As a regular visitor and huge supporter of Filey I’ve been following the discussion regarding the demise of several local shops.
As regards newsagents here in Beverly all have closed within the town centre the last are hanging on precariously is up for sale and destined to be a fast food outlook.
Newsagents will only survive if they diversify into other areas and for that you need bigger shops, increased investment and ready funds. Margins have been cut drastically whereas years ago 30 to 35 per cent margin was the norm it’s now dropped to nearer the 20 per cent mark.
The future for many of Filey’s shops is however less bleak a new arts and crafts sector seems to be flourishing with Neals, Robinsons and The Red Box adding variety to some of the old established ventures.
Unfortunately some of the shops in Filey remain dull and unprepossessing with signage and fascia more reminiscent of inner-city squalor than vintage seaside town.
This is the area I feel Filey could really improve on. It needs to appeal not just to the day-trippers with pound shops, rock and tack but to the more discerning visitor who wants a more interesting mix of cafes, craft shops and local food shops.
Filey has several excellent butchers, greengrocers, delis etc, some of whom were praised in the Independent newspaper recently. If you’re prepared to shop around you can buy locally sourced fruit and vegetables, fish and seafood from Filey Bay and fresh meat from neighbouring farms.
There is simply no need to go to Tesco’s if you’re prepared to make the effort.
If Filey is to prosper it must embrace this new invigorating food/arts/crafts culture and move away from cheap and cheerful.
The new empty police station on Murray Street presents a perfect opportunity for the town to develop a more culturally diverse centre.
I sincerely hope Filey can prosper in these difficult times, Whitby managed to re-invent itself after years in the doldrums there’s no reason why Filey on a smaller scale can’t do the same.