Plans go ahead for second Morecambe home bargains store

The former Focus Do It All building on Westgate
The former Focus Do It All building on Westgate

A former DIY store will be converted into a new Home Bargains shop in Westgate.

The discount retail giant will turn the empty Focus Do It All unit on Westgate into their second Morecambe store.

Lancaster City councillors and officers voted on plans to demolish the building providing improvements are made to the look of the new build.

Councillor Carla Brayshaw said: “I do welcome the additional car parking but I think securing correct frontage which overlooks Westgate is important.

“The elevation and the building is a bit disappointing, we need to go back to them and seek some improvements.”

However Councillor Andrew Kay expressed concern over the impact the store will have on other retailers.

Coun Kay said: “If I was a retailer in Morecambe town centre I would be concerned about this.

“It is in an isolated area and shoppers can’t go on to anywhere else.

“The jobs figure is questionable but will that have an impact on others.”

The new store would create 70 new full-time jobs.

Home Bargains have said it would give rise to £5m investment in the local area.

The plans will include a car park with 117 spaces.

Five trees as well as shrubs will be planted in the car parking area.

Home Bargains already has a shop in Euston Road and in Marketgate shopping centre, Lancaster. These will remain open.

Focus moved out in 2011 after the DIY chain entered administration, with the loss of 25 local jobs.

The Westgate building has remained vacant ever since.

TJ Morris, whose motto is to ‘sell the best branded products at the lowest possible price’, was set up 35 years ago when retailer Tom Morris opened his first store in Liverpool, where Home Bargains’ head office is still based.