The owners of a Gainsborough dress shop have spoken out after having to close down due to the struggles facing independent businesses in the town centre.
Dress To Impress has been trading in ladies’ fashion on Church Street for the last four months after having premises six months elsewhere in town before that. But earlier this month, they had to shut up shop due to low footfall in the town centre, as well as ‘unreasonable business rates’.
“The town centre is dying and it was just costing us too much money to stay open,” said former manager Angela Panks.
“We were gutted to close but the poor trade and extortionate business rates were killing us - and many other local businesses too. Nobody comes shopping in the town because there’s nothing here for anybody - I don’t even shop here myself. We could do with a Primark or a Topshop to stop people going to Lincoln or Scunthorpe to shop.”
Angela added: “The improvements being made to the pavement of Market Street and Church Street won’t make a difference unless it leads to some better shops. There’s no need for it. I’m thinking of opening another business, but not in Gainsborough. I’m looking at Scunthorpe because the rates are cheaper and there’s more footfall.”
WLDC Head of Strategic Growth Grant Lockett said: “Helping to promote and improve Gainsborough town centre is a priority for us.”
Traders have welcomed our decision to offer free parking every Tuesday to help boost business for the market and shops while work to enhance Market Street is on-going. This is the second phase of the Public Realm Improvement Scheme, which will improve the appearance of the town centre and make it more attractive for future investment.
“We’re going to continue to work with businesses to see how we can help them.”