Boost to Westlegate area of Norwich

A once-neglected part of Norwich city centre is set to get another boost with a store selling winter sports gear set to open next month.

Tribal Riders is opening at the former Venturesports shop in Westlegate on Saturday, September 17 selling sports gear such as snowboarding hardware and winter sports outwear, and from next spring water sports equipment.

The owners claim it will be the only independent specialist store in the city centre offering products to these two defined markets – snow and water.

It comes just weeks after the nearby Westlegate House, considered by many to be one of the ugliest buildings in Norwich, was bought, fuelling hopes it could soon be redeveloped.

The 11-storey tower was put on the market in March with a �1m price tag, and was purchased, after 15 years of standing empty.

It also comes hot on the heels of the announcement that outdoor clothing store Mountain Warehouse has taken over the former Russell and Bromley shoe shop in London Street. It plans to opening there late next month.

Tribal Riders is owned by partners Matthew Jeffery and Sara Le Conte, who said that the store would cater not just for Norwich, but for the region as well.

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She said: 'Matthew has been working in the industry for many years and has a lot of experience from coaching to retail, and I have a marketing background from Specsavers headquarters and Online Media Group in Norwich. Together we hope that our love and passion for this industry will come across. We'll be supporting our local Norfolk snowsports club, co-hosting various events with them and our brands.

'We also run coaching trips for snowboarding all year round and during the summer we will be running various beach events such as kite-surfing demonstrations and demos of our skim boards, body boards, etc.'

Do you know of another retailer coming to Norwich? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 7724527 or email