August 16, 2018 at 2:09 pm #154612
Lets put a notional cost against the block paving refurbishment.
I reckon 150K.
Any suggestions on how that cash would be better spent to improve Wrexham ?August 16, 2018 at 2:46 pm #154614
The fact that the other thread got derailed means it sounds like very few people really care about whether or not some block paving is refurbished. Things wear out – people soon complain if the roads get worn out and I daresay it’s the same if paving starts to wear down. Seems relatively sensible to me.
Your original post wasn’t really all about block paving – in reality it was just another reason to have a dig at the town centre. Find me these fabled retailers who are going to occupy retail spaces when large national stores are closing down hundreds of stores each across the country and laying off thousands of retailer workers – Not opening new stores. Meanwhile the likes Amazon buys up more and more warehouse space on the cheap and the cheap supermarkets Lidl, Aldi etc… lay out more and more discount stores.
The high street is dead – long live the high street. To be fair in the last 12 months various initiatives have been put in place to move different commercial things into town and try and rejuvenate the centre – but you can’t force landlords to put tenants into buildings if good quality tenants don’t exist.
Organically the middle of Wrexham will change – it’s currently in a transition period – but for those still hell bent on looking at the high street through rose tinted glasses of the golden days of shopping in the 80s and 90s need to accept it’s just not going to happen whilst the costs to run a retail establishment in the middle of town with town centre rents/rates and the cost to employ enough staff to run a shop to then charge someone £5 (plus parking charges) for an item being sold for £3 online with free delivery just isn’t going to work as a sustainable business model. People can bang their fists on the table all they like and say SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES – but as people are price sensitive unless something is being offered that isn’t available cheaper elsewhere then people won’t bite.August 16, 2018 at 2:51 pm #154615
The original post was actually a dig at the pricks who have approved the spend.August 16, 2018 at 2:54 pm #154616
Matt, eye to eye we may not often see but that was excellent.
You can’t polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter (I refer to town and not your good self)
A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.August 16, 2018 at 6:01 pm #154626
You say High Street is dead, so true. But so is Eagles Meadow. Not many units will remain open in the coming months.
It would have been far better to have made an indoor shopping centre actually in the town centre with multi storey car park on the periphery. Town planners over the past twenty years years have been atrocious and have no idea
of what our town needs. City status???? Someone’s having a joke.August 16, 2018 at 6:18 pm #154627
There’s a big difference between Town Planners and Developers — planers may have a strategy but don’t have the funds to carry out a development. Developers look entirely at the investment value over a long period and critically build at the lost cost ideally buying land at low prices.
In the case of Wrexham Council, they actually owned the Eagles Meadow site and have leased it to the developer for a period of approx 200 years. The officers and Council Members responsible for the sales are the ones responsible for lack of funds to invest in the rest of the town. If the financial structure of the lease/sale used a proper business model it would have ensured that there was an annual income available for other town investment.
The Eagles Meadow developers will have recouped their original investment by now and still making profits from the apartment rents and the current shops- there will be a huge financial buffer that will not start to impact until at least 50% of the shops are empty. It would no take to much work to convert empty units into more apartments so investment income will be secure.August 16, 2018 at 7:12 pm #154636
Thanks Councillor x, I like the glitter analogy – sounds like unicorn shit!
Rondetto, just for clarification when I say high street – I mean the concept of the high street in general – as in retail units within a town centre area that people typically would walk around and shop – so I also include Eagles Meadow within that general concept – as it includes what we would call essentially high street national chain stores such as M&S, Debenhams and Boots. So I very much suspect that is also going to run into the same problems if we see any more major chains closing down more stores (I know M&S is – but Wrexham is safe for now).
If either M&S or Debenhams does leave town centre then Eagles Meadow will be in big trouble as there’s nobody to fill the void of such huge units (House of Fraser anyone – haha).August 16, 2018 at 9:25 pm #154651
I like your optimism Matt……as in none. Don’t necessarily agree with your conclusions but I sense that you might prove correct in your projections if the status quo continues.
Sounds contradictory? Not really. Just because the Internet has caused major problems along the High Streets of towns doesn’t mean that town centres have no future. The Internet will obviously clear out lots of businesses but others could easily step up to the plate if certain things happened. To an extent, you’re already seeing this. Department stores have been obliterated by the Internet, but Cafes, Nail Bars, Arts and Crafts businesses, Independent shops offering locally sourced unique stuff are growing in different towns. What is true, however, is that the town centres won’t survive if Government insists on squeezing the last bit of life out of enterprise courtesy of the Rates. These get given to Government by the bucket in return for……..nothing………..not even the bins emptied. The closer to the town centre, the bigger the Rates. What do they use these enterprise shafting things for? Why, to replace street paving with…….other street paving……….and Markets with……Arts Hubs. Could I just suggest….leaving the money with the businesses…..and they might actually stay on the oober-expensive streets. Rates, Parking and Access generally. Sort these matters out and you might get more businesses like mine in Wrexham………..not as good as mine of course (lol)August 16, 2018 at 11:00 pm #154655
Alun – you fall into my special category of ‘unless something is being offered that isn’t available cheaper elsewhere then people won’t bite’.
Vinyl scene is incredibly trend bucking – I know from being dragged round all the record stores & record fairs by my dad back in the day that these places especially now there’s been the revival that it’s something you would struggle to replace with just the internet. Music enthusiasts just love the mystery of what they might find amongst the thousands of titles.
There’s no mystery online when you search eBay, Google, Discogs etc… and you instantly know what’s there and you can’t inspect the quality of the vinyl – no tactile element – can’t ask for it to be played etc. That’s the type of store where you build up a community of regular buyers who will tell their friends via word of mouth etc…
I dare say the same would apply to other collectible type second hand stores – but Wrexham doesn’t seem to have as many in general of this type of specialist store as the lines of Mold & Oswestry. Nothing has ever replaced Granny Midges.
My main line of attack was on the generic high street stores really – a long time ago I got bored of traipsing round shops in various towns and cities because they were just cookie cutters – like we have in Eagles Meadow. Who wants to go to Liverpool to visit a slightly bigger Primark or you get people desperately trolling round Cheshire Oaks hoping for a few quid off some designer sunglasses. It is so bloody tedious – far better things to be doing with time. Find me the cheapest of product x online and click, click – bought – next day delivery.
So despite my lack of optimism – I do hope for the best for stores that are a bit different & are worth recommending to friends and family. I do think they could do with serious rate relief for smaller units then as you say it would give the likes of craft businesses or specialists to have the incentive to perhaps move their cottage industry from their homes out into Wrexham.
These remaining spaces – what would I want from them? Perhaps more entertainment type businesses – there is a distinct lack of imagination when it comes to things to do in Wrexham – other places even have things like Indoor Crazy Golf, there’s no decent indoor soft play area in Wrexham (the kids love the one in Oswestry). How about a comedy club – people go in their droves to William Aston – so there’d be a market for people to enjoy more local talent.August 17, 2018 at 5:48 am #154660
Reduce the rates by 150K
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