End the Clitheroe 'zombie' high street prediction

THE deputy leader of Ribble Valley Borough Council has called for talk of Clitheroe becoming a ‘zombie high street’ to stop.

Coun Simon Hore, was speaking after The Clitheroe Town Action Group warned that the town was at risk after seeing 12 businesses close since May.

Coun Hore said: “There is naturally going to be turnover of shops and I don’t think it’s fair to say that Clitheroe could become a ‘zombie high street’.

“I think Clitheroe Town Council should take the lead on this issue and work with the community and business leaders to help the town improve.

“Every town has problems but I don’t think that Clitheroe is as bad as some are saying.”

Since May, Athertons, Blockbuster, Clitheroe Music, Coco Couture, the Craven Heifer and Greggs have all closed.

They have been joined by Ladies Boutique, MC Kitchens, The Queen Victoria, Sparkles, Therapy for Hair, the White Horse and Pendle Pets.

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3:58pm Thu 12 Dec 13

willie eckerslike says...

now when I had my market stall in clitheroe, I found the punters very hard work, they would take 20 minutes to choose 4 toilet rolls for £1, they would look at them, feel them, examine them,pick them up, put them down, if fact I said to one woman, blimey love, I wouldn't like to go with you if you were buying a car, week in , week out they would all be there looking for the fattest toilet rolls, now at longridge market no hassle at all they just bought, I mean how can you spend 20 minutes examining toilet rolls, I just packed up my stall in clitheroe for good, I was not having this hassle for £1, not all punters were like that but a lot were .
now when I had my market stall in clitheroe, I found the punters very hard work, they would take 20 minutes to choose 4 toilet rolls for £1, they would look at them, feel them, examine them,pick them up, put them down, if fact I said to one woman, blimey love, I wouldn't like to go with you if you were buying a car, week in , week out they would all be there looking for the fattest toilet rolls, now at longridge market no hassle at all they just bought, I mean how can you spend 20 minutes examining toilet rolls, I just packed up my stall in clitheroe for good, I was not having this hassle for £1, not all punters were like that but a lot were . willie eckerslike

5:41pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Michael@ClitheroeSince58 says...

willie eckerslike wrote:
now when I had my market stall in clitheroe, I found the punters very hard work, they would take 20 minutes to choose 4 toilet rolls for £1, they would look at them, feel them, examine them,pick them up, put them down, if fact I said to one woman, blimey love, I wouldn't like to go with you if you were buying a car, week in , week out they would all be there looking for the fattest toilet rolls, now at longridge market no hassle at all they just bought, I mean how can you spend 20 minutes examining toilet rolls, I just packed up my stall in clitheroe for good, I was not having this hassle for £1, not all punters were like that but a lot were .
Haha best story I have read for ages almost fell of me chair laughing :)
[quote][p][bold]willie eckerslike[/bold] wrote: now when I had my market stall in clitheroe, I found the punters very hard work, they would take 20 minutes to choose 4 toilet rolls for £1, they would look at them, feel them, examine them,pick them up, put them down, if fact I said to one woman, blimey love, I wouldn't like to go with you if you were buying a car, week in , week out they would all be there looking for the fattest toilet rolls, now at longridge market no hassle at all they just bought, I mean how can you spend 20 minutes examining toilet rolls, I just packed up my stall in clitheroe for good, I was not having this hassle for £1, not all punters were like that but a lot were .[/p][/quote]Haha best story I have read for ages almost fell of me chair laughing :) Michael@ClitheroeSince58

8:42pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Michael@ClitheroeSince58 says...

COPIED from The Clitheroe Advertiser web page

Our front page story last week painted a bleak – and largely inaccurate – picture of Clitheroe town centre, according to Coun. Simon Hore, deputy leader of Ribble Valley Borough Council and a former Mayor of the borough.

We reported on the formation of an independent body, Clitheroe Town Action Group (C-TAG), which aims to revitalise the town centre. One C-TAG member, prominent local entrepreneur Kevin Horkin – who is also Clitheroe’s Mayor – said the town is in danger of becoming a “zombie high street” following the closure of 12 businesses in the past six months.

Among other measures, C-TATG is calling on the borough council to freeze, then reduce, local business rates to attract new retailers.

This week Coun. Hore, who is chairman of the borough council’s Economic Development Working Group, said C-TAG’s negative comments could harm the town.

“Clitheroe is a wonderful market town within the Ribble Valley and what a pity it is that we are not celebrating that all the time, “ said Coun. Hore. “I am sure that most local people are justly proud of what the town and borough achieves, and that is why we receive so many visitors to Clitheroe and the Ribble Valley.

“I just feel saddened that there are those who feel it necessary to knock what we have now and what is being achieved. Talk of ‘Zombie High Streets’ is very disappointing, and frustrating, and cannot be good for existing businesses in the town. It does not, I believe, give a true reflection of what we have – award winning shops, fantastic restaurants and cafés, a vibrant night-time economy; all in a historic town in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“Wow! – what more could you want. When we compare ourselves to other towns and cities in East or Central Lancashire we are doing well and should shout out that message.”

Coun Hore conceded: “I agree there are always areas for improvement. Yes we have vacant shops, but that will always happen. The past three or four years have been tough, particularly in the retail sector, but it is consumers – us – that are expecting lower prices and are happy to shop around until they find them.

“Yes rents could be lower, and if landlords insist on higher rents then let us ensure that they are paying business rates on empty properties to encourage them to rent them out – not reduce business rates if they are empty.

“Yes we would all like lower business rates, but suggesting that RVBC has some influence is not realistic. Why just Clitheroe? All businesses will want a fair share of any reductions across the borough. The crucial point, that is not stated, is that RVBC collects the rates, but it does not set rateable values, nor does it keep the money collected – it goes straight to central government.

“Aside from these issues we have a increasingly popular market town and businesses that want more customers, not less,” insisted Coun. Hore.

