St Stephens Street shops miss out on jubilee boost as works continue

Roadworks continue in St Stephens Street. Pictured inset is June Blanch, a staff member at Siddalls

Roadworks continue in St Stephens Street. Pictured inset is June Blanch, a staff member at Siddalls - Credit: Ben Hardy

Traders on a key city centre street feel like they are missing out on the bumper Platinum Jubilee trade due to major ongoing roadworks. 

A £6.1m revamp of St Stephens Street is on track to finish by the autumn, Norfolk County Council has said. 

The investment will see new 'sawtooth' bus parking bays and new bus shelters built, a new taxi rank as well as flower beds and trees planted. 

Artist's impression of St Stephens Street Norwich revamp

An artist's impression of what the revamped St Stephens Street could look like. This image includes one of the 'sawtooth' bus bays. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

But the impact is being felt by businesses along the street on what was expected to be a pivotal weekend of trade nationally. 

Will Myers, casino manager at Admiral Casino Slots, said: "I would say we are down 30pc on trade. The roadworks have had a big impact on business. 

Bunting inside Admiral Casino for the Jubilee weekend 

Bunting inside Admiral Casino for the jubilee weekend - Credit: Ben Hardy

"I hope the long-term impact on footfall will be positive and it is modernising the city centre to make it look a lot better." 

The casino manager referred to the YMCA charity store recently closing down during the works after opening less than a year ago.

The former YMCA store in St Stephens Street 

The former YMCA store in St Stephens Street - Credit: Ben Hardy

Shoe Zone is also closing down in the street soon but a date has not been confirmed at this stage.

Shoe Zone is closing in St Stephens Street 

Shoe Zone is closing in St Stephens Street - Credit: Ben Hardy

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June Blanch, a staff member at independent shoe shop Siddalls, said: "I was not expecting it to be busy this weekend with everyone partying and having fun. I would say trade could be slowing down because of the roadworks too. 

"It is not ideal at the moment but it should look nice when the work is done." 

June Blanch with flags for the Jubilee weekend in Siddalls

June Blanch with flags for the jubilee weekend in Siddalls - Credit: Ben Hardy

Sally Henshaw, assistant manager at Mr Shoes, said trade had been quiet on the Friday of the bank holiday weekend. 

She added: "We are obviously looking forward to when the work is finished. Business is really hit and miss at the moment." 

Works taking place in St Stephens Street as part of a £6.1m revamp 

Works taking place in St Stephens Street as part of a £6.1m revamp - Credit: Ben Hardy

The Norwich-based Centre for Retail Research estimated there will be an additional total spending of £408.29m across the country generated by the jubilee.

Martin Wilby, chairman of the Transport for Norwich Joint Committee, has previously thanked the public for their patience and said that he is “delighted” with the progress of the works.

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport. Picture: Dan

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

He said the works will "significantly improve the environment for shoppers" while also improving access to bus services.

Works are taking place in St Stephen's Street as part of a £6.1m revamp 

Works are taking place in St Stephen's Street as part of a £6.1m revamp - Credit: Ben Hardy