I devoured a cheeky Nando's during a vist to the St James development last week. I took a look around the new Cineworld, Poundland and Food Warehouse at the town centre site before sitting down for lunch in the popular chicken restaurant.
It's fantastic to see the St James development become a reality – and to finally have a cheeky Nando's in Dover! Some people scoffed at the excitement surrounding the announcement that Nando's was coming to town. Yet it was very busy when I went for lunch – so it's clearly living up to the hype.
St James is now up and running – despite the doom-mongers saying that it could never be done. That Burlington House would forever tower over our town. That to have a six-screen cinema in the centre of Dover was in the realms of fantasy. Yet look where we are today. Everyone who worked so hard to deliver for Dover should be proud of what we've achieved so far."
The St James scheme had been facing delays because of problems getting the site connected to electricity. So I held crunch talks with the power suppliers and the council – and the switch-on date was rapidly moved forwards. The development is now attracting more and more people since the opening last month. Visitors are also able to walk along a clearly marked path alongside the Lord Nelson pub and into Market Square – so they can enjoy all the "old town" has to offer. I met with some of the business owners in Dover's high street, who said they wanted to see people who come to St James encouraged to explore more of the town.
It was great to see St James so busy – and that lots of people were walking between the new site and the high street. We must do everything we can to support the hardworking small business owners in the 'old town'. That's why I'm fully backing district council leader Keith Morris' plan to invest £500,000 in the area.
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