“As Chairman of the Economic Development Working Group for RVBC I have noted the formation of the Clitheroe Town Action Group (C-TAG). However it does not enjoy the support of the Town Council or Chamber of Trade.

“It is furthermore a self-styled, self-appointed group with no elected or appointed authority, no clear terms of reference and ‘chaired’ by a borough councillor (Ged Mirfin) who doesn’t represent Clitheroe.

“RVBC Economic Development Working Group have discussed Town Centres – not only Clitheroe – and agreed that the town and parish councils be encouraged to take the lead in creating town/village plans

“Various groups have been formed in the past few years across the borough to develop village or town plans. Longridge has a town team, Whalley, through its parish council, is setting up an action group.

“Villages have done the same. Chipping and Leagram parish councils developed a village plan in 2011 where they consulted with over 20 locals organisations from churches to businesses to youth groups; it was very successful and several of the objectives have already been achieved with grants and considerable local fundraising providing major leisure facilities for the village.

Looking ahead, Coun. Hore stressed the borough council was laready hard at work on several schemes to regenerate Clitheroe and the wider area: “RVBC has recently announced a project with Barnfield Construction to consider options to develop the market site in the town centre.

“RVBC has also previously announced its wish to look at land for employment purposes and this is actively being researched. The Economic Development Working Group are also keen to look at policies that encourage and do not hinder rural businesses, whether that be tourism or farming which are significant sectors of employment in the borough.

“There is also the Enterprise Zone that will bring added employment to the area and a consultation paper from Lancashire County Council on Transport and Highways Strategy for Ribble Valley that will improve access into the borough over the longer term.

“If we want visitors to be put off when they read the local press, then it seems to me that this publicity will achieve just that by talking about ‘Zombie High Streets’. I recall a successful national jeweller who in the early 1990s told everyone that he was selling rubbish and he almost lost his business within months.

“So please C-TAG, as ‘marketeers’ let’s celebrate and not demolish what you have and work together with the Town Council and organisations in the town to develop a plan that can have community ownership.”

Coun. Hore is basically telling Coun. Kevin Horkin to shut the hell up.
COPIED from The Clitheroe Advertiser web page Our front page story last week painted a bleak – and largely inaccurate – picture of Clitheroe town centre, according to Coun. Simon Hore, deputy leader of Ribble Valley Borough Council and a former Mayor of the borough. We reported on the formation of an independent body, Clitheroe Town Action Group (C-TAG), which aims to revitalise the town centre. One C-TAG member, prominent local entrepreneur Kevin Horkin – who is also Clitheroe’s Mayor – said the town is in danger of becoming a “zombie high street” following the closure of 12 businesses in the past six months. Among other measures, C-TATG is calling on the borough council to freeze, then reduce, local business rates to attract new retailers. This week Coun. Hore, who is chairman of the borough council’s Economic Development Working Group, said C-TAG’s negative comments could harm the town. “Clitheroe is a wonderful market town within the Ribble Valley and what a pity it is that we are not celebrating that all the time, “ said Coun. Hore. “I am sure that most local people are justly proud of what the town and borough achieves, and that is why we receive so many visitors to Clitheroe and the Ribble Valley. “I just feel saddened that there are those who feel it necessary to knock what we have now and what is being achieved. Talk of ‘Zombie High Streets’ is very disappointing, and frustrating, and cannot be good for existing businesses in the town. It does not, I believe, give a true reflection of what we have – award winning shops, fantastic restaurants and cafés, a vibrant night-time economy; all in a historic town in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. “Wow! – what more could you want. When we compare ourselves to other towns and cities in East or Central Lancashire we are doing well and should shout out that message.” Coun Hore conceded: “I agree there are always areas for improvement. Yes we have vacant shops, but that will always happen. The past three or four years have been tough, particularly in the retail sector, but it is consumers – us – that are expecting lower prices and are happy to shop around until they find them. “Yes rents could be lower, and if landlords insist on higher rents then let us ensure that they are paying business rates on empty properties to encourage them to rent them out – not reduce business rates if they are empty. “Yes we would all like lower business rates, but suggesting that RVBC has some influence is not realistic. Why just Clitheroe? All businesses will want a fair share of any reductions across the borough. The crucial point, that is not stated, is that RVBC collects the rates, but it does not set rateable values, nor does it keep the money collected – it goes straight to central government. “Aside from these issues we have a increasingly popular market town and businesses that want more customers, not less,” insisted Coun. Hore. “As Chairman of the Economic Development Working Group for RVBC I have noted the formation of the Clitheroe Town Action Group (C-TAG). However it does not enjoy the support of the Town Council or Chamber of Trade. “It is furthermore a self-styled, self-appointed group with no elected or appointed authority, no clear terms of reference and ‘chaired’ by a borough councillor (Ged Mirfin) who doesn’t represent Clitheroe. “RVBC Economic Development Working Group have discussed Town Centres – not only Clitheroe – and agreed that the town and parish councils be encouraged to take the lead in creating town/village plans “Various groups have been formed in the past few years across the borough to develop village or town plans. Longridge has a town team, Whalley, through its parish council, is setting up an action group. “Villages have done the same. Chipping and Leagram parish councils developed a village plan in 2011 where they consulted with over 20 locals organisations from churches to businesses to youth groups; it was very successful and several of the objectives have already been achieved with grants and considerable local fundraising providing major leisure facilities for the village. Looking ahead, Coun. Hore stressed the borough council was laready hard at work on several schemes to regenerate Clitheroe and the wider area: “RVBC has recently announced a project with Barnfield Construction to consider options to develop the market site in the town centre. “RVBC has also previously announced its wish to look at land for employment purposes and this is actively being researched. The Economic Development Working Group are also keen to look at policies that encourage and do not hinder rural businesses, whether that be tourism or farming which are significant sectors of employment in the borough. “There is also the Enterprise Zone that will bring added employment to the area and a consultation paper from Lancashire County Council on Transport and Highways Strategy for Ribble Valley that will improve access into the borough over the longer term. “If we want visitors to be put off when they read the local press, then it seems to me that this publicity will achieve just that by talking about ‘Zombie High Streets’. I recall a successful national jeweller who in the early 1990s told everyone that he was selling rubbish and he almost lost his business within months. “So please C-TAG, as ‘marketeers’ let’s celebrate and not demolish what you have and work together with the Town Council and organisations in the town to develop a plan that can have community ownership.” Coun. Hore is basically telling Coun. Kevin Horkin to shut the hell up. Michael@ClitheroeSince58

9:35pm Thu 12 Dec 13

willie eckerslike says...

