Worksop suffered loss of 11 shops last year amid high street concerns

Bridge Street, Worksop
Bridge Street, Worksop

Worksop suffered a net loss of 11 shops last year - amid widespread concern over the future of the country’s high streets.

According to a report released this week by finance experts PwC and the Local Data Company, there were 11 store closures by retailers in Worksop during 2018 - with no new ones opening.

This compared to Retford which saw five shops closing but six new ones opening, bucking the trend for the region.

But Philip Jackson, chairman of Worksop Business Forum, said amid the negative headlines there was much to be positive about.

He explained: “Worksop, like other towns and cities, has had its share of shop closures. Ponden Home is also set to close this week and may become a charity shop.

“It’s not all bad news as some of our empty shops are now rented out and new business ventures starting, including Westsaf, Love It Fashion, The Coffee Lounge, Mobile and Vape Corner and British Maintenance. The Dukeries cafe is also due to reopen shortly.

“These are all positive signs for our high street, however as I have said many times these and other businesses will only survive if Worksop shoppers support them.

“The high street is changing and the business forum will continue to work with businesses, the council and councillors to make the changes needed to bring visitors and shoppers to our town centre.”

A record net 2,481 stores disappeared from Great Britain’s top 500 high streets in 2018. In total, 3,372 shops opened, compared to 5,833 closures.

David Armiger, director of regeneration and neighbourhoods at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “This research paints only a partial picture of the health of our high streets and focuses solely on multiple retailers, those who have more than five outlets nationally, and does not account for the small businesses who are attempting to buck the trend by taking on empty units and adding value and diversity to our high streets.

“We welcome this validation from PwC and only last month announced that we have submitted a bid to the government’s £675 million Future High Streets Fund to deliver these ambitions and turn our high streets into community hubs, making them a vibrant and attractive place to visit.

“While the figures for Worksop follow a national trend, we are pleased to see that Retford is one of just two towns in the East Midlands to have more retailers opening stores than closing them.”