Jefferson: ‘We missed a chance’

Scenesetters'Ramsdens pawnbrokers and the empty Klick shop on Newborough'Picture by Neil Silk  130214a'08/01/13
Scenesetters'Ramsdens pawnbrokers and the empty Klick shop on Newborough'Picture by Neil Silk 130214a'08/01/13

New council figures show that 1 in 10 town centre shopping spaces are currently empty, just as two new shops are set to open their doors.

The latest set of figures for November show that 41 outlets in Scarborough remain empty, although that figure has fallen from 47 in September.

It comes after it emerged four jobs have been created at a pawnbroker, which has opened at the vacant Julian Graves site.

And the adjacent Klix photo shop is to be transformed into a mobile phone store.

However, while Chamber of Trade president Janet Jefferson said Scarborough is “holding its own” compared to the rest of the country amidst the economic downturn, it was “disappointing” to see another mobile phone shop move into the town.

“On the whole I think Scarborough is doing well, and it’s great that we can fill these shops that have been empty for so long,” said Mrs Jefferson.

“A poll by Welcome to Yorkshire showed that 49 per cent of people came to Scarborough just to shop, so it’s important that the town centre has a variety of shops.”

However, with a phone store set to open just yards from some rivals, Mrs Jefferson feels that the key to luring in shoppers from out of town is filling the remaining spaces with a mixture of big chains and independent stores. But she feels Scarborough could miss out on bringing some of the big chains to the town due to a lack of suitable space.

Hundreds of people signed a petition calling for Primark to open up in the town, and Mrs Jefferson said for years there had been several attempts to land retail giants such as BHS.

However, she added that currently, of the vacant spaces in the town, none is currently big enough to house such a store. “We really do need larger outlets if we are ever going to attract them to Scarborough’, she said.