Saturday, 06 February 2016

Thriving Ulverston has fewer empty shops than in 2009

ULVERSTON’S number of empty town centre shops has halved in the last two years.

SUCCESS STORY: There are now nine empty shops in UlverstonLINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 50001970B006

Figures gathered by South Lakeland District Council show there were only 11 empty units in June – compared with 20 in April 2009.

That figure has since fallen to nine.

A total of 157 shops in the town centre were counted and only seven per cent are empty.

The average empty shop rate in the North West is 14 per cent.

Councillor Janette Jenkinson told this week’s Ulverston Town Council meeting: “Ulverston seems to be bucking the trend and I would like to pay tribute to Jayne Kendall (SLDC’s economic development manager and former Ulverston town centre manager) and the work her team has done, and Peter Winston (Ulverston Traders’ Association secretary) and the traders.

“They’ve worked hard over the last few years since Booths came to make it a vibrant town.

“They’ve put a lot of effort into supporting the shopkeepers and this town council has given quite a lot of money for the shop front scheme.

“I do think we are bucking the trend and if you look at other figures regarding Windermere and Kendal, we are doing very well, but we can’t be complacent.”

However, Councillor Norman Bishop-Rowe said that, despite the figures, he was worried for traders.

He told the meeting: “I had a trawl around the car parks today and I’m concerned.

“Theatre Street was half-empty, Brewery Street was not its full self, Daltongate was almost empty and Stockbridge Lane had one car.

“I’m dreading to think what the figures will be (with the traders).” Cllr Bishop-Rowe blamed car park charges as a factor.

Councillor Judy Pickthall told the meeting: “We should all be worried if the district council only thinks we are in trouble if the shops close.

“The measures we put forward are to make sure the shops don’t close. I think we should encourage them to use different criteria to judge the success of the town.”

SLDC’s Ms Kendall said: “I think people are perhaps being made redundant and looking at new ways to start up in business and some want to start up in retail.

“A lot of these people are really attracted to Ulverston, but I don’t think there is any one reason you can put it down to. It’s really encouraging for the town.”

Alan Henshall, whose wife opened Samovar confectioners in Market Street two-and-half months ago, said: “We picked Ulverston because it would fit the type of shop it is. Ulverston is a quaint market town and that fits with this particular shop.

“But we find we’ve got customers complaining about parking (charges). The business is working and it’s working well, but it could get better with the right support.”

In Kendal, 52 of 409 shops are shut (12 per cent), in Windermere six out of 114 shops are shut (five per cent), in Bowness five out of 147 are shut (3.4 per cent) and in Ambleside 11 out of 162 are shut (6.7 per cent).

Have your say

I work from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm I have to shop in Barrow, the Ulverston shops are not open late or on Sundays. Sainsburys have found a site in Ulverston which would be great. Ulverston needs jobs and Sainsbury would bring a couple of hundred. How many jobs have been advertised in Ulverston in last 6 months? very few!

Posted by friend of furness on 13 August 2011 at 18:41

Catherine, I'm sure I've seen Symbiotic Yoghurt on the shelves, so yes I fully expect Symbiotic Relationship will be available.

I might be getting confused though.

Posted by ken on 12 August 2011 at 19:17

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