Michael@ClitheroeSin
ce58
wrote:
COPIED from The Clitheroe Advertiser web page

Our front page story last week painted a bleak – and largely inaccurate – picture of Clitheroe town centre, according to Coun. Simon Hore, deputy leader of Ribble Valley Borough Council and a former Mayor of the borough.

We reported on the formation of an independent body, Clitheroe Town Action Group (C-TAG), which aims to revitalise the town centre. One C-TAG member, prominent local entrepreneur Kevin Horkin – who is also Clitheroe’s Mayor – said the town is in danger of becoming a “zombie high street” following the closure of 12 businesses in the past six months.

Among other measures, C-TATG is calling on the borough council to freeze, then reduce, local business rates to attract new retailers.

This week Coun. Hore, who is chairman of the borough council’s Economic Development Working Group, said C-TAG’s negative comments could harm the town.

“Clitheroe is a wonderful market town within the Ribble Valley and what a pity it is that we are not celebrating that all the time, “ said Coun. Hore. “I am sure that most local people are justly proud of what the town and borough achieves, and that is why we receive so many visitors to Clitheroe and the Ribble Valley.

“I just feel saddened that there are those who feel it necessary to knock what we have now and what is being achieved. Talk of ‘Zombie High Streets’ is very disappointing, and frustrating, and cannot be good for existing businesses in the town. It does not, I believe, give a true reflection of what we have – award winning shops, fantastic restaurants and cafés, a vibrant night-time economy; all in a historic town in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“Wow! – what more could you want. When we compare ourselves to other towns and cities in East or Central Lancashire we are doing well and should shout out that message.”

Coun Hore conceded: “I agree there are always areas for improvement. Yes we have vacant shops, but that will always happen. The past three or four years have been tough, particularly in the retail sector, but it is consumers – us – that are expecting lower prices and are happy to shop around until they find them.

“Yes rents could be lower, and if landlords insist on higher rents then let us ensure that they are paying business rates on empty properties to encourage them to rent them out – not reduce business rates if they are empty.

“Yes we would all like lower business rates, but suggesting that RVBC has some influence is not realistic. Why just Clitheroe? All businesses will want a fair share of any reductions across the borough. The crucial point, that is not stated, is that RVBC collects the rates, but it does not set rateable values, nor does it keep the money collected – it goes straight to central government.

“Aside from these issues we have a increasingly popular market town and businesses that want more customers, not less,” insisted Coun. Hore.

“As Chairman of the Economic Development Working Group for RVBC I have noted the formation of the Clitheroe Town Action Group (C-TAG). However it does not enjoy the support of the Town Council or Chamber of Trade.

“It is furthermore a self-styled, self-appointed group with no elected or appointed authority, no clear terms of reference and ‘chaired’ by a borough councillor (Ged Mirfin) who doesn’t represent Clitheroe.

“RVBC Economic Development Working Group have discussed Town Centres – not only Clitheroe – and agreed that the town and parish councils be encouraged to take the lead in creating town/village plans

“Various groups have been formed in the past few years across the borough to develop village or town plans. Longridge has a town team, Whalley, through its parish council, is setting up an action group.

“Villages have done the same. Chipping and Leagram parish councils developed a village plan in 2011 where they consulted with over 20 locals organisations from churches to businesses to youth groups; it was very successful and several of the objectives have already been achieved with grants and considerable local fundraising providing major leisure facilities for the village.

Looking ahead, Coun. Hore stressed the borough council was laready hard at work on several schemes to regenerate Clitheroe and the wider area: “RVBC has recently announced a project with Barnfield Construction to consider options to develop the market site in the town centre.

“RVBC has also previously announced its wish to look at land for employment purposes and this is actively being researched. The Economic Development Working Group are also keen to look at policies that encourage and do not hinder rural businesses, whether that be tourism or farming which are significant sectors of employment in the borough.

“There is also the Enterprise Zone that will bring added employment to the area and a consultation paper from Lancashire County Council on Transport and Highways Strategy for Ribble Valley that will improve access into the borough over the longer term.

“If we want visitors to be put off when they read the local press, then it seems to me that this publicity will achieve just that by talking about ‘Zombie High Streets’. I recall a successful national jeweller who in the early 1990s told everyone that he was selling rubbish and he almost lost his business within months.

“So please C-TAG, as ‘marketeers’ let’s celebrate and not demolish what you have and work together with the Town Council and organisations in the town to develop a plan that can have community ownership.”

