A DISCOUNT store is hoping to move into Colchester’s empty Woolworths site.

QD Stores is negotiating to take over the Culver Square shop, which fronts onto Head Street and is seen as a prime retail spot.

However, the move depends on it getting new tenants to take on its current shop in St John's Street.

The move would double QD’s Colchester sale space from 14,723 to 30,000 square feet and increase its staff from 15 to between 25 and 30.

Alan Hatcher, marketing manager for QD, said: “We want to have a bigger store so we can offer our customers a wider variety of stock.

“Woolworths are all in decent locations and the QD group is expanding rapidly.

“A place like Woolworths in Colchester would mean more customers for us, so we would need more staff.”

QD has already taken over five empty Woolworths in the east of England since the former high street giant went into administration last year, and plans to move into five more.

However, its plans depend on a big retailer taking over its current building in St John’s Street for £106,000 a year.

Gordon Birchall, of Sudbury consultant surveyors Birchall Steel, which is marketing QD’s current store, said: “Obviously they can’t run two shops in town, so we are doing a bit of a fishing exercise to see if anyone might want to move in St John’s Street. Woolworths closed in December last year.