As we went to print concerns were being voiced locally that the last remaining retail unit in Keynsham’s new civic centre development is being let to Subway.
While the fast food giant has outlets in Longwell Green, Emersons Green and St Philip’s Retail Park in Brislington, there are already a number of food outlets in Keynsham’s Market Walk and close by the new development. Bath Bakery has a sandwich shop right opposite in Temple Street as well as running the cafes in the One Stop Shop and the B&NES Council offices. Pomegranate Restaurant moved into Market Walk from Temple Street last year and doubled its size while the Bonzo Lounge was one of the anchor sites when the retail and office development opened in 2014.
Despite being advised against including retail units in 2009 when plans for the old civic centre site were originally being considered, B&NES Council decided to proceed, claiming the development would kick start the regeneration of Keynsham town centre. Despite initial optimism at the announcement of Sainsbury and Bonzo Lounge as the anchor tenants, it proved harder to find retail tenants while retail businesses on adjacent temple Street and Keynsham High Street continued to struggle with lower footfall caused by the building disruption. In addition to Sainsbury’s, Bonzo Lounge and Pomegranate restaurant, current Market Walk tenants also include a bridal shop, estate agent, recruitment firm, and a hairdresser. One unit is also occupied by the council’s youth service.
B&NES has previously stated that it has been actively working with local, independent businesses to take units in Market Walk but almost two years after the opening, one of the largest units remains unoccupied. We have asked B&NES Council and Subway to comment and will update this post when we receive a response.