Coun. Hore is basically telling Coun. Kevin Horkin to shut the hell up.
AWARD WINNING MY AR*E, let me tell you that EVERY butchers, fish and chip shop, cheese shop, fruit shop, hairdressers, estate agents, bank, ice cream parlour, pub, confectioners,hotel, newsagents, hotels, dairy,MOT station,building society, grocers,travel agents,car dealership,farm, take away, in the ribble valley ALL CLAIM TO HAVE WON AWARDS, good GOD, there must be a heck of a lot of competitions held on a daily basis .
[quote][p][bold]Michael@ClitheroeSin ce58[/bold] wrote: COPIED from The Clitheroe Advertiser web page Our front page story last week painted a bleak – and largely inaccurate – picture of Clitheroe town centre, according to Coun. Simon Hore, deputy leader of Ribble Valley Borough Council and a former Mayor of the borough. We reported on the formation of an independent body, Clitheroe Town Action Group (C-TAG), which aims to revitalise the town centre. One C-TAG member, prominent local entrepreneur Kevin Horkin – who is also Clitheroe’s Mayor – said the town is in danger of becoming a “zombie high street” following the closure of 12 businesses in the past six months. Among other measures, C-TATG is calling on the borough council to freeze, then reduce, local business rates to attract new retailers. This week Coun. Hore, who is chairman of the borough council’s Economic Development Working Group, said C-TAG’s negative comments could harm the town. “Clitheroe is a wonderful market town within the Ribble Valley and what a pity it is that we are not celebrating that all the time, “ said Coun. Hore. “I am sure that most local people are justly proud of what the town and borough achieves, and that is why we receive so many visitors to Clitheroe and the Ribble Valley. “I just feel saddened that there are those who feel it necessary to knock what we have now and what is being achieved. Talk of ‘Zombie High Streets’ is very disappointing, and frustrating, and cannot be good for existing businesses in the town. It does not, I believe, give a true reflection of what we have – award winning shops, fantastic restaurants and cafés, a vibrant night-time economy; all in a historic town in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. “Wow! – what more could you want. When we compare ourselves to other towns and cities in East or Central Lancashire we are doing well and should shout out that message.” Coun Hore conceded: “I agree there are always areas for improvement. Yes we have vacant shops, but that will always happen. The past three or four years have been tough, particularly in the retail sector, but it is consumers – us – that are expecting lower prices and are happy to shop around until they find them. “Yes rents could be lower, and if landlords insist on higher rents then let us ensure that they are paying business rates on empty properties to encourage them to rent them out – not reduce business rates if they are empty. “Yes we would all like lower business rates, but suggesting that RVBC has some influence is not realistic. Why just Clitheroe? All businesses will want a fair share of any reductions across the borough. The crucial point, that is not stated, is that RVBC collects the rates, but it does not set rateable values, nor does it keep the money collected – it goes straight to central government. “Aside from these issues we have a increasingly popular market town and businesses that want more customers, not less,” insisted Coun. Hore. “As Chairman of the Economic Development Working Group for RVBC I have noted the formation of the Clitheroe Town Action Group (C-TAG). However it does not enjoy the support of the Town Council or Chamber of Trade. “It is furthermore a self-styled, self-appointed group with no elected or appointed authority, no clear terms of reference and ‘chaired’ by a borough councillor (Ged Mirfin) who doesn’t represent Clitheroe. “RVBC Economic Development Working Group have discussed Town Centres – not only Clitheroe – and agreed that the town and parish councils be encouraged to take the lead in creating town/village plans “Various groups have been formed in the past few years across the borough to develop village or town plans. Longridge has a town team, Whalley, through its parish council, is setting up an action group. “Villages have done the same. Chipping and Leagram parish councils developed a village plan in 2011 where they consulted with over 20 locals organisations from churches to businesses to youth groups; it was very successful and several of the objectives have already been achieved with grants and considerable local fundraising providing major leisure facilities for the village. Looking ahead, Coun. Hore stressed the borough council was laready hard at work on several schemes to regenerate Clitheroe and the wider area: “RVBC has recently announced a project with Barnfield Construction to consider options to develop the market site in the town centre. “RVBC has also previously announced its wish to look at land for employment purposes and this is actively being researched. The Economic Development Working Group are also keen to look at policies that encourage and do not hinder rural businesses, whether that be tourism or farming which are significant sectors of employment in the borough. “There is also the Enterprise Zone that will bring added employment to the area and a consultation paper from Lancashire County Council on Transport and Highways Strategy for Ribble Valley that will improve access into the borough over the longer term. “If we want visitors to be put off when they read the local press, then it seems to me that this publicity will achieve just that by talking about ‘Zombie High Streets’. I recall a successful national jeweller who in the early 1990s told everyone that he was selling rubbish and he almost lost his business within months. “So please C-TAG, as ‘marketeers’ let’s celebrate and not demolish what you have and work together with the Town Council and organisations in the town to develop a plan that can have community ownership.” Coun. Hore is basically telling Coun. Kevin Horkin to shut the hell up.[/p][/quote]AWARD WINNING MY AR*E, let me tell you that EVERY butchers, fish and chip shop, cheese shop, fruit shop, hairdressers, estate agents, bank, ice cream parlour, pub, confectioners,hotel, newsagents, hotels, dairy,MOT station,building society, grocers,travel agents,car dealership,farm, take away, in the ribble valley ALL CLAIM TO HAVE WON AWARDS, good GOD, there must be a heck of a lot of competitions held on a daily basis . willie eckerslike

11:14pm Thu 12 Dec 13

willie eckerslike says...

NOW, if you really want to get clitheroe town centre busy, first of all you need to move that sunday market and car boot sale into clitheroe town centre, the place will be heaving every sunday, car parks, shops, cafes , why is there two markets in clitheroe anyway ? I bet they get more punters at the auction mart in one sunday, than the council market gets in 12 months.
NOW, if you really want to get clitheroe town centre busy, first of all you need to move that sunday market and car boot sale into clitheroe town centre, the place will be heaving every sunday, car parks, shops, cafes , why is there two markets in clitheroe anyway ? I bet they get more punters at the auction mart in one sunday, than the council market gets in 12 months. willie eckerslike

3:40pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Cllr Ged Mirfin says...

