THE first tenant for the former Marks & Spencer store in Peach Street has been announced – a special pop-up charity shop.
Wokingham Borough Council bought the store late last year and has re-opened its Rose Street car park last month. Now the shop itself is to get a new lease of life.
The charity Forces Support will be moving in to the store, where it will sell larger items such as furniture and electrical goods. However, no details have yet been released of the items it will sell from its Wokingham store, or when it will open.
It already has a number of similar stores across the country and offers a free house clearance service on goods that it can then resell. For items that would go to landfill, it can arrange to take these away for a small fee.
Money raised by the charity helps it to provide practical support to bereaved families of servicemen.
Wokingham Borough Council said that the new Rose Street car park will be unaffected by the changes.
Cllr Stuart Munro, executive member for business and economic development and regeneration, said: “We secured the property in December and, since then, have continued to work up detailed feasibility studies to find the best option for this site.
“It’s important that the unit continues to act as part of the local shopping high street as well as integrating with the rest of the regeneration projects and the new square at Peach Place.
“Understandably this process takes time and we felt it was important that the unit doesn’t sit empty until a decision is made. With this in mind we have agreed a temporary let of the site to the charity Forces Support whilst we look at longer term options for the space.
“Working with a charity like Forces Support is a great option as their format, which includes larger items like furniture, will make best use of the space whilst it is available. We hope people will welcome them and support them while they are in Wokingham as the work they do to help bereaved families is incredibly important.”