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Betting shop left empty for eight years becomes bespoke jewellers

Retailers believe chain-free Regent's Park Road can thrive

09 March, 2018 — By Helen Chapman

A SHOP that lay empty in Primrose Hill for nearly eight years has been transformed into a jewellers.

Retailers in Regent’s Park Road said they hoped the arrival of Harriet Kelsall was a sign of a revitalised shopping parade in an area where chains stores have famously been repelled.

“I think people value how lovely the area is now,” said Ms Kelsall. “It’s a bit of a destination and I see it as a place for experts. There’s some strong and interesting businesses there.”

She used to live in Chalcot Square and said: “It’s a strange coincidence I can see my old house from the new shop window. I used to lie in bed and listen to the gibbons echoing across Primrose Hill. Those haunting melodies were the trademark sounds of living there. It was a lovely but weird noise.”

The shop was last used as a betting shop.

Ms Kelsall added: “Primrose Hill is where a lot of people propose hence having an engagement ring shop there feels ideal. Lots of romantic comedies were filmed there too.”

Shop manager and designer Tom Wilson added: “The local community are happy to see it in use after being shut for so long. People have come in to speak to us about it. This shop shows how different the feel of the high street is now from seven years ago. It’s full of independent retail. There’s only one chain, which is Space NK.”

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