Costa could be coming to March in a former empty shoe shop

Costa logo

Costa logo - Credit: Archant

A national chain of coffee shops could be coming to March if planners give the idea the go ahead.

Costa has applied to turn the former Stead and Simpsons footwear store into a coffee shop.

The High Street location could help boost footfall into the town by five per cent, according to a report by Costa, which says coffee shops are the new way of boosting vitality in towns where the recession has hit trade.

Jeffrey Young, managing director of Allegra Strategies, a firm which has tracked coffee shop culture trends for ten years, said: “Research shows how influential coffee shops have become as valuable social hubs in many UK High Streets.”

He said they added: “significant contribution to the vibrancy and economic vitality of many British shopping locations.”

A report submitted with the Costa application to Fenland planners says that the recent recession, evolution of technologies and the change in consumer shopping habits means that: “The presence of coffee shops continue to play a key role in maintaining and regenerating the vitality of the High Street helping it to secure its future prosperity.”

Figures in the report reckon that coffee shops boost the local economy by three to five per cent and coffee shops boost town centre footfall by 25%.

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Included in the application were two planning appeals against Fenland for refusing permission for Joe Jennings betting shop in 2008 and Harrison Murray estate agents in 2007 which won permission following the appeals.