushing the boat out and celebrating occasions bigger and better than ever before."
Following completion of the relocation of tenants, work is set to begin on the demolition of the Castlegate Centre and the Swallow Hotel in early 2022.