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Our town centres & the retail sector is facing massive cost pressures from Brexit, rising rents, business rates & online shopping are all having an impact.
Retail footfall is reducing as people shift to shopping online. Void and empty shops are increasing, retails are going into administration. Yet Shropshire Council Conservatives decided to spend £51m to buy shopping centres in Shrewsbury, for a very short-term gain, in a sector that is undergoing massive change. It would have been more prudent to invest that money directly into the overall economy across Shropshire and not put all of their eggs in one basket.
Their strategic investment in the Shropshire Economy has been inadequate for many years.
If Shropshire’s market towns are to survive the changes they need to become more attractive and not just a trip to the shops. They have to become more of an event in their own right, with added value that online retail can’t offer. They need to add value and be an attraction with more specialist independent shops.