An empty shop in Plymouth city centre is to get a new lease of life as an independent optician – the first to open in the city centre for more than 30 years.
The premises in Cornwall Street, which used to be a St Luke’s Hospice shop, has been vacant for over a year.
The shop is being taken over by a family-run business, Iconic Opticians, which is hoping to contribute to the ongoing regeneration of the West End area.
Proprietor and Dispensing Optician, Thirupuvanarajah Dinesh, said: “I know the West End has had mixed fortunes in recent years, but things are definitely looking up.
“I believe this area of the city centre needs vibrant, independent shops which can offer a more personalised experience than delivered by multiple chains.
“I’m really looking forward to helping contribute to a new, dynamic future for this part of Cornwall Street.”
Plymouth City Centre Company has confirmed that the new business is the first independent opticians to open in the city centre since 1984.
“Competing against the big high street names is a challenge, but I think the key is to provide an affordable, individualised service,” said Dinesh.
“Looking out for the community is also important, and I’m hoping to contribute to improving the eye health of people in Plymouth.
“I’m passionate about raising awareness about the damage over exposure to the UV sunlight can cause to the eyes, which is a particularly relevant issue at this time of year.”
The business is offering a free multi-reflective coating on all lenses, and a 20% discount to all students, pensioners and Armed Forces personnel.
The shop will be opening its doors on Saturday, July 11.