WARRINGTON shoppers have been sharing their ideas on what could come next for the Debenhams unit in Golden Square.

Earlier this year it was announced that Debenhams was to close all branches after online retailer Boohoo acquired the brand in a £55million deal.

Stock is currently being sold off at the Warrington branch but when it shuts its doors for good it will create a tricky situation for Golden Square as the retail giant was the centre's 'anchor tenant'.

Negotiations are said to be ongoing behind the scenes with Golden Square director Ian Cox saying there is interest in the unit.

But it could be a challenge to fill it given the space is over three storeys.

So we recently asked readers how they would like to see the building used. These are just some of their suggestions.

A bigger Primark in a more prominent position

Anyone who saw the queues when shops reopened will know how popular Primark is in Warrington – would the company consider more of a statement store in Golden Square?

This was probably the most common suggestion.

Fay Dickinson said: "I think Primark should move into there, I think they are the only company that could take on a unit of that size."

Vicky Bond added: "Liverpool's is as big and each floor is busy, good idea."

An emporium of independent shops

Rachel Hope said: "Why not make the unit Affleck's Palace style (A Manchester indie shopping destination) but split into smaller stalls/units with lower rents for smaller shops and food units."

Beryl Whatman added: "Make it a craft market to give those who make things a chance to sell them."

Lindsay Plumb said: "The top floor could be like a permanent Makers Market – traders could book times to be there and it changes all the time. Would keep it fresh and keep people coming to town."

Gemma Thurston added: "The cafe could have different food traders as well, all the equipment is there. It would help Warrington people with small businesses that maybe can't afford a permanent shop but want to get footfall and showcase their products."

John Capper said: "There's a need for quality artisans to have a base in Warrington."

Attract another retail giant

Linda Doherty made a popular suggestion with John Lewis upstairs and M&S on the groundfloor with a food hall.

Alternatively, Christopher Davies wants to see TJ Hughes return to the town. The Sankey Street TJ Hughes shut in 2011.

But Andrew Holden said: "Selfridges, with a sushi bar like the one in the Trafford Centre."

David Ellis also suggested bringing M&S back to the town centre – saying they could share the space with a floor for small independents.

A community hub

Kathryn Wild said: "A hub with a play zone, library and classes would be very welcome."

Tanya Baker added: "A hub, post office, library with computers, play zone, community zone (help to access dr/dentist/CAB etc). It’s also in the perfect position for disabled access.

A split level restaurant

Sonia Ybrelleb suggested turning the unit into a dining space that serves all cuisines. Suzanne Ellison agreed – wanting the space to become a bit like Trafford Centre's Orient food hall.

There were also a lot of calls for the popular Asian restaurant chain Wagamama to move in.

That is not out of the realms of possibility as Wagamama restaurants are often found in shopping centres and retail spaces.

An entertainment centre

Natalie Daniels said: "Junkyard Golf, axe throwing and an indoor entertainment centre with quirky games."

Laser quest was also suggested by a couple of people.

An all-in-one arts and crafts store

The crafts movement has definitely become bigger – particularly during the lockdowns. Kath Ryan suggested a dedicated shop for all things arts and crafts with the benefit of space for indoor craft sessions.

Neil McDonnell added: "A couple of units offering skills in different arts and crafts would be really good.

"It seems that town centres are going to have to change a bit and try and offer more than standard retail as shopping habits change. It would be great to see Warrington offering more variety."

A museum

Stuart Wilson said: "Move the museum in there and expand it to show more of Warrington's history. Give a floor over to Warrington Wolves for a shop and museum."

Ingrid Crombie added: "Place the museum there – don't let the Golden Square become just shops and coffee shops, let's have a bit of culture as well."