Govia Thameslink Railway station shops signal green shoots of economic recovery

Monday, February 12, 2024



In a promising turn for local commerce, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), the operator behind the Great Northern and Thameslink services, has recently enhanced the retail landscape at Hatfield station by introducing two new businesses. This development not only revitalizes previously vacant spaces but also signifies a broader trend of economic resurgence within the community.

After enduring vacancies due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic fallout, Hatfield station has become a beacon of recovery and opportunity. Kerbside Coffee and Budgens supermarket have filled long-empty retail units, marking a confident step forward in the local economy’s revival. Kerbside Coffee has chosen Hatfield for its newest branch, rejuvenating a unit left unoccupied for over two years. Similarly, Budgens brings its supermarket services to a space that had been vacant for several months, offering convenience and variety to commuters and local residents alike.

These openings are part of a larger wave of new lettings across the GTR network, reflecting a robust recovery of local economies post-pandemic. With around 350 retail units across its network, GTR has signed almost 60 tenancy agreements in the past year and is processing over 60 more. This momentum is particularly noteworthy as many of these units had been unoccupied for extended periods.

David Gornal, GTR’s Commercial Director, expressed optimism about the recovery, noting the mutual benefits for businesses and the community. The resurgence of station retail businesses, supported by a recovery in passenger numbers, presents thriving trade opportunities and enhances the travel experience.

Jason Harris, founder of Kerbside Coffee, shared his enthusiasm for joining the Hatfield community, emphasizing the brand’s mission to offer a welcoming space for locals and commuters alike. This sentiment is echoed by Mary Lowe from the Hatfield Association of Rail Travellers, who highlighted the community’s active role in facilitating these openings, underscoring the importance of local engagement and support in driving forward economic recovery and community well-being.

This concerted effort between GTR, new businesses, and the community not only fills vacant spaces but also instills a sense of optimism and belonging among the residents and commuters of Hatfield, marking a positive stride towards economic and social revitalization.

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