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It can't. May hobble along but if they come up with something novel, supermarkets will steal it. If there was money in selling toadstools, Tesco and the others would soon take up the idea.

 

Happy days

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I remember when the first supermarket was built in Warrington, then another, there were warning noises being made by the people that allowing more supermarkets to be built would kill local shops but the council didnt listen. Many local shops were unable to compete and so closed down.

And still more supermarkets and even hypermarkest were being permitted and the voices cried out they will kill the shop trade in the town centre. But still the council didn't listen.

And it came to pass that the voices that cried out were right and the town is fast becoming a wilderness of empty shops, fun pubs and clubs frequented by mainly the young, making the town a no go area after around 8/9pm.

Far safer and easier to shop online and have your purchases delivered to your door.

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In an age of internet and out of Town shopping, how can the High Street be saved? :unsure:

I doubt it can obs, Warrington is not unique, we had occasion to shop in Altrincham a while back, every other shop in the town centre is closed and boarded up. In Warrington I see there are now three 'Cheap' shops on the Riverside complex, how long will these shops remain 'cheap' as when they have the bulk of the public shopping there and have a captive market relying on them they too will gradually raise there prices, yet another nail in the coffin for the few remaining corner shops in the suburbs.

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Listening to Five Live yesterday and the results of survey after survey regarding Town Centre shopping as opposed to out of town centres; the over-riding gripe from the public was the cost of parking that was driving shoppers from town centres.... Needs to be addressed.

 

Rotherham has just reduced its empty town centre shops from 25% to less than 15% by not only reducing rates but by reducing parking costs and offering free parking every Saturday and all over Christmas and New Year.

 

Maybe you can take some ideas to the next Council Jolly Geoff!!

 

Also, I guess when the likes of Tesco constantly were refused planning permission to build in town; suddenly get the chance because they offer to build a stadium too.... sort of makes a mockery of the whole process really

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Promote town centre living, put in facilities that people would actually use where they don't have to get a bus or jump in a car to get what they need, move the restaurants out of Stockton Heath (local residents do nothing but complain about them anyway) and clean up Bridge Street, movie theatre in town would also be nice with out having to go all the way up to Westbrook, Runcorn or Widnes! The expansion of the Golden Square killed Bridge St and Sankey St.

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There is a lot of talk about the loss of small independent retailers - some you are sad to see them go but the problem with a lot of them is

 

1) poor quality and choice

 

2) high prices

 

3) c*** attitude to customers

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Warrington is now split and needs to contract. Theres GS and then the rest. Move the market closer (take over the old TJs?) and perhaps more people will visit. Give that end of town over to accomodation or even centralise the nitelife down and off bridge street.

 

Parking isnt such an issue in Warrington although GS is expensive and not easy to get in and out of when busy. However people visit the out of town parks / trafford centre because they have evrythign under one roof and can park easy. make the town more like that and the balance will return.

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Warrington is now split and needs to contract. Theres GS and then the rest. Move the market closer (take over the old TJs?) and perhaps more people will visit. Give that end of town over to accomodation or even centralise the nitelife down and off bridge street.

 

Parking isnt such an issue in Warrington although GS is expensive and not easy to get in and out of when busy. However people visit the out of town parks / trafford centre because they have evrythign under one roof and can park easy. make the town more like that and the balance will return.

 

 

Bit of a contradiction there re. parking. Everything about shopping in town is a pain. The roads, the traffic, parking, shops. A good car park means leaving it with ease, NOT queueing for an hour.

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I meant there are plenty of places to park other than GS price wise but I agree its a joke getting out even with the "improvements". if it was say £3 all day I might be tempted to stay all day. However ususally just nip in and out now.

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There is always the bus Adrian.

 

I generally go to the short stay car park at cockedge if I am not going to be too long. Otherwise I go to the market car park as it tends not to be too busy and there is little in GS that I need. Moving the market nearer to the GS would probably put the final nail in that side town centre and would result in the centre actually moving further along winwick road.

 

A cinema or theatre in that area would be a good idea but the problem would be the reputation of the night time activities which would tend to put people off wanting to be there after dark.

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Some good ideas above, car park charges have been reduced, foot fall has increased, over the last few years new properties have been built near the town centre etc .

 

Shooping tastes and trends have changed drastically over the last decade or so for the reasons you talk about above e.g. out of town, Trafford Centre etc - the big one of course is Internet Shopping simply for the ease, selection and deals.

 

Does Ginger Mary Tsar have any answers to our problem?

 

Certainly making the centres more vibrant and welcoming has to be the way forward as is the vigour and creative approach that Steve Pickering (Market Marketing Manager) brings to the Town centre. :)

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If more folk actually lived in TCs, you'd have the critical mass for a viable customer base; plus a levey on out of Town Centres, could subsidise TC rates and parking charges - or is that toooo simples?! :unsure:

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Walking through the town yesterday and noting all the shops which were closed, Observers idea of more people living in the town centre seems feasible, although a bit drastic.

 

Make the town centre a bit more compact and convert some of the buildings at the extremities of the main streets.

 

Happy days

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Certainly making the centres more vibrant and welcoming has to be the way forward as is the vigour and creative approach that Steve Pickering (Market Marketing Manager) brings to the Town centre. :)

 

 

The greed of the council has made life that hard for the stall holders that a lot have packed it in, as they couldn't afford the spiralling increase in rents.

Never noticed the diminishing number of stalls Geoff?

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Nothing drastic about it H; there's space either side of Winwick St for starters, for some high rise flats = high density dwelling = lots of folk. :)

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And most of lower bridge street- particularly the old Packet House. Sankey street far end is another.

 

Why can't the country be run from this forum?

