The owners of a Wiltshire shopping centre say major occupiers showed “no interest” in replacing a closing Tesco superstore.

Tesco announced earlier this year it would be leaving its home at Emery Gate Shopping Centre in Chippenham, and it has since been confirmed the store will shut its doors on August 15.

Since then, Acorn has reached out to various potential occupiers but says it has been unable to find a business willing to take over the shopping centre’s biggest unit.

This has contributed to the developers moving forward with plans for a major regeneration of the site, which could include fresh retail and leisure facilities and the creation of town centre homes.

Project manager Caroline Wall told this paper declining footfall and the lack of a replacement for Tesco accelerated these plans.

She said: “Long term we would have wanted to fill this with another large operator but we have reached out and there has been no interest.

“That is part of the reason for the redevelopment… the biggest reason is declining footfall and that’s shown by Tesco leaving, it’s the most recent casualty.”

READ MORE: Tesco confirms date for closure of Chippenham superstore

Tesco in Emery Gate, ChippenhamTesco in Emery Gate, Chippenham (Image: Newsquest)

The long term future of the Tesco unit remains uncertain, with the redevelopment plans still in their early stages.

In the meantime, Acorn insists it does not intend to leave the space empty, and is looking at “flexible” ways of filling it with new traders.

Head of commercial property Dane Cummings has welcomed retailers of different sizes to contact Acorn about taking over the “wonderful” town centre unit.

Mrs Wall added: “We’re being very flexible, that could involve splitting the unit, we’re beginning to see a little bit of interest, and they’re interested in it being split.

“We’re actively looking to fill it to bring increased footfall and income to Emery Gate.”

Tesco recently confirmed the date of its departure from the shopping centre, ahead of a relocation to a smaller store at the former High Street Wilko building.

SEE ALSO: Emery Gate Chippenham redevelopment designs revealed

Tesco's Chippenham superstoreTesco's Chippenham superstore (Image: Newsquest)

A sign displayed at the shop said: “This store will permanently close on August 15, 2024.

“Your nearest Tesco store is Chippenham, SN15 3EY.”

The supermarket giant has not confirmed the reason for its relocation but said the decision to move was a “difficult” one.

A spokesperson added: “We have taken the difficult decision to close our Chippenham Superstore.

“We have however secured a new smaller premises in Chippenham town centre which we will open as Tesco Chippenham High Street Express, and we look forward to continuing to serve our customers at our local stores.”