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Restaurant quarter revamp re-think

The creation of a restaurant quarter in the Kennet Centre looks like it is on hold after a rise in the number of restaurant closures in the Town.

Last year the Centre was given planning permission to create a new hub on Cheap Street. The new hub was to have featured seven new eating destinations in units that had previously occupied by Prohibition and Chenz along with others that have remained vacant since 2009.

But nine months on from West Berkshire Council giving the go-ahead to the redevelopment of the 1970s built Centre it seems a re-think is on the cards.

In January, Centre Manager at the Kennet Centre, Mag Williams told us that “final decisions/plans remain to be put in place.”

More details have since emerged with Mag now saying: “Added pressure has resulted in closure or scaling back of expansion plans in both hospitality and retail businesses nationwide. Contributory factors are food and drink costs rising, increased costs from the national living wage, rising business rates and mandatory pension contributions.

She added: “Despite retail and restaurant sectors having become tough markets we still have avenues open to us. We just have to keep our options open in an ever-changing economy.”

Over the last five months several retail. food and drink destinations have closed in Newbury. This includes the Snooty Fox, Strada, Just Luckys and Iceland.

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