Clitheroe is “Open for Business” – it will take the establishment of a New more active Clitheroe Town Team to advertise the fact and we might have to levy a surcharge on large Town Centre SuperMarket & Major Retail Chains to help us fund this exercise!
We support the key recommendations of the Grimsey Review (due for release this Wednesday) written by Retail veteran Bill Grimsey, former Chief Executive at Wickes, Iceland and Focus DIY, into what needs to be done to reinvigorate Britain's town centres. We believe that it has particular relevance to the situation facing High Street Retailers in Clitheroe following the closure of two more Businesses in recent weeks: Coco Couture and Clitheroe Music further “hollowing out” Clitheroe Town Centre.
After sending out 100 freedom of information requests Grimsey’s review found that more than half of the local authorities questioned had no town centre plan in place, despite widespread concerns about the health of high streets. Retail vacancy rates – empty shops – are running at an average of 15 per cent. Some parts of the country, have 20 per cent of their shops vacant. Retailing is in the middle of a perfect storm. Customers are migrating in ever increasing numbers to online and mobile phone shopping. The very fabric of our towns and cities is dying. Independent stores that were once part of a vital hub are disappearing at a rate of 50 a week. Half of high street retailers in danger of closing down, Grimsey argues, or are at “serious risk of failure”. The report says that 47pc of the country’s retail companies — over 20,000 businesses — are in financial difficulty, based on detailed financial analysis of their accounts. Over the past 15 years, statistics show that a quarter of 20,500 troubled retailers will fail in the next three years. Among the smallest retailers, the independent backbone of so many high streets and town centres, the prospects are the most bleak. Sadly most of them lack the financial resources to see them through their problems. Meanwhile 16,000 supply chain companies — which feed the retailers — are also at risk.
According to Grimsey, back in 2008, there were 8,598 retail businesses with liabilities at least £5,000 higher than their assets; zombie companies in the commercial equivalent of negative equity in the housing market. Between them, they had a net deficit of £1.1bn. Fast forward to summer 2013 and this army of the retail walking dead has more than doubled to more than 20,000, with £2.3bn of net liabilities to service. Sir Stuart Rose, the former Marks & Spencer boss and the current Ocado chairman, gives a bleak prognosis of what should happen to Britain’s thousands of empty shops: “I say don’t try to resuscitate the dead. Concentrate on the living and make the living better.”
Talk of “an army of the walking dead” may be over exaggerated and strictly for P.R. consumption. Undeniably however small retail chains across Britain are “horribly stressed financially”.
Richard Hyman, president of retail consultancy, PatelMiller, says that the number of shops in Britain has been falling for decades. Britain now has 250,000 shops, compared to 750,000 in the mid-1960s. According to the Centre for Retail Research, a further 22pc of all stores – some 61,930 shops – will have gone by 2018.
Whilst not sharing Grimsey’s prognosis that like similar Towns across the North West which are in a “deep decline”, over the last couple of months we have both recognised that the High Street Retail Sector in Clitheroe is certainly under pressure. There have certainly never been as many empty units in Clitheroe Town Centre previously. Anecdotal evidence from Local Traders confirms that many are not doing as well as they would like to put it markedly. Nor do we accept Grimsey's proposition, that the high street as we know it is necessarily finished. This is far too pessimistic a prognosis. As the recent Clitheroe Food Festival amply demonstrated with a will and a way there can be life in the Old High Street yet. That is why we believe the series of 31 structured recommendations, proposed by Grimsey, in order to address the problem of Town Centre decline are worth looking at in close detail, especially the following:
First, Leadership Grimsey recommends establishing a commission for each town centre to build a 20-year vision supported by a broad business plan in five-year chunks, with updates at an annual public meeting. We strongly advocate the setting up of a New “empowered and emboldened” Town Centre Team for Clitheroe made up of dynamic local Entrepreneurs and local representatives with experiencing in bidding for Growth Funding. We believe that the Town Team will be tasked with making ambitious bids for Regional Growth Funding especially to regenerate the enormous untapped potential of Clitheroe’s currently moribund Market. We saw how busy and profitable the market could be as a community space during the Clitheroe Food Festival – it takes effort but that is the impact that the active leadership and direction that a “switched on Town Centre Team” backed by Funding & Resource from both Ribble Valley Borough Council & Lancashire County Council can bring.
Second, "vision". Grimsey further recomends preparing for a "Wired Town Centre" – a Wireless enabled Hotspot that puts public spaces at the centre based on current and future technology. In the foreword to his Report Grimsey says: “It was clear to me that Mary Portas failed to highlight to the Government the dramatic structural changes impacting the retail industry through the convergence of changing consumer behaviour driven by technology and brought about by the prevailing economic conditions.”
As Marketeers we both appreciate that the experiential shopping experience is as much about how a business markets itself On-Line as it does on the High Street. One of the most encouraging aspects of the Clitheroe Food Festival was the great use that even long established businesses were making of Social Media – Twitter & Facebook to drive footfall to their stalls and into their stores. @famoussausages anybody? It is our aim to encourage the takeup of Business Support services to ensure that Businesses maximise their presence on-line by developing web-sites that allow them to use special offers, events and sales to drive footfall but more importantly to exploit the potential of e-commerce to sell on-line and thus develop a more sustainable presence on the High Street. It has become a truism that if you can’t find a Business On-line you are unlikely to find it on the High Street! One of the more intruiging presentations we have both sat through recently was an overview of the impact of Marketing on Businesses in Liverpool One during Capital of Culture Year in the City. 85% of Businesses rebuilt their web-sites with over two thirds building an e-commerce front end – even restaurants where you could book and pay for a Table in advance as well as order what you want to eat. Take a look at the Web-Sites of The Villa and La Vespa to see what we mean. Building and maintaining a web-site is now a cost effective option for businesses. We would like to be in a position to build a Web Directory of Clitheroe Businesses in the near future and advertise this through Clitheroe’s Newest Business Magazine – Hello Clitheroe!

