Posted: 11.09.20 at 20:59 by Philip Evans
The most impressive trading building in Axminster's town centre is back to its glorious best.
When the Trinity House department store, owned by Fields of Sidmouth, closed its doors for the last time last November there were fears the imposing Trinity Square property would remain empty for a long time.
With a number of other town centre properties empty, it was the last thing the trading community of Axminster needed especially when coronavirus raised its deadly head.
But there was a huge sigh of relief when it was announced that the ambitious Axminster Property company, owned by Ian Styles, former head of Axminster Tools & Machinery, had acquired the building and were converting the premises into separate units.
With covid-19 lurking around the corner, it wasn't the best time to start a new venture, but that didn't deter Ian Styles from setting about making Trinity House Axminster town centre's jewel in the crown.
With huge business experience behind him, no one really doubted that he could make a success of rejuvenating Trinity House. The arrival of Axminster Property in Trinity Square also boosted the belief of other town centre traders that Axminster would bounce back after coronavirus was beaten. It was the good news the traders were hoping for.
It wasn't long before Axminster Property's first tenant, the ladies' fashion shop Lou La Belle, was opened, fitted out to a very high standard, the hallmark of any Ian Styles' project, and soon to follow was an announcement that Axminster's hugely popular Community Waffle House was moving into Trinity House.
They will occupy the whole of the first floor to serve their delicious Belgian delicacies, with all profits going to local good causes, together with a provision for hot desking for those without an office and an area for keeping kids occupied. That will be hugely popular.
Yesterday Axminster Property announced another stage in the conversion of Trinity House with the removal of scaffolding to reveal its new look.
A posting on Facebook said: "We've still a long way to go but as the scaffolding drops we can see the ultimate picture of the finished whole!
"It's been a great team effort to get this far by all at Axminster Property and today we can overcome the sadness of cracking the glass on the big window."
They also announced that their next tenant would be "The Crafty Hobbit".
The posting received dozens of complimentary comments with one follower calling for a rooftop terrace and another asking if Axminster Property could now make the former McColl's newsagent in Victoria Place and the old taxi office on Lyme Road look better.
Axminster Totally Locally commented: "Who could have dreamt when it closed as a department store in November that it would tun around so quickly and so beautifully. Great work."