You won’t have missed all the changes taking place on King Street and in the old Merrywalks shopping centre as it transforms into the new Five Valleys Shopping Centre.
Whilst it involves a lot of hard work and some upheaval, it’s clear that the new centre will bring some exciting and bright prospects to Stroud. Centre manager, Dionne Moore is brimming with positivity and smart ideas. We met her to find out more, and soon found her enthusiasm is contagious!
“We’re clear in our intention that this is not just another shopping complex,” Dionne told us. “We’re bringing the heart of the town centre back. We want to support local traders, employ local people and retain the town’s youth by creating the jobs they want, with brands they are interested in working for. People report that Stroud feels a bit disjointed and it needn’t feel that way because it’s a small town with a strong community. We have a vision of supporting local businesses and the High Street and actually joining the town back together. We want more people living, working and shopping in the town centre. We understand that small businesses often don’t have office space so are creating comfortable modern offices with good wi-fi and facilities, as well as four gorgeous apartments.”
Dionne comes to us with 20 years’ fashion retail experience, including managing branches and flagship stores for Oska, Juicy Couture, Tommy Hilfiger, All Saints and Zara. When she was approached for her current role, she was thrilled to have the opportunity to manage a shopping centre and steer the project towards benefitting the whole town. She is community focused and envisions a shopping centre with facilities for everyone, providing crèches for families, accessible working, shopping, dining and cinema, where people of all ages can spend time and feel welcome. Heart of Stroud wishes Dionne and her team the best of luck with the next phase of the build. We can’t wait to see Five Valleys Centre take shape.