A STRUGGLING South Tyneside shopping centre has been given a boost by news that a major sports retailer is relocating to larger premises.
King Street in South Shields has endured a torrid few years, with many major retailers moving out of town.
Marks & Spencer and Mothercare are among the big names to have abandoned the street.
The news comes as South Tyneside Council pushes ahead with its ambitious £100m masterplan to regenerate the town centre.
Now, in a rare piece of good news, JD Sports has announced it is moving into larger premises in King Street.
The company is relocating into the vacated Clintons card shop and Phones 4 U premises on Saturday, September 27, and will be closing its smaller outlet at 73 King Street.
Ironically, the new location means it will be sited directly beside one of its rivals – Sports Direct, run by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley.
A spokesman for the council welcomed the news.
He said: “It is great news that JD Sports is showing its commitment to the town centre by moving to larger premises.
“A key element of our £100m South Shields 365 masterplan is giving the private sector the confidence to invest.
“JD Sports clearly shares our vision for the town centre, and we hope that the company’s relocation will be a great success.”
No one from JD Sports, based in Bury, near Manchester, was available for comment.