People’s Market, Chester Street and Henblas Street

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  • #69222
    Alunh
    Alunh
    Participant

    @99dylanjones 15951 wrote:

    People need to realise that Town Centre development and growth cannot be altered by any Council, Politician or prospective politician doing a survey. The independent work undertaken by Manchester Metropolitan in their townscape project (which the Council dint appear to have taken any notice of) plus all the data that is available to retailers now will determine the future shape.
    Large property investment companies and national retail chains will only invest if the numbers stack up based on factors such as footfall, housing rateable banding, age and cultural demographic and more crucial the drive time distance that is acceptable to the population of an area and what the competition is. If this does not show the appropriate rate of return on investment then don’t kid yourself they will not come to Wrexham.
    Subsidy carrots are normally only for 5 years so tat is not a sustainable option..

    In this day and age, no one would dream of coming up with a subsidy for the retail sector. This is a gross thought. Equally, the whole purpose of the Manchester Met investigation appears to have passed you by here. The Met findings are based upon the idea that regeneration can be achieved even whilst the projected backcloth is difficult. What the Met Report actually does, based upon synthesising the best elements of all other reports, is to say that the towns which will prosper will pursue certain policy lines whilst the ones that fail won’t. Of course, you are correct in identifying obvious facts such as that corporate entities will not invest where there is no footfall but strategies can be developed to enhance this very thing. There will be need for new thinking and creativity. Whilst no new customers will be found by politicians doing a survey, new customers can be found by these people getting their act together big style. All of the local AMs and MPs should be demanding that the Rating system be reappraised in Wales NOW not in 3 years time whilst a creative approach to Car Parking is developed. The Destination Wrexham initiative COULD be a fantastic thing for the town if it was to be taken seriously, whilst a new Tourist Information hub might be a positive step forward. There has long been talk of rebranding the Markets. Is it possible that this might occur in my lifetime?

    There are many many things that can be done and there is no requirement for anyone to subsidise anything. Focus, hard work and vision. That is what the Met suggests and that is what we need NOW

    Incidentally, Benjamin pointed to a superb Report in an earlier post (though I’ve forgotten where it was based upon) which was excellent

    #69232

    Ferret
    Participant

    @99dylanjones 15951 wrote:

    People need to realise that Town Centre development and growth cannot be altered by any Council, Politician or prospective politician doing a survey. The independent work undertaken by Manchester Metropolitan in their townscape project (which the Council dint appear to have taken any notice of) plus all the data that is available to retailers now will determine the future shape.
    Large property investment companies and national retail chains will only invest if the numbers stack up based on factors such as footfall, housing rateable banding, age and cultural demographic and more crucial the drive time distance that is acceptable to the population of an area and what the competition is. If this does not show the appropriate rate of return on investment then don’t kid yourself they will not come to Wrexham.
    Subsidy carrots are normally only for 5 years so tat is not a sustainable option..

    Thanks for the heads up. I’m sure none of us county bumpkins new that cos we’ve never been out in the big nasty world of business. And good luck organising the collection of the 30 grand from local businesses.

    #69231

    Katia
    Participant

    @alunh 15958 wrote:

    Incidentally, Benjamin pointed to a superb Report in an earlier post (though I’ve forgotten where it was based upon) which was excellent

    http://www.vanishinghighstreet.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/GrimseyReview04.092.pdf

    #69218

    Adam
    Participant

    A unit the size of T J Hughes has a limited list of potential occupiers as it is. The continuing decline of the surrounding area is an additional deterrent. A solid anchor store such as Dunelm or Next Home could be the lifeline required but the incentives required would surely have to be pretty huge. How are the town centre team working with the landlord to secure a tenant?

    As discussed umpteen times, the council should be addressing the rents of their commercial properties, in addition to (but equally important) taking care to provide leases to businesses which will have a positive affect on the area – which in turn will help to promote future investment. It’s also time to blow the dust of the Quaterbridge report on the markets and review whether the disregard of sensible recommendations was the correct decision.

    To those who hang on to the belief that this is simply an inevitable decline that is happening everywhere:

    Chester theatre planning application unanimously backed by councillors – Chester Chronicle

    Star chef Michael Caines to oversee Oswestry restaurant launch « Shropshire Star

    Chester: Dining quarter to open next year – Chester Chronicle

    LOOK: Hamper Llangollen hailed as one of the best ever – Daily Post

    Antonio Carluccio opens new Shrewsbury restaurant « Shropshire Star

    And an IOU pint to the first to correctly guess whether the following statement is from a Cheshire or Wrexham Councillor..

    “It’s about making the the borough a great place to live, work and attracting visitors to make a strong, family-oriented evening economy.”

    #69236

    99DylanJones
    Participant

    I wont claim the IOU pint but a coffee sometime–
    I follow the actions of neighbouring Councils as they are effectively Wrexham’s competitors and the statement you refer to was made by the Leader of Chester Council. It promoted me to look at the context and remembered it was to do with the new theatre and culture centre.
    On 18th September, councillors unanimously approved plans for the £37.05m cultural centre, featuring a new theatre, library, 100-seat cinema, cafe and offices, based around the city’s former Art Deco Odeon cinema, in Northgate Street.

