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Demise of the city centre

Yokel

LE
I have long thought that we are too reliant on retail as a source of employment and for GDP - but what do we replace it with? Service businesses like hairdressers and beauty therapies, computer and mobile phone repair? Cafes, bars, and food outlets?

A high street without shops is possible, but will take getting used to.
 
I have long thought that we are too reliant on retail as a source of employment and for GDP - but what do we replace it with? Service businesses like hairdressers and beauty therapies, computer and mobile phone repair? Cafes, bars, and food outlets?

A high street without shops is possible, but will take getting used to.

Social experiences will be one thing, someone bought their lad a shop in a town near me and they opened it up as a coffee bar come gaming centre, with the idea that mums would drop their kids off their after school and weekends and they'd have LAN parties, they seem to have done well. It keeps the kids out of trouble for starters

Just got to find a niche that local people want
 
Not as good as they make out, you still need a team of blokes to run it,
no good for short runs or corners and the pointing needs tidying


At least the machine butters the ends properly unlike skimpy bricklayers who tip and tail, or even just tip, and who use the excuse of the mortar in the bed course above will fill any gaps. Yeah, riiiiiight.
 
Down here in rural Wiltshire - I decided to get a Fish Supper last week - queued up outside the Chippy in Amesbury (letting in 2 at a time max). When I got inside, there was a sign on the counter saying “Cards not accepted - Cash only.”
I had to come back out, pay a visit to the nearby cash point and rejoin the queue! Only in Wiltshire!
Yes the chippy near me defrauds hmrc in the same way from till 50% of takings straight from the till to > Portugal. However the drug money laundering twatto shop who never have any customers will sell you a pound of weed for the exact price of a medium size twatoo and take cash or card.
 
It isn't just the high streets closing down, some of the out of town shopping malls are also feeling the pinch, particularly those that dropped their 'parking validation' schemes recently, and they found to their cost that even more people stayed away (funny old thing).
The Lowry centre in Manchester used to be good. Relatively quiet, a few decent shops where you could get a bargain, a big theatre, a decent cinema that started screening at 10am during a school week day, loads of good restaurants and validated parking.
Out of the blue, they binned the free parking, cue shops closed left right and centre, I'll bet less than a third of the shops are in use, even less now since Covid. I cannot see it ever recovering, which is such a pity as it's a clean and tidy place, well enough away from moody teenagers hanging around.

Yep, signing up to Parking Eye who go hitting your customers with a £40 ‘fine‘ for spending 5 minutes too long in the shops. Genius business model.
 
Not as good as they make out, you still need a team of blokes to run it,
no good for short runs or corners and the pointing needs tidying

I remember when the sons of Nippon first tried their hand in the making of whisky. It was rubbish. The opinion from Alba was the usual verbals, they'll never make it, it has to be Scottish water, has to be made here, etc. I'm not sure if it was 1, 2 and 3 they won at a recent ish blind tasting, so much for they'll never crack it.
What we weren't told when computers appeared on the scene, was the "free" time would be the dole.
 
What we weren't told when computers appeared on the scene, was the "free" time would be the dole.
That never happened though, prior to covid the were record numbers of people in employment.
 
I‘ll be amazed if heigh street banking doesn’t wither away completely thanks to the youth of today’s obsession with using apps for everything (and businesses loving the massive real estate and wage Bill savings they offer). I think even I’ve only been into a branch once in the last couple of years.

Usually big queues at the few remaining branches, there's still plenty of demand.
 
The issue with Town/City centres and also shopping centres and retail parks is that there is NO incentive for local councils to plan ahead. Why is that I hear you ask? Well, every retail unit has a Business Rate value and as the majority of city centre and retail parks property is owned by private investment funds, namely pension funds, when those premises are vacant it's those funds that pay the vacant unit business rates. So for local govt and the treasury, it's a win-win as they'll always get their money.
 

Teeblerone

War Hero
In a village near me, the local pub closed, a man bought it, put in for planning permission
for a pub with cafe, small shop and a post office, he needed all that to make a living.
The villages came out again him, it was all right for him to have a pub,
but the cafe and shop etc would lower the tone of the village,
He didn't get his planning permission, so, now the village has sweet FA,
Below is an image of it before it was fenced off and boarded up

View attachment 539539
That's a crying shame. Looks like plenty of space for parking a part of the building 'each' for pub, cafe & PO. Who wouldn't like to walk/ride to a caff, read the paper & nip next door for a pub lunch?
 

Teeblerone

War Hero
That's a crying shame. Looks like plenty of space for parking a part of the building 'each' for pub, cafe & PO. Who wouldn't like to walk/ride to a caff, read the paper & nip next door for a pub lunch?
In fact, couple of spaces for a tent or campervan & you'd never have to leave. Decent tourist trap!
 

Teeblerone

War Hero
In a village near me, the local pub closed, a man bought it, put in for planning permission
for a pub with cafe, small shop and a post office, he needed all that to make a living.
The villages came out again him, it was all right for him to have a pub,
but the cafe and shop etc would lower the tone of the village,
He didn't get his planning permission, so, now the village has sweet FA,
Below is an image of it before it was fenced off and b
@LouisetheSleaz and I both live near the pub that I was describing that now has an ACV order on it.

When I told him which pub it was that it was proposed to cram six houses onto the site of, he couldn't believe it (the site is small and steep - oh, and 'Louise' is a bloke). The locals got the proposal blocked on the basis of several things. One was the previous loss of several other local pubs. Another was local housing density and traffic/site access.

I imagine the villagers will be the first to wail about the pub becoming housing. Knobs.

Besides, don't they realise that far from lowering the tone adding new facilities will push up their house prices, so making the area more desirable?
Absolutely spot on!
A 'committed' pub is a thing of beauty, heritage & great cheer, builds community spirit; PO/shop/caff saves getting in the motor for a pint of milk, let alone people without transport or old legs...AND it stops developers buying up land with road access & free hardcore
 
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