The leader of Bassetlaw Council has said he would ‘bulldoze’ some of the towns shops and buildings tomorrow if he ‘had a magic wand’.
Coun Simon Greaves told the Guardian some of the shops and buildings in Worksop ‘aren’t fit for purpose’ and that landlords need to bring rents down to attract new retailers in.
A special report by this newspaper last week revealed one in four shops in the town centre now lies empty, with online shopping and business rates given as just some of the reasons for the decline.
“Some shops and buildings aren’t fit for purpose,” Mr Greaves said. If I had a magic wand I would bulldoze some of them tomorrow to make way for open space and car parking.”
“As a council we don’t want to see empty shops on the High Street and yes there are empty units in the Priory Centre and on Bridge Street, but Worksop’s vacancy rate is 9.6 per cent compared to a national average of 13.3 per cent.”
“The council doesn’t own any shops in town, but it looks to me that many landlords are demanding rents more suited to Windsor than Worksop. Landlords need to bring rents down to help attract new retailers in,” he added.
This newspaper found six empty shops in the Priory Centre recently.
Manager of the Priory Centre, David Aunins, said: “The number of empty units has been a reflection of the condition of the retail property market. However, the signs are positive that the market is recovering and currently the Priory has had interest expressed on four units in the centre and we expect to soon make an announcement on a new forthcoming store.”