Hucknall residents want lower rents and more variety for their high street
Last month, the Dispatch carried the story about Hucknall MP Mark Spencer seeking the public’s views on what could be done to improve the town’s high street.
And many people responded with comments and suggestions on the Dispatch Facebook page.
Toni-Jade Henson put: “We need a decent clothes shop and a decent shoe shop. The town is just full of takeaways and charity shops.
Claire Brahaj said: “Public toilets, lower rents, more diversity in shops not just estate agents, takeaways and bakers, and more stalls on the market on both days.”
Carole Dempster added: “I used to love shopping in Hucknall, now I don't bother very often.
"Definitely needs a bigger variety of shops, shoes, craft, books, fish, health foods, anything but fast food.”
Ashleigh Taylor wrote: “Less estate agents and takeaways and more shops that people want to use, good clothes and shoes shops, gift shops, toy shops.”
And Karen Brooks posted: “Could we have either a Cex, or game, or music shop, a clothes and shoe shop, like Primark maybe, or Select or Next?
"What about a toy shop like Smyth’s or Entertainer? We have to go further afield for things like that if Argos don’t have what you want.
"Plus, Hucknall main shops are spread too widely apart. B&M one end and then Argos and Home Bargains out in the middle of nowhere.”
Making the whole high street area a more pleasant place to visit was another theme of the comments.
Nikki Hallam put: “Plant some trees and add lots more seating and more bins too.”
Kirsty Ward said: “Make the high street an ‘independent’ one with much lower rates for independent business owners, annual food festivals, brighter lighting in the evening, flowers, public toilets and membership cards that can be bought but give money off purchases in the new independent stores.”
And Janette Haskey said: “Make it brighter, more colourful, nice lighting at night, family-friendly in the bars to a certain time and better shopping instead of charities.
"Listen to what Hucknall people want – there is so much scope there.”
Probably the most regular theme running through the comments was for rents and rates for town centre shops to be reduced to help local businesses get started or establish themselves.
Paul Stevenson summed this up when he wrote: “Make landlords lower the rents and the councils lower the rates.
“The Government should be enforcing this so the high street don’t become ghost towns.”
And Ian Petrie posted: “It’s very simple, half the rents and more business will be able to afford to open a shop."
But, as Calvin Marriott stated, a revival of the high street also needed the public to support the businesses there.
He wrote: “Its not council or MPs who decide what shops we have, it’s us the public.
"If a person opens a good shoe or clothes shop we have to use them instead of going to supermarkets to save a couple of quid.
"If people don't use them, they close.
"Rates don't help either – maybe a free period to help new shops start off would help but its mainly our shopping habits that put people off investing their hard-earned money into it.”
You can still take part in the in the survey on Mr Spencer’s website here.