Marshalls change gets green light

Howard Marshall of Marshall Leisure Ltd.

Howard Marshall of Marshall Leisure Ltd.

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A Scremerston business has received planning permission to expand its range of goods to try and improve sales and attract more visitors.

Marshall Leisure Ltd, which also has a smaller outlet in Berwick town centre, is taking action in the face of falling shop sales.

Owner Howard Marshall has successfully applied to change the terms of his planning permission which had restricted him to selling outdoor leisure, camping and caravanning equipment.

Permission has now been granted for 70 per cent of the premises be used for outdoor leisure with the remaining 30 per cent unrestricted.

In addition to the outdoor clothing and equipment it currently offers, the company wants to sell toys, gifts, local food, stationery, magazines, pet products, household goods and travel goods.

He aims to create a more comprehensive retail outlet strengthening the firm’s position as a destination outlet and attracting more visitors to the store.

No visual changes to the existing development are proposed.

Tony Lowe, senior planning officer at Northumberland County Council, said: “It is not considered that there would be any reason to justify a refusal of the application for this minor change.”

Mr Marshall began trading from the site in 2004 and has grown the business considerably. However, online sales now account for around 60 per cent of total sales and, in contrast, shop sales have declined over the last five years.

The Marygate shop is too small to display the full range of goods the company sells.

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