James’ hopes to set up arcade in Ottery town centre

James and Chrissie Goddard have launched an idea to start an arcade shopping centre in Ottery.

James and Chrissie Goddard have launched an idea to start an arcade shopping centre in Ottery. - Credit: Archant

An Ottregian has announced his hopes to build the town’s first arcade shopping centre if he can get enough interest from small businesses to set up shop.

James Goddard says he has been given the opportunity by a friend to bring the idea to life and would look to set up 10 small starter units and provide a walkway for shoppers to wander from Mill Street into Hind Street.

The 59-year-old, who grew up in Yonder Street, has not revealed the location, but said he wanted to do something for the town where he grew up; he said he and wife Chrissie both came up with the idea.

He now has a month to drum up interest in the units but said he has been excited by the positive interest so far from businesses and residents.

The former curator for the National Science Museum said: “Whenever I see an arcade I have to go in and have a look, it just draws me in.

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“We should try and reinvent ourselves. I would like to think it would be a home for people to start a business, it would attract people into the town for shopping.

“At the moment people come to do their food shopping and leave. There would be something to keep them here and draw them into the rest of the town as well.

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“Ottery has a heck of a lot of character and this would be the icing on the cake. I want to do something for the town I grew up in.

“It’s going to be done very well, not just the design but who we have in there, it has to be a real community thing and done with emotion and heart but with efficiency as well.

“It’s not to tread on any traders’ toes but hopefully draw people to the town and help other traders as well.”

Businessman Ruud Jansen Venneboer said James was welcome to attend a business forum meeting to discuss the idea.

He said: “People are prepared to go the extra mile for something a bit different and something worth their while. It has to be a quality operation.”

Anyone interested in one of the units can contact James on 07957 544 273 or by emailing jamesgoddard251@gmail.com

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