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Lord Mayor opens Chris Hamby’s New High Street Shop

posted 22 Aug 2012, 06:26 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 22 Aug 2012, 06:27 ]
Chris Hamby, well known local Rotherham entrepreneur and retailer has opened a new shop on the High Street, with the Mayor of Rotherham, Councillor Dave Pickering performing the official opening ceremony.

The new shop will become Chris’ prime unit for the sale of ladies’ and men’s shoes – which has re-located down the High Street from his existing shop. The extra space in the new shop will allow Chris to increase the current ranges of gentleman’s and ladies footwear, plus leather goods and to add a dedicated branded footwear clearance department. 

The store at number 19 is the latest unit that Chris has restored as part of his venture in regenerating the upper part of High Street. His first re-building project of 2012 was the adjoining unit, which is now completed and occupied by Sophisticakes.

The existing shop, the site of the former Mason's jewellers at the top of High Street, which was another of Chris’ previous restoration projects, will soon become Hambys Gift shop and Antiques centre. 

Chris Hamby said: "I am very excited to be opening this new store. It is much larger, brighter and more modern and I am sure our many loyal customers and friends old and new will be delighted when visiting the shop. It is proof of our belief in Rotherham as a vibrant town, and I want to thank customers, our hardworking staff, Rotherham Council and Rotherham Chamber for their good wishes, support and encouragement".

Tim O’Connell, Business and Retail Investment Manager for Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RiDO), added; “It is great news for both customers and other retailers that an established business like Hamby’s is expanding in the town and particularly pleasing to see these superb historic shop units in High Street brought back into use. 

“Growing our range of quality, independent specialist retailers such as Hamby’s and encouraging customers to “shop local” is an essential part of the work underway to re-vitalise Rotherham town centre. 

“I am glad that we have been able to assist Chris in bringing his plans to fruition and our recent success with the Portas Pilot scheme will allow us to rollout new initiatives to encourage more people to follow in Chris’s footsteps.” 

Of the four further buildings on the High Street that Chris is restoring, three are the subject of letters of intent from prospective tenants and scaffolding will soon be erected on the ‘Three Cranes’ building and the former Alfonzos Italian Restaurant– ready for the restoration works to begin. Work has also already started on the currently hidden George Wright building – with a view to its opening as a pub and restaurant in May 2013.   

Mr Hamby announced his plans last year after securing a capital investment loan of £750,000 from Rotherham Borough Council towards the purchase and redevelopment of the High Street site. The loan will also secure £677,000 of Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) for additional, much needed works to the listed buildings.