Challenge of town centre regeneration
September 3, 2021 at 11:13 am #208537
So it appears from the report that Wrexham has more retail space than both Cardiff and Swansea (as well as every other area in Wales).
It also has the least town centre residential space in the whole of Wales. Not sure whether this is because no one wants to live there, or council policy.
We need a massive cull of retail capacity. In Wrexham we have the FAW training ground, soon to have the football museum of wales, the tennis centre, and the towns football club being put on the global stage. Why not frame Wrexham as a hub for sport. Never going to be able to compete with Chester or Shrewsbury as a retail destination. But we could become a sporting destination. North Wales is short of an Olympic size swimming pool – get the funding sorted and get it built in Wrexham.
Unfortunately Wrexham is run by people with the kind of brain power that makes them decide to not provide bins because the pesky residents might have the temerity to put litter in them. So we are much more likely to get even more retail space installed.September 22, 2021 at 2:57 pm #209191
I noticed that you posted this some time ago. I quite agree that Wrexham outgrew the retail space that was probably optimal for a town of its size but I’m afraid that the idea of a cull is so difficult that no politician will go near it.
My own attitude is one that is conflicted because I sense that the current capacity could still work with a lot of creative thinking, a big drop in Rates and a total rebranding of the town…..set against the feeling that this will never happen. I note that many towns are now hitting nearly full capacity where shops are concerned but these all tend to be places where the Independent sector never did die or where the strength of alternative attractions to retail has genuine pulling power.
The problem at the moment is that no one actually knows if Wrexham can revive because no one has actually produced a plan to revive it. A plan isn’t about slogans. A plan is about Rate reduction, Market reconfiguration, Car Parking & Access reappraisal…..and the likeSeptember 24, 2021 at 8:02 pm #209295
Alun you have been around retailing in Wrexham for many years and recognise that there has been limited partnership working between business and the Council – additionally though there has also been lots of bad blood spilt over the years between retailers. On going battles between ‘town’ and Eagles Meadow retailers have been around with blame games going on and now EM is in the same position as the town with huge vacancy rates.
Until all parties – retailers . Council, Welsh Government and the public start to work together , a mantra that has been chanted for many years.
People talk about people shopping in town but her is a definition: – How many people actually go to town to do ‘shopping’ or do most just do to specific shops they have already decided as they have a specific purchase needed. Local people generally are not browsers apart from the odd special occasion such as birthdays etc.
“Shopping is an activity in which a customer browses the available goods or services presented by one or more retailers with the potential intent to purchase a suitable selection of them”September 25, 2021 at 11:57 pm #209304
So many variables such as online shopping and similar narratives, but who has disposable income these days with so many uncertainties no one wants to impulse buy new shoes and trousers or a cd.
My lad just had Nike airs £150 are they serious, school dinner at £2.50 a day basic, school bus at £15 week, motoring prices and let’s not get started at council tax and water rates. Crippling.
I’ll stick to home bargains and b&m!!September 26, 2021 at 9:53 pm #209317
You ask who has disposable income these days and then, in the next breath, say that your lad has just had a £150 pair of trainers!? They are hardly an essential!September 27, 2021 at 7:56 am #209323
Where else could you get a dinner for £2.50 ?September 27, 2021 at 12:45 pm #209329
Our local MP Sarah Atherton has produce a newspaper type publicity pamphlet that has been delivered across town, with the headline ‘Loving Our High Street”. However it was printed in Cardiff, had she had it printed locally that would have created both local work and income to be spent locally. Words need to be backed up with actions.September 28, 2021 at 9:21 pm #209408
Just to be clear. Whilst many people are finding that they have income difficulties, disposable income for a large % of the population is not an issue. Indeed, the 12 months before the Covid onset, which ultimately coincided with my closure on Bank Street, CDs and LPs were booming sales wise. 2019-20 was my best financial year and every area of my stock holding was rising.
The revival of the High Street needs some creative thinking, Rates and Access adjustment, unit reconfiguration and the like. All the negatives that are rightly mentioned are merely problems that can be overcome. People like their towns but the High Street mix has to suit the times
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