A dark and dreary Tuesday morning was cheered up for us at iLoveBramhall when we met with the people who run the Village Square – Jenny and Paul from HIMOR. The company bought the Village Square back in 2011… doesn’t time fly!
HIMOR bought the property during a period of transition for the Square, with a number of business owners close to retirement, others feeling the effects of the recession and the Square itself in desperate need of some TLC. However, since 2011, though, you’ll agree with us that the square has changed somewhat and is a much more appealing place to be, both for businesses and shoppers alike. A £400,000 refurbishment in 2013, which included the removal of the clock and the installation of a new play area, gave the centre a much needed boost. It has paid dividends massively with the beautiful play area now attracting families, making kids actually ENJOY going out to the shops!
In that five year period over 25 new retailers and businesses have been attracted to to the Square. It really does have it all now – cafés and bars, hairdressers, charity shops, Home Improvement, clothes shop, food shops, health and well-being and so much more! At the moment there is only one vacant unit in the square, but that’s soon to change as the contract has been agreed for it, making it a full house for the Village Square.
As is often not the case with landlords and their tenants, Jenny and Paul know ALL of the business owners who use their units and take a fairly hands-on approach. Considering there are around 40 businesses in the square, that’s some going! It’s quite an important point, though, as it really does make a difference and gives the working relationship between the two parties a more personal and friendly touch.
Jenny herself lives in Marple, but she’s in the Square a couple of times a week and makes the most of her visits, as she claims to love ALL of the restaurants’ foods that are there! Paul is the same. He enjoys eating out at these restaurants, but it’s a little bit more handy for him, being his local shopping centre. That’s what’s great about the Village Square: even though people are there multiple times a week, they don’t get fed up of what it has to offer and keep going back!
If you’ve not already heard, there’s going to be a new gym in Bramhall and it’s going to be located above Sainsbury’s. Jenny and Paul are very excited about welcoming Anytime Fitness to the Square and so are we. A 24 hour gym will be great for our village and offer something different, bringing in new visitors. Stay on the lookout for an opening time for that as well as visiting their Facebook page for more offers!
So what’s next for the Village Square? What are HIMOR’s goals? Jenny and Paul told us that it has been a great project to be involved in but they still feel there is much to do. They would like to improve the entrances into the Square, better connecting it to the High Street outside, to make it look more appealing to passers-by who don’t already know the beauty of the inside. They also want to continue the fantastic working relationship that they have with each of the existing business owners – and why wouldn’t they!? HIMOR are always interested to hear from people and businesses with new ideas which they feel would benefit the Square, even if it is almost full now!
The Village Square has become the life and soul of Bramhall in the five years since HIMOR , attracting all kinds of people for all kinds of reasons. What was once much like the weather of the day, a dark and dreary place to be, is now full of happy people with a buzzing atmosphere which only makes Bramhall even more amazing. Jenny and Paul LOVE working in the Village Square, and we LOVE the Village Square too.