LUKE MARSDEN: How to draw shoppers back to Wigan town centre?
In a nutshell, they are incredibly worried for their futures.
It isn’t about thriving at the moment: simply survival which, of course, is reflective of the national situation.
Businesses in Makinson Arcade have told me they’ve seen a big drop in footfall since the closure of the bottom entrance. Consultations on this and how it can be increased from our local leaders have been non-existent.
I’ve long been a champion of our town and businesses in this column and I want to take the time to implore you to continue to use them, now more than ever.
It’s easy to blame the council (although in this columnist’s opinion they have the lion’s share of the blame) but we need to address the wider issue that people’s shopping habits have changed.
I had the misfortune of visiting Robin Park this week and want again to state that whoever designed that car park layout should be put on trial or deemed insane.
Robin Park’s redevelopment over the last few years certainly seems to have given it a shot in the arm and, of course, this is what was needed.
For many Wiganers though, Robin Park remains too out of reach by either a reliable bus or by foot. And why should we need to go to a retail park to actually get some shopping done?
I’ve noticed a trend that Wiganers enjoy hopping on the train (again if they arrive) and heading to Warrington for shopping and dining. Wiganers are actively leaving our town for neighbouring areas that offer them a better day out.
This is the problem, and we need to work collectively to fix it. More needs to be done to highlight the parts of our town and businesses still operating.
Wigan was once a great retail experience and it can be again in spite of the mess we see before us…