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Loungers to open in London Road former Blockbusters store in Brighton
A derelict shop which has been targeted by squatters for years is being given a new lease of life.
The former Blockbuster video shop in London Road, Brighton, has been taken over by bar chain Loungers.
The building, which has been empty for three years, is currently being renovated and will reopen as a cafe bar next month under the new name of Alcampo Lounge.
After the video chain closed the branch the building was occupied by squatters for more than a year.
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The chain – which runs about 40 bars across the country – will also be opening their second Brighton branch at the former Pinxto People, in Western Road.
The development of the former Blockbuster store is an added boost to the regeneration of the London Road area – alongside the redevelopment of the former Co-op building and the Open Market.
Ward councillor Ian Davey said: “This shop has been empty for a couple of years and has been a blight on the local area ever since.
“We know residents and local traders are delighted that it will be occupied and hope the new cafe bar will be a positive addition and will help the ongoing regeneration of London Road.”
Next week businesses in the area are due to release the details of their plan to apply for funding under the next stage of the Portas Pilot scheme to aid flagging shopping streets.
Banners have gone up across the area and a radio campaign is launching on Juice starting on Monday. Follow the team on Twitter at @visitlondonroad.
The proportion of vacant shops in London Road is also thought to have dropped significantly in recent months.
Loungers, which describes itself an “expanding and recession busting company”, is currently looking for chefs and kitchen staff to work in the new bars.
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