What to do with our high street?
READ MORE: Battle to save resort high street
Debate was fierce after we revealed Blackpool town centre is faring among the worst in the North West – with twice as many businesses closing as opening in the past 12 months.
Figures compiled by the Local Data Company for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) make worrying reading for the resort.
The research shows 205 businesses operating in the town centre in January this year, down from 216 in January 2017.
While 11 new ventures have opened, 22 have closed down.
The net change of minus 11 puts Blackpool second behind Manchester in the table of worst performing town centres in the North West, with Chester and Liverpool the third and fourth worst performing shopping areas.
Internet buying is blamed for the shift in many people’s shopping habits with clicking online more convenient than hopping in the car to visit bricks and mortar stores.
Town hall chiefs say Blackpool is experiencing the same pressures are other retail centres.
But how would you solve it?
Here’s your views
Probably because we’ve become a nation of braindead zombies, trudging off to the nearest identikit retail park with its Costa, KFC, Next...bland shops.
Free rent for 12 months if they sign for 24 months, reduced rates for two years – that would fill the empty units. Everyone knows that if a business is going to fail it will be in the first two years but at least they would have had a go and some money coming in rather than empty units everywhere
Have they considered that the infrastructure might have some bearing on the decline in Blackpool’s high street? Blackpool’s been a no-go area for cars for several years now, ever since they “improved” (thought that’s debatable) the promenade. Getting into the town centre from anywhere north of Gynn Square is no longer a quick “nip to the shops”. The roads are constantly gridlocked due to the “improvements” and the never ending roadworks which drives people away from visiting. Rather than going to Blackpool every week shopping, I now go to either Preston or Manchester. Preston can be quicker to get to than Blackpool ..... plus the shopping centre is miles better.
Sky high rents + ever increasing business rates + extortionate parking fees / lack of parking itself + poor town image = closed shops. Lytham is extremely expensive but the town is (rightly) perceived as a good place to be, so growth occurs. Blackpool however, with its inherent low-life problems, is not.
Now we have online shopping, which has not only decimated the high street, but has also had the same effect on out of town centres
Wonder why? Crazy rents for a start, people get fed up of going into Blackpool listening to people shouting, swearing in the streets, begging, asking for this and that! Also did the shops no favours at Christmas time with meaningless roadworks for a tram to go couple of 100 yards up the road
We need the tram link. Trams improve business in towns and cities it’s been proven... If more people use trams more will be waiting around at tram stops and more likely to visit shops
Tram link aside, its a serious point that the town centre is not a pleasent place to go to with the ammount of poor behaviour and beggers (many of them are fake beggers bused in in a morning too) etc about the place. I know several businesses who’ve said they’d like to move to bigger premises within the town but wouldn’t be able to afford the rents and business rates the council is charging. If successful businesses can barely afford it, you’re certainly not going to attract new businesses into the area.
It’s really sad but having had to go to town yesterday I can see why. It’s full of people begging. I went to a dance show in the evening and
we were all coming out of the beautiful Winter Gardens with many small children to be confronted by beggars this time walking up to us with their hands up in our face asking for money.
Not a pleasant experience
Blackpool just doesn’t have the big names like all the cities or outlets. Southport is very similar Lord Street has many empty shops. All seaside resorts are struggling, the big names concentrate their businesses now in the big cities or quality out of town shopping centres.
High rents don’t encourage investment. Why have a small shop in town when the outskirts are cheaper and larger properties easier to get to?
Shops/chains are folding going bust nation wide, and Blackpool as a major tourist attraction had all these stores that have folded.
People can’t even get to the shops and there are no incentives to take on a lease with such high rates
All towns are like this. Out-of-town retail parks and online shopping are the root of it .
So sad to see the shops shut down.
Parking is far too expensive.
The council needs to be speaking to the Government to get some financial support to relieve rates for businesses so they’ll either stay or open