KENDAL residents were excited to find out about plans to transform the town’s former Beales department store.

The new owners of the former Beales unit in Finkle Street have started work to convert the building into a space for local independent retailers and a food hall full of Cumbrian based eateries, an area for creative organisations as well as a number of flats and renovated cottages.

Geraldine Ward and her partner William Smith have launched the store’s new name Spinning Jennies and hope to breathe new life into the structure by creating a ‘shopping destination’ for residents and visitors.

Read more: Plans revealed for transformation of former department store

The store has been empty since March 2020 after Beales went into administration.

Sarah Jones said: “Sounds great, hoping that there may be space for local businesses to hire for a pop up shop. It would definitely help those that can’t afford to hire a space long term showcase their work!”

Stephen Hewitt said: “This is an idea that I have supported for a long time, many large empty shops could host several smaller local ones, I hope it works and that the retailors remember not every customer is a rich tourist or relocated Londoner... keep prices at a decent level for local minimum wage families to use the shops.”

Edwina Wardle Armstrong said: “Sounds great and a bit like the original K Village.

“Looking forward to it opening especially on a rainy day.”

Lynne Humphreys said: “I really hope this works. It will bring life into a big old building with a lot of memories.”

Becky McIvor said: “Sounds really good, especially the food hall!! So glad it’s not just going to be turned into flats and nice to have somewhere to go and explore.”

Jamie Tickner said: “Sounds good.”

Helen Howarth said: “Fantastic news for the town.”

Michael Scott said: “But but but, a bowling alley/ice rink?”

“Seriously though, sounds great.”