'They make whole area look sad': Plenty of suggestions for derelict shops on Northampton retail park

What would you like to see replace the old Toys R Us and Mothercare units at St James Retail Park?

Sunday, 26th January 2020, 4:09 pm

The loss of another store on a Northampton retail park has got people wondering what is going to replace the empty units.

St James Retail Park saw Mothercare close its doors for the last time last week, less than two years after Toys R Us shut down.

Replacement suggestions for the Towcester Road units from Facebook users ranged from dividing the large spaces into smaller shops to some sort of leisure attraction.

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St James Retail Park, Towcester Road, Northampton. Photo: Google
St James Retail Park, Towcester Road, Northampton. Photo: Google

An ice rink was particularly popular, as one user wrote on social media: "I thought of the ice rink because look how many people me included go to Milton Keynes to their ice rink.

"You could also have the skate park, loads of fun, surrounding shops would benefit and there's already a McDonald's.

"It would generate a lot of business and the young ones would have somewhere to go and jobs."

Plenty of people backed an ice rink, as well as other suggestions such as an indoor water park, skate park or paintball.

Mothercare closed last week at St James Retail Park

"That's a brilliant idea! Or something like Benham sports centre but for this side of town so more accessible for everyone, but the ice skating would be fun," wrote one user.

Another commented: "I've always thought we could do with a crazy golf location would be good."

Everyone agreed that something needs to be done with the empty shops which have become an eyesore, with some worried they could be demolished.

"Something needs to happen, it's been empty for ages and makes that whole area look sad," a user posted.

How Toys R Us looked on St James Retail Park before it closed in 2018. Photo: Google

"I don't know why they can't divide it up into 6/8 units."

While many joked that it would probably become one of the more common businesses to open around Northampton in recent years.

"Great idea but it'll become another Maccy D's, Costa, B&M or Lidl," someone commented.

This person summed it up well: "I imagine whatever company offers the most money, will be able to purchase or lease it and then use it in a way that furthers the potential profits of their business."