 

Happy days

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Harry's statement "It can't", is absolutely true. In North America, the originator of the Mall concept, downtown shopping areas of small cities and towns disappeared thirty years ago. All of them are now ghost areas. The small businesses cannot compete on price and convenience and just like the Dodo, they have become extinct.

Businesses in major cities survive simply to serve the thousands of office workers, outside of business hours, they too die.

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The greed of the council has made life that hard for the stall holders that a lot have packed it in, as they couldn't afford the spiralling increase in rents.

Never noticed the diminishing number of stalls Geoff?

 

I've certainly noticed the many changes that have taken place Pete and some inventive ways that spaces have been reused. Can you teel me by how much the rates have increased?

 

The BBC breakfast went to one market yesterday where the council were helping traders set up by offering them reduced rates for a few months - this did appear to be attracting people there.

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My mate is a gas fitter and he bought his daughter the card stall in the market a few years ago in order to give her a job/income etc. They later sold it at a loss because of the increasing costs associated with running the stall, plus as he said, with so many empty stalls, the footfall is dropping all the time so the stalls still in there are getting less and less trade.

 

There is no easy answer Geoff, but it always seems to me that the likes of the Councils and every other public body never seem to be prepared to take a cut in their income voluntarily; but always expect the people that have to pay them to carry on at the same rates as they were when times were "good"

 

The council won't reduce council tax, market stall rates, business rates, car parking etc. even though us the people that pay them are really strugging at the moment. No point is screwing the public when they haven't got it and push business to the wall otherwise there won't be anyone left to pay!!

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I feel very sorry for the market traders despite the best efforts by them and Mr Pickering to get some vibrance back into the place.

 

It's completely lost it's buzz, it is half empty and is nothing like the great market it used to be.

 

Why is that... well my guess is that the mass exodus of shops from Bridge Street into the golden square killed it and left it out on a limb on it's own and also the lack of incevestment and upkeep of it. It's tired and a mess but that could be easily overlooked if it was buzzing.

 

I would imaging that most people from outside the area shopping in the GS don't even realise there is a market as once they walk out of the GS to Bridge Street and the surrounding area (such as where Wollies and TJ Hughes were) all they see nothing but empty shops, pound shops, charity shops and cash converters ao they just don't bother going any further.

 

I know there is an advert on the TV from time to time about Warrington Market but without wanting to sound rude can you imagine how annoyed you would be if you travelled to this so called 'best market' and found it scruffy and half empty with no real markey buzz and atmoshphere whatsoever ?

 

The few stall holders who are managing to stick it out could fit into the old fishmarket area in the Golden Square. Why dont't the developers and council just spend some money on covering that area and move them there to give them half a chance !!

 

As for costs.....if you look on the COUNCILS WEBSITE (dated 06/04/2011)

it states that :-

 

"Warrington market is well established in the town and home to a wide variety of independent businesses and small traders.

Being a market trader means that your general overheads can be fairly low i.e. no rates and utility bills to pay as that is all covered in the fee.

 

BUT IN MARCH THERE WAS UPROAR and this report of the FINDAMARKET Website (http://findamarket.net/news1/2011/03/warrington-market-traders-face-79pc-rate-rise/) dated 29/03/2011 one week earlier says and I quote

 

"MARKET traders at Warrington face the possibility of a 79 per cent increase in the business rates they pay..

The potential rise in rates payable arises from a changed interpretation of how National Non Domestic Rates are calculated.

Reason for this is that the Valuation Office has introduced individual assessments of stalls, rather than one overall assessment for the market."

 

Appeals were being lodged and I wonder what happened ?

 

All in all there is no incentive for anyone to open a Warrington market stall really is there ? WHY NOT cos there should be anmd it could easily be as good as it used to be if they got some help !!!!?

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This is a very difficult subject. As the choice and number of shops decrease so does the number of shoppers using the town. I have heard it said that Warrington is an expensive place to have a shop in relation to the number of people using town centre traders or the market. Golden Square was butchered (sorry extended) - count how many units are still empty ask the question Why?

 

Shoppers costs increase with parking charges and I know there has been a reduction in price of the market multistory but there is no free parking.

 

We travel a lot and see town centres and their markets much busier than Warrington but there is adequate free parking.

 

It is a shame when those of us who remember our four main shopping streets fully occupied and a large general market with adjacent fish and meat markets and town centre was always busy. If is often said that the out of town centres killed the town but how many 1000s of extra houses have been built since we had a busy town centre.

 

Comes back to basic property/rent costs along with easy access.

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Problems for Warrington Town Centre;

 

Poor road network: The roads in Warrington can put people off from venturing into the centre. Warrington needs more roads and bridges to provide alternative and/or quicker routes.

 

Poor town centre living options: Mainly the town centre is old terraced houses or apartments, leading to most of the town living away from the centre. More family housing is required near the centre, which would help drive more money into the centre and improve the atmosphere. It might also help reduce traffic.

 

Lack of town centre office space: A lot of companies are in Westbrook, Sankey, Birchwood etc. instead of the town centre. Because of that those office workers aren't spending their money at lunchtime or at other times in the centre.

 

Low number of restaurants and entertainment: A few restaurants have been added to the centre in the last few years but more are needed, maybe down Bridge Street. For entertainment like Cinema and Bowling you've also got to go outside the centre. This leaves the night-life, which many people avoid and go elsewhere.

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Don't disagree with that; but you'll find the damage was done by political myopia and short term expediency, and the fickle nature and impatience of public opinion. Unfortunately, there was no vision employed and little or no money to fund it, if they'd had one. The New Town was grafted onto Warrington, without any integrated planning (WBC wasn't even in the tent); the result was a linear road system linking the NT developments rather than a circulatory system for the Town as a whole; with new suburban communities relying on the new craze of "out of Town" retail developments, with a reliance on the car. :(

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