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Press Release

Birks of Fareham acquisition

18 March 2024

Fareham Borough Council makes another town centre acquisition

Fareham Borough Council has today confirmed that it has made another strategic town centre acquisition, with the purchase of 130-136 West Street, Fareham.

Fareham Housing, the housing department at Fareham Borough Council, has completed the purchase, which includes the former Foresters Hall, a number of ground floor shops and the Birks of Fareham furniture store - thought to be Fareham’s oldest business - which first opened in 1912. 

The former owner, Mr Birks, is now 90 years old and approached the Council with a view to sell the properties, which have fallen into disrepair. Subject to planning consent, this purchase provides an opportunity for the Council to provide affordable housing in the town centre, within easy walking distance of shops, amenities and public transport. The redevelopment of this site could also include retail opportunities, as well as supporting the Council’s wider town centre regeneration plans. 

Mr Birks said:

“I am very sad to see the old place go as it has been a huge part of my life, and my family’s lives. It has been through two world wars, the great recession, and a pandemic. It was my grandfather’s shop before mine, and my daughter has had the bridal shop in the building now for 20 years. But I am 91 in April, so I think it is time to say goodbye to it. I am glad that it will be getting a new lease of life through the Council, and I am pleased that the new homes will bear the Birks name. It means that Birks will continue on in the Fareham community, hopefully for another 160 years.”

Executive Member for Housing, Councillor David Foot, added:

“This is another important purchase for the Council and will allow us to incorporate the provision of much needed affordable homes, as part of our town centre regeneration plans. Mr Birks has run his furniture business for decades, while so many others have come and gone, and has even expanded it over the years by buying neighbouring properties, which is remarkable! I am delighted that he has trusted his legacy to the Council and, while the building is too badly deteriorated to be refurbished, we will retain the Birks name in any redevelopment plans, as a tribute to the family’s long history at the site.”


Notes to Editor:

Pictured left to right:
•    Councillor Katrina Trott – Ward Councillor for Fareham East 
•    Councillor David Foot – Executive Member for Housing at Fareham Borough Council
•    Mr Birks – former owner of 134-135 West Street
•    Councillor Seán Woodward – Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council. 

Snuffles Dog Grooming has been relocated to 192 West Street, Fareham. 
The Bridal Suite will be moving to 31A Station Road, Park Gate.

For further information contact:

Customer Enquiries

Tel: 01329 236100

Media Enquiries

The Communications Team
Tel: 01329 824310
Fax: 01329 550576

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Fareham Borough Council, Civic Offices, Civic Way, Hampshire, PO16 7AZ
Tel: +44 (0) 1329 236100 | Mobile Text/Photo: 07860 098627
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