Norwich-based QD Stores moving HQ

Fast-growing Norwich-based discount retailer QD Stores is moving its headquarters from Anglia Square to the former Norfolk Chamber of Commerce site on the corner of Barrack Street and Silver Road.

Its new building has been empty for many years and calls were made last year for it to be brought back into use. Up to 50 staff will move from Anglia Square to the new building, which will be officially launched in the next few weeks.

QD Stores' managing director Justin Farrington-Smith said: 'Given that the future of Anglia Square is somewhat uncertain, we decided to move our offices from Anglia Square to Barrack Street, where we have taken a 50-year lease. We are refurbishing it and will officially launch it as our new head office in a few weeks' time. Our new home secures our future in Norwich and the office space will meet our expansion needs.

'The head office building in Anglia Square is now being used as a merchandising centre and we will continue to use it as that, until we know what the future of the Anglia Square redevelopment is.'

The company has expanded rapidly in recent years and now operates dozens of stores, most under the QD brand in the East of England and the Home Counties, but also Cherry Lane garden centres, a Lathams store in Potter Heigham and Buyright in Hadleigh. Its new home was built as a brewery in the 1920s and has been of long-standing interest to the Norwich Society, the city's heritage watchdog, because of its posh inside, staircase and mosaic.

The Norwich City Council-owned building was broken into a few years ago and a lot of damage was caused when vandals pulled apart the pipework.

As reported, plans for a �100m redevelopment of the Anglia Square shopping centre area were given new life earlier in the year, when city councillors gave their support to the principle of plans for the revamp. The plans include a new supermarket, homes, gym and restaurants, and developer Centenary Ashcroft is looking to make a start on the main contract during the course of next year.

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Are you fighting to preserve part of Norwich's heritage? Call David Bale on 01603 772427 or email