Blackpool traders plea to make it a beautiful south

Traders from the Bond Street area area campaigning to get empty shops back in use
Traders from the Bond Street area area campaigning to get empty shops back in use
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South Shore shop owners are calling for help in tracking down landlords so more niche shops can open.

The business owners in the Bond Street area have called on the council to help make it into a thriving alternative shopping attraction.

But they say too many shop premises are left empty and derelict and they want to track down absentee land owners to get the shops filled.

Susanne Johnson, of Johnsons wool shop and haberdashery in Bond Street, said: “Why is there no effort being made to fill these shops?

“I asked the council’s business development department about the shops. They only know about eight of them, there are more than twice that number.

“Is there any way of finding out which empty shops are paying business rates because they should be paying it after three months of being empty? Or is Blackpool missing out on yet more revenue?

She said they had people waiting to open shops in the area and that the South Shore shops feel like they are failing to get the support from the council that other areas of Blackpool have had. She said: “If the all little shops like those in South Beach close, how many extra people will be out of work?”

Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for urban regeneration, said: “We know that businesses in the Bond Street area feel they are having a hard time as we speak to them on a regular basis.

“As a result we’ve provided a great deal of support to businesses on the street from the Blackpool Investment Fund.

“Most recently we were instrumental in assisting businesses which were previously housed in the indoor market on Waterloo Road which closed to relocate to Bond Street. We’ve also offered positive parking incentives in South Shore and are investing a great deal of money in helping to create new quality housing not far away at Foxhall Village, which will help to regenerate the area.

“We understand that businesses can feel frustrated by absentee landlords whose properties can prove problematic – this, as we say all the time, is a huge source of frustration to everyone in the town – and we have offered to help Ms Johnson try to locate owners to start discussions.”