Bright future for former Debenhams store


The future of Folkestone town centre is shining even brighter after Folkestone & Hythe District Council (F&HDC) successfully agreed terms to purchase the former Debenhams store.

The unit in Sandgate Road – which has remained empty since January – will now become a centrepiece of the town’s regeneration, subject to contracts being signed off in the coming weeks.

Visionary proposals for the site include a health centre, leisure facilities, flexible work space and residential properties in the heart of a town which regularly attracts national and international acclaim for its unique charm.

F&HDC has acted swiftly in its efforts to acquire the freehold of the store – a move which affirms its unwavering commitment to the continued regeneration of Folkestone and the district as a whole.

This proactive intervention builds on work the council has already been progressing, such as the High Street Fund and Folkestone Community Works initiatives.

Cllr David Monk, F&HDC Leader, said: “The unit hasn’t been far from most people’s minds since Debenhams closed for the final time. We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to draw up viable plans which will benefit all of our residents.

“We’ve got ambitious plans to give the precinct a huge lift and make the town centre a place to experience, rather than just visit. This is a really positive and forward-thinking move which confirms that – once again – we are acting decisively to make this a district to be proud of.”

Meanwhile, F&HDC has assisted a number of independent businesses which have clubbed together to animate the windows of the empty store with vinyl displays. These will be installed shortly.