The regeneration has begun to transform the appearance of Thornton Heath centre but there are now more empty shops than when it began.

One of the  businesses at 55 High Street (formely Divine Care Services) which has undergone the council funded shop front improvement shut during the transformation and now the landlord can’t be traced to pay towards the shop enhancement.

The number of vacated shops on the High Street to Brigstock Road stretch now runs in to double figures. Many have been closed for more than 18 months and the majority are being marketed for rent in the region of £20,000 per annum.

Businesses like The Brigstock Cafe are being sold for offers in excess of £475,000 after closing recently.

Patty Palace  which was advertising for staff never even opened and there is now  a for let sign in window of the double fronted salmon pink coloured property on Brigstock Road.

With the Thomas Farley public house situation no nearer being resolved or being occupied The Chronicle has learned that a pizzeria has agreed to lease 32 and 34 on the High Street and intends to open as a licensed restaurant.

The other good news is that the reality of a market coming to Thornton Heath draws closer as the Council has committed funding to establish a  weekend market on a pilot basis with an anticipated opening in the Autumn.

The market initiative, part of the High Street Improvement programme, will see the employment of a manager who with the support of the local community, councillors, businesses and organisations including THCAT and CVA will develop an arts and crafts market with specialist foods initially on the Ambassador House site, one Saturday and one Sunday a month.

Over the coming weeks prospective traders will be invited to apply for a stall in the market and already the response has been in encouraging.