A Coleraine opticians and hearing centre is investing £350,000 to move to larger premises in the town centre, the Times can reveal.
The investment in the new Specsavers store, at 8 The Diamond, is being made by the store’s two local directors – Judith Ball and Lynn Mackey – who have each clocked up over 15 years in the business, providing essential health services to local people.
The relocation of the very popular Specsavers outlet is in response to community demand for its services.
And the move is also good news for the town centre in general with the creation of five additonal jobs.
When the store opens over the May Bank Holiday weekend, five new jobs will be created, bringing the total workforce at the new Specsavers Coleraine to 32.
At 7,000sq ft, and with full disabled access, the new premises are three times the size of the store at 11 Kingsgate Street, making it the biggest Specsavers in Northern Ireland.
Every frame within the Specsavers portfolio of 1,500 styles will now be stocked.
The new store - which was formerly the Internacionale shop - has six optical test rooms and a dedicated hearing centre with two soundproof rooms for hearing testing.
The hearing hub will be managed by qualified audiologist and store director Joanne Torrens.
The store is also one of the first Specsavers in Northern Ireland to introduce the latest software in optical technology to link with the store’s iPads, making the process of dispensing glasses smoother and quicker.
Judith Ball, Store Director in Coleraine, told The Coleraine Times this week that significant growth in a number of areas of the business had precipitated the move.
She said: “After 15 successful years at our current premises we have decided to move nearer the town centre to a much larger location in order to cater for growing demand for our services.
“We have experienced particular growth in children’s eye care, the over 60’s market and contact lenses.
‘We’re also serving more corporate customers, providing safety glasses for people who work in manufacturing or those who spend a lot of time in front of a screen.”
Judith also expressed gratitude to all the store’s loyal customers for their continued support.
“Hearing services are also experiencing growth and we have put a significant share of our investment in creating a dedicated hearing hub within the store managed by specially trained staff.
“We are delighted to be able to offer cutting edge facilities to our customers in our new premises as well as creating another five jobs.
“We would like to thank the local community for its continued loyalty and support,” she added
Gwyneth McQuiston, Chair Coleraine Town Team wished the Specsavers team every success in their venture.
She added: On behalf to the Coleraine Town Team I want to pass on good wishes to Specsavers for a successful move to their new location at the Diamond.
“It is encouraging for all of us within the Town Team that Specsavers have shown their commitment to the town and the people of Coleraine by investing in larger premises within the town centre and we welcome the creation of additional employment.’
The Specsavers store at 11 Kingsgate Street in Coleraine will close at 4pm on Wednesday, April 29 with optical and hearing services being available again in the new store at 8 The Diamond from the May Bank Holiday weekend. For further inquiries contact the store on 028 7032 6346.