Westonians list their wishes for High Street as council seeks millions in funding
PUBLISHED: 16:00 24 February 2019
Shoppers have had their say on what shops they would like to see in Weston after it was revealed the town could receive millions to help its struggling High Street.
North Somerset Council will soon be bidding for up to £25million from the Government’s Future High Street Fund (FHSF), with hopes it will revitalise the town centre.
Weston’s High Street has been struggling for a number of years amid declining footfall and booming online sales, with the recent announcement of Marks & Spencer’s forthcoming closure the latest in a series of bitter blows for town centre traders.
The cash would be used to ‘future proof’ the area to align with changing spending patterns.
A council spokesman said: “The FHSF will be offering up to £25million for high streets and town centres, with most successful bids expected to be in the region of £5-10million.
“We will be bidding and we are currently in the processes of reviewing which area best fits the criteria set by the Government. Phase one of the bid will be put forward at the end of March.”
Many people took to social media to share their view.
Ian Stone commented: “I think the council needs to look at itself first.
“Never has our town centre looked so poor. You trip over coffee shops and pound shops but these shops do not clothe families.”
Tours Blackwell said: “Would love to have some upmarket department stores, such as a Debenhams or Harvey Nichols, to give some variety in this town.”
Michelle Jones wrote: “What we need is free rates for High Street shops which sell independently like in St Ives and an out-of-town shopping mall for branded stuff. Oh, and free parking.”
Angie Day said: “To be honest £25million isn’t a big deal. It may buy a few flower pots these days.
“Lower the rents and rates so shops can have a chance and stop buying online.”
Nicky McKibbin commented: “It would be great if the council listened to local people about what they want in the High Street. Give the people a say.”
Paul Witham wrote: “There is only one thing to blame – the British public choosing cheap low cost goods and services over quality, investment and loyalty.”