Hot Topic: Empty town centre stores
PUBLISHED: 13:00 22 September 2013
READERS have come up with their suggestions for reviving Weston's flagging retail sector after the Mercury reported how more than 30,000sq ft of top-level units are going unfilled in the town centre.
A document released as part of a planning application for a new High Street café shows the value of empty ‘A1-rated’ units in the town centre totals £658,000.
Our readers took to Facebook, Twitter and www.westonmercury.co.uk to share their opinions:
n “Can’t a Wellworths come here? I know they’ve set up elsewhere. Apart from Argos, there is nowhere to get toys anymore and I used to love going to Woolworths and getting Christmas pressies.” - Joanne Tincknell.
n “If we had a 98p store, somewhere I could buy a mobile phone from, and then chill out at a coffee shop, I MIGHT pay the high cost for parking and pop into town. Until then, I’ll stick with the mall, Cabot, and the internet.” - Steven Bott.
n “£90,000 rent, probably the reason the old Topshop unit is empty! Then on top of that there are the ridiculous business rates, then the staff pay, then lighting and heating. Say £500K before you even break even.” - HarryO.
n “Isn’t it time to take stock of how much is happening in this town?
“Maybe by putting the house building on hold and looking at how the existing residents shop an answer might be found to fill these empty premises.
“The funds currently allocated to house building could be used to support any retailer wishing to come to a decent holiday destination. The in-house bickering of NSC must stop and (it must) look to improve the facilities of the district.
“Give the business men with all their pipe dream developments a deadline to put up or shut up. Finally ask the people what they want.” - Neptune.
n “We need a children’s clothes shop and a toy shop that’s not extortionate in price, and somewhere to get decent trainers too.
“An indoor children’s play centre in town would be good too.” - Laura Hughes.
n “Can’t say I’m surprised at this what with huge rents, the sky high rates the lack of parking and all the building work, this town is fast becoming one big eyesore - how about the local council actually helping shops by cutting rents and rates try and make the town centre more inviting to shoppers.” - Gruf
Log on to www.westonmercury.co.uk, follow us on Facebook or visit www.streetlife.com to join the conversation.