Third, Business rates. Grimsey also recommends immediately reintroducing 2015 business rates revaluation to realign property values and freeze rates from 2014. Any future increases, he argues, should be based on annualised CPI inflation. We both acknowledge that Business Rates are too high and are having a damaging effect - currently working to the disadvantage of successful Businesses in more prosperous areas. Whilst both agreeing that Business Rates should be frozen for the rorseeable future we would not necessarily be in favour of an upward revaluation preferring a downward valuation which is directly related to the economic vibrancy of the High Street in which Retail Businesses especially are located.
Instead we have both been studying carefuly proposals advanced for a tax or surcharge being imposed on major retail chains and leisure groups to fund regeneration of the High Street. Making companies with a UK turnover of more than £10 million in 2014 pay a 0.25% levy would create a fighting fund of £550 million to sponsor start-ups and other high street ventures, Grimsey argues, that could entice shoppers back to local high streets.
We both think the time has come for big supermarket chains especially to put something back and help rebuild the high street.
Not content with dominating the market for groceries with a powerful combination of out-of-town centres and convenience stores, supermarkets are increasingly starting to dominate books, clothes, homewares, electrical goods and toys. They are even moving into specialist services and opening up opticians, dental surgeries and medical centres.
Supermarkets on the edge of Clitheroe Town Centre are heavy users of the local transport infrastructure especially with the volume of cars and supply waggons re-stocking stores from remote distribution and supply centres - coming in and out of Supermarket Car Parks. Gloucester City Council is considering introducing a new levy on out-of-town superstores which could raise £1.26m a year. The levy - 8.5% of the rate on large retail outlets - would affect nine supermarkets, DIY and electrical stores outside Gloucester's centre. This follows the example taken in Scotland and Northern Ireland and is being actively considered by the Welsh National Assembly. We will be asking our Council Officers to look into the issue and to consider similar proposals.
Fourth, Empty Shops. Grimsey also advocates that any business occupying a retail property in the retail core of a town centre that has been vacant for 12 months should receive 50% rate relief for two years. More than 11pc of shops in Britain, or 40,000 units, currently stand empty. We would like go further offering 100% rate relief for those properties that have been vacant for 6 months. The longer a Property remains unlet the less likelihood there is that it will be let in the near future at anywhere near the rentable value that a Landlord is looking for, placing pressure on the rest of their tenants as they spread Rent increases across an ever smaller pool of High Street Retailers. We will therefore be encouraging the New Town Team to work closely with Landlords & Property Agents to encourage Temporary or Short-term Lets in Vacant Properties for use as Pop-Up Shops or by New and especially Young Retailers with a Niche Product or Service Offering as part of an objective to bring greater footfall from younger shoppers back into Clitheroe.
Fifth, Funding. Grimsey proposes making it compulsory for national retail and leisure chains to invest 0.25% of 2014 sales into a local economic development fund. He also proposes that local authorities to use a portion of their reserves to offer loans to small businesses. Neither of us would disagree with the need to recognise the plight of High Street Businesses when it comes to funding and support from the High Street Banks. I don’t think that either of us would coutenance Local Rates being used to fund Retail Start-Ups but we both believe that Local Authrities should be able to bid into Larger Specialist Funding Pots than those designated for Portas Pilot Areas designed specifically for the Regeneration of Town Centre Retail Areas which Labour completely ignored during its 13 Years in Office. The problem is that the Banks are not backing Retail Businesses because they regard the Sector as inherently risky. Business Overdrafts unless backed by Security (generally the Proprietors Home) are becoming a thing of the past, especially for New Businesses with a Short Trading History. The paradox is that Independent High Street Retail Businesses become more inherently risky by being perceived as a Business Risk. The only way we can derisk the High Street is regenerating our Town Centres. It is a very simple equation.
Sixth, Cars and out-of-town retail. Today we are voting with our feet, preferring to visit huge highly accessible Out-of-Town or indeed City Centre Retail Centres such as the Trafford Centre and Liverpool One encompassing retailing, eating and entertainment. Grimsey finally argues therefore that Business plans should include two hours of free high street and town centre parking. Car parking charges to be frozen for at least 12 months. He also argues that it should be made compulsory for all mega mall developments to create a percentage of affordable space for traders and market stall pitches. Again you would not find too much disagreement from us both. We would both like to freeze Car Parking Charges for the rest of the Council’s Term of Office and to provide free Car Parking Spaces on Market Days and at the Weekend in order to encourage shoppers to visit more frequently, regularly and to stay for longer spending their disposable income to enjoy the unique shopping experience that is Clitheroe. We also may need to consider partial or temporary pedestrianisation of the Town Centre – an idea which proved especially popular and effective during the day of the Food Festival.
For Clitheroe we also need to go much further to ensure that we are able to attract the maximum amount of possible footfall both into and out of Clitheroe until late, especially during the weekends to make it an alternative shopping destination in East Lancashire. It has to be acknowledged that the frequency and regularity of both buses and trains has been a long-term issue. Ribble Valley Borough Council needs urgently to put together an integrated Transport Plan in conjunction with Lancashire County Council and the Bus & Train Companies. This is why Rural Bus Services are so important to the Economic Vitality of not just Clitheroe but also outlying Rural Villages. Rather than cutting the services we should be extending them and promoting their use.
Retail matters. It employs more than 3m people and with its supply chain it invests £135bn of net capital, much more than the Government’s entire health budget and almost three times the education budget. It borrows £65bn of the scarce resources in a banking sector apparently still strapped for the cash to lend to businesses.
We both agree with Grimsey therefore that we have to work as never before to create a new, invigorated environment that will attract people into Clitheroe Town Centres, ensuring its rebirth as a welcoming and lively community hub.
Cllr Ged Mirfin
ged@mirfin5064.frees
erve.co.uk
@NorthernTory
Cllr Kevin Horkin
kevin@spexopticians.
co.uk
@KevinHorkin
