Plans to turn Shepton Mallet into designer capital of the West
by Western Daily Press
Expansion plans for Kilver Court in Shepton Mallet look set to boost the local economy and put it on the map as a major retail destination.
Owner Roger Saul thinks Kilver Court could become an alternative to London for mid-Somerset-based shoppers looking for designer brands.
He believes the site is ideally placed at the crossroads of two major arterial roads across Somerset and close to the rail link at Castle Cary.
The founder of the Mulberry fashion label has been talking to Mendip planners about opening up Kilver Court viaduct as an access road to the site from the A361. He plans to invest £10 million in developing Kilver Court to encompass around 40 designer shops, a hotel and more restaurants.
If his plans come to fruition they could bring around 250 new jobs to Shepton Mallet within the next two years.
Mr Saul said: "We have just been voted Bath retailer of the year – a wonderful accolade bearing in mind that we’re in Shepton Mallet."
He has been speaking to Visit Somerset about bringing tourists from China to Kilver Court. He would like to develop the spot as a tour destination.
If his plans go ahead the local economy should benefit from the use of contractors in developing the shops, hotel, access road and parking.
Mr Saul said: "I think the footfall on the high street would also increase.