Resort’s future: Which road to take for the town?

What sort of town do we want?

It seems to me that we are at a crossroads where one road leads to following the Blackpool/Skegness model, which relies almost exclusively on day trippers and stag parties with their high streets full of nothing but betting shops, pound shops and chain fast food shops. (Who, incidentally, really believes that a Twitter campaign for a particular chain is not orchestrated by its own PR people?)

Out of season the towns are waste lands, and their economies are in serious decline.

The other road we could follow is the route taken by the likes of York and Harrogate, with no more historic and cultural advantages than we have, in fact probably less.

They have managed to attract not only the day visitor but the bigger spending and all year round short break trade helped largely by attractive shopping and full exploitation of their culture and history. The result is that they are thriving.

If we wish to follow the second road we need to be investing in attracting independent and quality retailers, sometimes an empty shop in a location is better than the wrong shop.

Looking after our historical buildings and our declining green environment is a priority as that first impression is all important.

Lastly, we need to make the most of our theatres etc. instead of closing them down.

Road one is the easy way - all we have to do is let it happen.

Road two is harder. It requires foresight, long term planning, investment and the powers that be putting aside short term advantage for themselves and their parties and working for the common good.

Personally I hold out little hope for the town, may I be proved wrong.

R Mayo

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