Food for thought: “Amazon v the high street – how Doncaster is fighting back”

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The Guardian have featured an interesting article about how Doncaster is home to 3 Amazon distribution centres, the newest of which is a breathtakingly vast black-and-silver box covering 102,200 sq metres. The old pit town lost 5% of its high street shops last year, but this is a positive story about the many ways that the council and a group of creative locals are working towards a new vision for their High Street offering. 

We recently announced that we have partnered with an organisation called “Save the High Street”.  This movement encompasses all industries and has a very simple remit. We’re pleased to let you know that the MIA’s Paul McManus is now on the advisory panel for this organisation. If you would like the logo to display on your website, please email alice@mia.org.uk

Look out for an article from us following the Chancellor’s budget speech.

This story from The Guardian shows the sort of action that needs to be taken to make it easier for businesses to survive on the high street.

Here are some of the important quotes from the article, and you can read the whole thing at the link below:

“In 2017, more than 5,800 shops closed on British high streets – an average of 16 a day – with a net loss of 1,772. Every week seems to bring news of some big retailer hitting the wall, while hundreds of independent shops quietly run out of money. As more and more goods tumble through letterboxes in brown cardboard parcels, the idea of a high street crisis is now common political currency, blurring into a growing obsession among politicians with the fate of English towns, many of which seemed to express their collective fears about the future by voting for Brexit.”

“Everything is changing,” says Bill Mordue, the Doncaster councillor whose portfolio is titled business, skills and economic development. “It does focus your mind. You think: ‘We can’t just let our town centre die. We need to do something.”

“The council is judiciously buying shops in particular town-centre locations, carefully thinking about the kind of businesses that will set a new tone. It will soon reopen the Wool Market, a dashing Victorian structure that it wants to fill with food outlets open into the early evening. Its ideas seem to be similar to those currently circulating around plenty of other UK towns and cities (40 miles away, Bradford’s chief executive has talked about her city’s quest to become “the Shoreditch of Yorkshire”). But it prompts an inevitable question: even if that kind of stuff might work in market towns now full of craft beer, record shops and men with beards who split their time between web design and wonky carpentry, can it work in a former mining centre with a population of 110,000?”

Full article: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/11/amazon-v-the-high-street-how-doncaster-is-fighting-back