Let’s learn from others

Ian Hughes.
Ian Hughes.
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A campaigner who has long demanded sweeping changes to Morecambe’s shopping areas has backed our #SOSMorecambe drive to Support Our Shops.

Ian Hughes, a businessman from Morecambe, said we need to learn from successful shopping areas in other parts of the country.

“It’s not just the recession, other towns are bucking the trend,” said Mr Hughes, a freelance photographer who also runs a mobile coffee company.

“Civic leaders need to get on a bus and go to Bury Market and others that are absolutely throbbing with out of town visitors week on week to find out how it’s done.

“It does seem clear to me that for a population of some 50,000 people, the shops need to be reduced in number and condensed into one area.

“(Morecambe’s retail area) is spread far too wide; three main shopping islands with no linkage, several smaller shopping islands and far too many supermarkets.

“Yes, car parking fees need to be seriously looked at.

“Then there are the rents. My sister is trying to get a business going but the rents are way too high for shops in decent locations. Result: empty shops.”