Clitheroe is “Open for Business” – it will take the establishment of a New more active Clitheroe Town Team to advertise the fact and we might have to levy a surcharge on large Town Centre SuperMarket & Major Retail Chains to help us fund this exercise! We support the key recommendations of the Grimsey Review (due for release this Wednesday) written by Retail veteran Bill Grimsey, former Chief Executive at Wickes, Iceland and Focus DIY, into what needs to be done to reinvigorate Britain's town centres. We believe that it has particular relevance to the situation facing High Street Retailers in Clitheroe following the closure of two more Businesses in recent weeks: Coco Couture and Clitheroe Music further “hollowing out” Clitheroe Town Centre. After sending out 100 freedom of information requests Grimsey’s review found that more than half of the local authorities questioned had no town centre plan in place, despite widespread concerns about the health of high streets. Retail vacancy rates – empty shops – are running at an average of 15 per cent. Some parts of the country, have 20 per cent of their shops vacant. Retailing is in the middle of a perfect storm. Customers are migrating in ever increasing numbers to online and mobile phone shopping. The very fabric of our towns and cities is dying. Independent stores that were once part of a vital hub are disappearing at a rate of 50 a week. Half of high street retailers in danger of closing down, Grimsey argues, or are at “serious risk of failure”. The report says that 47pc of the country’s retail companies — over 20,000 businesses — are in financial difficulty, based on detailed financial analysis of their accounts. Over the past 15 years, statistics show that a quarter of 20,500 troubled retailers will fail in the next three years. Among the smallest retailers, the independent backbone of so many high streets and town centres, the prospects are the most bleak. Sadly most of them lack the financial resources to see them through their problems. Meanwhile 16,000 supply chain companies — which feed the retailers — are also at risk. According to Grimsey, back in 2008, there were 8,598 retail businesses with liabilities at least £5,000 higher than their assets; zombie companies in the commercial equivalent of negative equity in the housing market. Between them, they had a net deficit of £1.1bn. Fast forward to summer 2013 and this army of the retail walking dead has more than doubled to more than 20,000, with £2.3bn of net liabilities to service. Sir Stuart Rose, the former Marks & Spencer boss and the current Ocado chairman, gives a bleak prognosis of what should happen to Britain’s thousands of empty shops: “I say don’t try to resuscitate the dead. Concentrate on the living and make the living better.” Talk of “an army of the walking dead” may be over exaggerated and strictly for P.R. consumption. Undeniably however small retail chains across Britain are “horribly stressed financially”. Richard Hyman, president of retail consultancy, PatelMiller, says that the number of shops in Britain has been falling for decades. Britain now has 250,000 shops, compared to 750,000 in the mid-1960s. According to the Centre for Retail Research, a further 22pc of all stores – some 61,930 shops – will have gone by 2018. Whilst not sharing Grimsey’s prognosis that like similar Towns across the North West which are in a “deep decline”, over the last couple of months we have both recognised that the High Street Retail Sector in Clitheroe is certainly under pressure. There have certainly never been as many empty units in Clitheroe Town Centre previously. Anecdotal evidence from Local Traders confirms that many are not doing as well as they would like to put it markedly. Nor do we accept Grimsey's proposition, that the high street as we know it is necessarily finished. This is far too pessimistic a prognosis. As the recent Clitheroe Food Festival amply demonstrated with a will and a way there can be life in the Old High Street yet. That is why we believe the series of 31 structured recommendations, proposed by Grimsey, in order to address the problem of Town Centre decline are worth looking at in close detail, especially the following: First, Leadership Grimsey recommends establishing a commission for each town centre to build a 20-year vision supported by a broad business plan in five-year chunks, with updates at an annual public meeting. We strongly advocate the setting up of a New “empowered and emboldened” Town Centre Team for Clitheroe made up of dynamic local Entrepreneurs and local representatives with experiencing in bidding for Growth Funding. We believe that the Town Team will be tasked with making ambitious bids for Regional Growth Funding especially to regenerate the enormous untapped potential of Clitheroe’s currently moribund Market. We saw how busy and profitable the market could be as a community space during the Clitheroe Food Festival – it takes effort but that is the impact that the active leadership and direction that a “switched on Town Centre Team” backed by Funding & Resource from both Ribble Valley Borough Council & Lancashire County Council can bring. Second, "vision". Grimsey further recomends preparing for a "Wired Town Centre" – a Wireless enabled Hotspot that puts public spaces at the centre based on current and future technology. In the foreword to his Report Grimsey says: “It was clear to me that Mary Portas failed to highlight to the Government the dramatic structural changes impacting the retail industry through the convergence of changing consumer behaviour driven by technology and brought about by the prevailing economic conditions.” As Marketeers we both appreciate that the experiential shopping experience is as much about how a business markets itself On-Line as it does on the High Street. One of the most encouraging aspects of the Clitheroe Food Festival was the great use that even long established businesses were making of Social Media – Twitter & Facebook to drive footfall to their stalls and into their stores. @famoussausages anybody? It is our aim to encourage the takeup of Business Support services to ensure that Businesses maximise their presence on-line by developing web-sites that allow them to use special offers, events and sales to drive footfall but more importantly to exploit the potential of e-commerce to sell on-line and thus develop a more sustainable presence on the High Street. It has become a truism that if you can’t find a Business On-line you are unlikely to find it on the High Street! One of the more intruiging presentations we have both sat through recently was an overview of the impact of Marketing on Businesses in Liverpool One during Capital of Culture Year in the City. 85% of Businesses rebuilt their web-sites with over two thirds building an e-commerce front end – even restaurants where you could book and pay for a Table in advance as well as order what you want to eat. Take a look at the Web-Sites of The Villa and La Vespa to see what we mean. Building and maintaining a web-site is now a cost effective option for businesses. We would like to be in a position to build a Web Directory of Clitheroe Businesses in the near future and advertise this through Clitheroe’s Newest Business Magazine – Hello Clitheroe! Third, Business rates. Grimsey also recommends immediately reintroducing 2015 business rates revaluation to realign property values and freeze rates from 2014. Any future increases, he argues, should be based on annualised CPI inflation. We both acknowledge that Business Rates are too high and are having a damaging effect - currently working to the disadvantage of successful Businesses in more prosperous areas. Whilst both agreeing that Business Rates should be frozen for the rorseeable future we would not necessarily be in favour of an upward revaluation preferring a downward valuation which is directly related to the economic vibrancy of the High Street in which Retail Businesses especially are located. Instead we have both been studying carefuly proposals advanced for a tax or surcharge being imposed on major retail chains and leisure groups to fund regeneration of the High Street. Making companies with a UK turnover of more than £10 million in 2014 pay a 0.25% levy would create a fighting fund of £550 million to sponsor start-ups and other high street ventures, Grimsey argues, that could entice shoppers back to local high streets. We both think the time has come for big supermarket chains especially to put something back and help rebuild the high street. Not content with dominating the market for groceries with a powerful combination of out-of-town centres and convenience stores, supermarkets are increasingly starting to dominate books, clothes, homewares, electrical goods and toys. They are even moving into specialist services and opening up opticians, dental surgeries and medical centres. Supermarkets on the edge of Clitheroe Town Centre are heavy users of the local transport infrastructure especially with the volume of cars and supply waggons re-stocking stores from remote distribution and supply centres - coming in and out of Supermarket Car Parks. Gloucester City Council is considering introducing a new levy on out-of-town superstores which could raise £1.26m a year. The levy - 8.5% of the rate on large retail outlets - would affect nine supermarkets, DIY and electrical stores outside Gloucester's centre. This follows the example taken in Scotland and Northern Ireland and is being actively considered by the Welsh National Assembly. We will be asking our Council Officers to look into the issue and to consider similar proposals. Fourth, Empty Shops. Grimsey also advocates that any business occupying a retail property in the retail core of a town centre that has been vacant for 12 months should receive 50% rate relief for two years. More than 11pc of shops in Britain, or 40,000 units, currently stand empty. We would like go further offering 100% rate relief for those properties that have been vacant for 6 months. The longer a Property remains unlet the less likelihood there is that it will be let in the near future at anywhere near the rentable value that a Landlord is looking for, placing pressure on the rest of their tenants as they spread Rent increases across an ever smaller pool of High Street Retailers. We will therefore be encouraging the New Town Team to work closely with Landlords & Property Agents to encourage Temporary or Short-term Lets in Vacant Properties for use as Pop-Up Shops or by New and especially Young Retailers with a Niche Product or Service Offering as part of an objective to bring greater footfall from younger shoppers back into Clitheroe. Fifth, Funding. Grimsey proposes making it compulsory for national retail and leisure chains to invest 0.25% of 2014 sales into a local economic development fund. He also proposes that local authorities to use a portion of their reserves to offer loans to small businesses. Neither of us would disagree with the need to recognise the plight of High Street Businesses when it comes to funding and support from the High Street Banks. I don’t think that either of us would coutenance Local Rates being used to fund Retail Start-Ups but we both believe that Local Authrities should be able to bid into Larger Specialist Funding Pots than those designated for Portas Pilot Areas designed specifically for the Regeneration of Town Centre Retail Areas which Labour completely ignored during its 13 Years in Office. The problem is that the Banks are not backing Retail Businesses because they regard the Sector as inherently risky. Business Overdrafts unless backed by Security (generally the Proprietors Home) are becoming a thing of the past, especially for New Businesses with a Short Trading History. The paradox is that Independent High Street Retail Businesses become more inherently risky by being perceived as a Business Risk. The only way we can derisk the High Street is regenerating our Town Centres. It is a very simple equation. Sixth, Cars and out-of-town retail. Today we are voting with our feet, preferring to visit huge highly accessible Out-of-Town or indeed City Centre Retail Centres such as the Trafford Centre and Liverpool One encompassing retailing, eating and entertainment. Grimsey finally argues therefore that Business plans should include two hours of free high street and town centre parking. Car parking charges to be frozen for at least 12 months. He also argues that it should be made compulsory for all mega mall developments to create a percentage of affordable space for traders and market stall pitches. Again you would not find too much disagreement from us both. We would both like to freeze Car Parking Charges for the rest of the Council’s Term of Office and to provide free Car Parking Spaces on Market Days and at the Weekend in order to encourage shoppers to visit more frequently, regularly and to stay for longer spending their disposable income to enjoy the unique shopping experience that is Clitheroe. We also may need to consider partial or temporary pedestrianisation of the Town Centre – an idea which proved especially popular and effective during the day of the Food Festival. For Clitheroe we also need to go much further to ensure that we are able to attract the maximum amount of possible footfall both into and out of Clitheroe until late, especially during the weekends to make it an alternative shopping destination in East Lancashire. It has to be acknowledged that the frequency and regularity of both buses and trains has been a long-term issue. Ribble Valley Borough Council needs urgently to put together an integrated Transport Plan in conjunction with Lancashire County Council and the Bus & Train Companies. This is why Rural Bus Services are so important to the Economic Vitality of not just Clitheroe but also outlying Rural Villages. Rather than cutting the services we should be extending them and promoting their use. Retail matters. It employs more than 3m people and with its supply chain it invests £135bn of net capital, much more than the Government’s entire health budget and almost three times the education budget. It borrows £65bn of the scarce resources in a banking sector apparently still strapped for the cash to lend to businesses. We both agree with Grimsey therefore that we have to work as never before to create a new, invigorated environment that will attract people into Clitheroe Town Centres, ensuring its rebirth as a welcoming and lively community hub. Cllr Ged Mirfin ged@mirfin5064.frees erve.co.uk @NorthernTory Cllr Kevin Horkin kevin@spexopticians. co.uk @KevinHorkin Cllr Ged Mirfin

5:48pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Michael@ClitheroeSince58 says...

It would seem we have a power struggle developing within the council chambers this could all get very interesting.
It would seem we have a power struggle developing within the council chambers this could all get very interesting. Michael@ClitheroeSince58

Comments are closed on this article.

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