NEARLY two years after Next disappeared from Fore Street, the empty unit it once filled looks set to be taken on by a Somerset-based business within the next few months.

The clothing retailer closed its Taunton store in May 2020 “due to falling sales” when its lease expired.

A spokesperson for Next said it hopes to “return to Taunton in an out-of-town retail park subject to the right opportunity and favourable planning decisions”.

Now, signs have appeared in the unit’s window advertising full and part-time sales assistant roles with The Lighting Company, which stocks “lights for every situation” and supplies “fittings and fixtures for every room in the house”.

Somerset County Gazette: This sign has been spotted in the windows of 29 Fore Street.This sign has been spotted in the windows of 29 Fore Street.

The company is based at Vennland Business Park in Minehead and currently operates one store in the West Somerset seaside town in The Parade, which displays “a beautiful range of ever-changing styles”.

The company, established in 1988, also offers free delivery across the UK.

The signs encouraging people to “join our team” are visible in the windows of the former Next unit at 29 Fore Street, and the ‘find us’ page on The Lighting Company’s website says its new store will open in June.

The website says it will open between 9am and 5:30pm on weekdays and Saturdays and between 10am and 4pm on Sundays.

Somerset County Gazette: Next vacated the premises when its lease expired in May 2020.Next vacated the premises when its lease expired in May 2020.

In 2016, the County Gazette reported that The Lighting Company supplied a range of striking geometric pendant lights to Channel 5 programme Big Brother for use in the house’s living and dining rooms.

The company has also supplied lighting to Hollywood productions filmed in the UK, “from famous wizards to famous spies and even famous puppets”.

The County Gazette has contacted The Lighting Company for a comment.