    Councillors and members of the strategic planning committee queued up to praise the scheme that has attracted unprecedented support from the community.

    Expected to open in autumn 2016, the project will generate over £16m annually in gross expenditure and create a total of 1,500 jobs throughout the contract period.”

    I appreciate Chester is clearly a more affluent area but could someone please explain how Chester have the level of funding to invest in such a project and Wrexham has the crumbs for the Peoples Market proposal.

    #69223
    Alunh
    Alunh
    Participant

    Adam makes an excellent series of points above.

    #69224
    Alunh
    Alunh
    Participant

    @99dylanjones 16039 wrote:

    I wont claim the IOU pint but a coffee sometime–
    I follow the actions of neighbouring Councils as they are effectively Wrexham’s competitors and the statement you refer to was made by the Leader of Chester Council. It promoted me to look at the context and remembered it was to do with the new theatre and culture centre.
    On 18th September, councillors unanimously approved plans for the £37.05m cultural centre, featuring a new theatre, library, 100-seat cinema, cafe and offices, based around the city’s former Art Deco Odeon cinema, in Northgate Street.

    Councillors and members of the strategic planning committee queued up to praise the scheme that has attracted unprecedented support from the community.

    Expected to open in autumn 2016, the project will generate over £16m annually in gross expenditure and create a total of 1,500 jobs throughout the contract period.”

    I appreciate Chester is clearly a more affluent area but could someone please explain how Chester have the level of funding to invest in such a project and Wrexham has the crumbs for the Peoples Market proposal.

    I think we have to be careful about what we wish for here. Wrexham is not Chester and Chester is not Wrexham. The outcome that might be relevant for one may be irrelevant for the other.

    Funding sources are predictable. They will either come from the private sector or the public or a mixture of both. Within the private sector, funds will be either profit driven or Wrexham might find some benevolent patron who wants to attach his/her name to a cultural tourist hub. This idea might be extremely unlikely but there have been legacy projects like that associated with the Wingett family which indicate the possibility. I wonder if the Council has ever thought about putting out the tin for legacy projects?

    On the public sector front, as the Peoples Market proposals indicate, there are funds slushing about. They can be sourced from mainstream Council budgets, from the Welsh Assembly, from the Lottery, from the EU, from the Welsh Arts Council, and so on. Even the language policy applicable in Wales can help lever funds at times.

    Over the years, I don’t think that funding sources have been the problem. The problem always strikes me that the projects proposed don’t stack up. This latest fusion of Market and Arts Centre seems yet another exercise in muddled thinking designed to grab a capital input. I am always reminded of the stupid Theatre concept with its ridiculous 400 seat suggestion. Crazy.

    What I want to see is commitment from the Council to transform the town. Realism in the aspirations developed. Clarity of thinking in the planning stage with Nuts and Bolts at the core of all thought. Most of all I want to see the community genuinely engaged on the optimal way ahead and never again a repeat of the type is dismissiveness that saw the old market pulled down against the wishes of a large part of the community.

    Incidentally, I suspect that the will is there and there are excellent people working in the Council who can pull this together

    #69219

    Adam
    Participant

    @99dylanjones 16039 wrote:

    I wont claim the IOU pint but a coffee sometime–

    The clue was in the first link.. :) They’re all worth a read if you haven’t already..

    @99dylanjones 16039 wrote:

    I appreciate Chester is clearly a more affluent area..

    Key point really. We all know this but we never really seem to discuss why. Is Chester more attractive to mid and high end retail because it has a more affluent population or is it more attractive to higher earners because of what’s on offer??

    #69237

    99DylanJones
    Participant

    People seem to forget that we are a far more mobile society and our travel to work, shop and leisure have now expanded over the past 20/30 years and the introduction of competing factors such as technology and economic.. we all have our views on the reasons but still struggle with solutions.
    Without a total partnership of ALL stakeholders and thinking totally out side the box then unfortunately we are doomed to a town of emptiness and decay.
    Can we not somehow find a dynamic leader to grasp these issues and convert rhetoric into reality-

    #69227

    MP1953
    Participant

    Without a total partnership of ALL stakeholders and thinking totally out side the box then unfortunately we are doomed to a town of emptiness and decay.
    Can we not somehow find a dynamic leader to grasp these issues and convert rhetoric into reality-

    I would imagine there are a whole host of prospective dynamic leaders lurking within the Wrexham Council offices just waiting for the call ;) or they could do as they usually do and take on a consultant..:eek:

    Just another point, thousands upon thousands of Wrexham people regularly shop in Chester, not because they are affluent but because it is better laid out (as Wrexham once was) and is just an all round better experience..

    A lot of people on here defend Wrexham Council for the demise of the town saying that it is not their fault, but the majority of born and bred Wrexham ites will have a different view… :(

    The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

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