Bedworth could soon become a
'ghost town' for shoppers unless urgent action is taken according to
business leaders at the Chamber.
The grim warning has come in
response to the Local Plan review for the town.
John King, chairman of The
Chamber's North Warwickshire branch, said the town is in serious need
facilities are really changed dramatically, Bedworth is seriously
threatened as a shopping town.”
Bedworth town centre was 'modernised'
in the late 1960s and early 1970s but Mr King added:
"It is badly in need of
redevelopment. It is not a competitive shopping environment and will
not attract shoppers from outside the area."
Mr King expressed particular
concern at the town's inability to attract young spenders or the 'more
affluent older members' who often have more to spend on luxury items.
"Bedworth has to look
to its strengths, and these may include developing a very high level
of personal service and really good provision of local community
"Probably this is the
only way it will survive in the future."
Mr King welcomed the proposed
appointment of a town centre manager for Nuneaton and Bedworth.
"We have pushed hard
for this, and we are delighted that an appointment is to be made
soon. We think that this will open new oppportunities for both
Nuneaton and Bedworth.
"But the post could not
have come at a more critical time in the light of the competitive
challenges from neighbouring new shopping developments in Coventry,
Tamworth and Sutton Coldfield."
Mr King also feels that the
new Ropewalk development in Nuneaton "must exceed customer
should include many more choices for restaurant provision and the
new 'cafe culture' which is becoming an increasingly vital feature
in tomorrow's towns.
"The Borough must
recognise the changing habits of shoppers, and recognise the need to
encourage destination shoppers into the towns to purchase
higher-priced niche products and services."