High Street - what would you do?

High Streets could be in line for a big-money revamp.

High Streets could be in line for a big-money revamp. - Credit: Archant

LAST week we reported how grants of up to £10,000 will be offered to people with bright ideas for ways to reinvigorate North Somerset’s struggling high streets.

Retailers have been feeling the pinch more than most during the economic downturn, and Government cash is being made available to try to help.

The investment is the brainchild of TV personality Mary Portas, who compiled a detailed study on ways to revamp Britain’s shopping areas.

North Somerset Council has now been handed £100,000 to dish out in smaller grants to help bring some of these ideas to life.

This week, we have been asking visitors to the Mercury website and Facebook page how THEY would improve their local high street.

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“Less charity shops and pound shops and more quality shops. There is a major lack of men’s clothing shops and children’s shops.”

Sara Gullick

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“Let’s start with more clothes shops. Seems you only go to town these days if you want a coffee or a phone. Sorry but not for me... no wonder the town is dying!”

Wendy Dickinson

“Bomb it and turn it into a free car park. The mall at Cribbs has all the shops I need thanks, oh, and free parking.”

Robert Rigney

“Could try lowering the rents so firms could afford to set up a shop there. A couple of decent department stores would be great!”

Trish Bowdrey

“Large retail brands are unlikely to move here because retail is concentrating on large destination shopping centres, like Cribbs and Cabot Circus. Independents are less likely to take the financial risk of backing the town when the locals seem to consider bombing it preferable to supporting local traders. You get the town you deserve.”

Sam Maher

“What about the Sovereign Centre helping itself out by offering free parking if you spend X amount of money, it worked in Swindon outlet.”

Heidi Griffin

“Make it illegal to drink alcohol in the streets, put pub/club opening hours back to the old ways, making the streets safer at night, more police patrolling the streets.”

Stephen Coles

“Decent shoe shops, clean all the buildings!”

Wendy Matthews

“More clothes shop, somewhere a man over the age of 30 can buy clothes other than M&S. Also cheaper parking, why would anyone go into Weston town and pay high parking fees, when they can go ‘out of town’ and park for free? Maybe a ‘Park and Ride’ system could be set up.”

Pete Bromley

“I think that getting loads of quirky shops and making it similar to Brighton’s ‘Lanes’, would be a fab idea. Make it a shopping destination full of independent and local shops, if you want high street chains, go to Bristol.”

Harriet Hunter

“Lower rent of retail properties. Be done with the parking fees. Keep the town clean and looking nice and tidy. A free-for-all toilet facility and have them opened up earlier and longer. Make the town more welcoming.”

Claire O’Farrell

“Get rid of the donut van and all the rest of the tat sellers. Move all the charity shops to one area. Kick all the estate agents out of the Boulevard and replace them with bars and bistros. Move all the rehabbers to another town. I could go on and on...”

Ryan Jones-Ralph

“Make the High Street a non-smoking area and have penalties put in place for anyone caught smoking in the High Street, just like the alcohol free zone in the High Street. Have on-the-spot fines if caught by the police or street wardens!”

Ben Nicholas

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