Great Yarmouth fighting back as Town Centre Master Plan takes shape
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Following the loss of three national retailers from the town centre over the last couple of years it may be easy to think Great Yarmouth’s stock is shrinking.
Buildings once occupied by Marks and Spencer and H.Samuel remain vacant, while British Home Store has been replaced by Poundstretcher.
Although many will admit the town centre no longer offers the same shopping experience it once did, town centre manager Jonathan Newman is encouraged by the number of independent businesses now trading in the town.
Mr Newman highlighted the “major transformation” retail is going through but has reassured residents Great Yarmouth is well prepared to deal with the challenges that lie ahead.
He said: “Through the development of the Town Centre Master Plan there exists a plan to transform the town centre to better meet consumers’ changing needs and shopping habits.
You may also want to watch:
“It is important to consider and value what we still have - hundreds of businesses providing friendly, informed and focused customer service.”
The Town Centre Master Plan - a vision outlined by the borough council in 2018 - hopes to enhance Great Yarmouth as a destination for the 21st century.
- 1 Atlantis Tower up for sale after owner signs ‘outrageous’ loan deal
- 2 Projects to restore axed rail routes get £794m boost
- 3 Out on the beat - we join police Covid patrol on the seafront
- 4 Police close probe into 'terrifying' Armani armed robbery
- 5 Businesses shut by lockdown to get one-off payment of up to £9,000
- 6 Ghostly photos show deserted Yarmouth in lockdown
- 7 Firearms collector, 72, jailed for having illegal shotgun and pistol
- 8 Norfolk woman fined after travelling 200 miles to visit daughter
- 9 Discount hobby shop The Works 'could run out of money'
- 10 Jail for 'Jekyll and Hyde' builder who made customer 'fear for her life'
A number of projects, including improvements to the market place and the transformation of the Conge, are included as part of the master plan - which is hoped to have taken shape by 2025.
“There is still more to do - much of which will require private sector development for the more desirable projects of adding a cinema and increasing the dining and leisure facilities the town has to offer,” Mr Newman said.
In our survey, 73pc of you thought the empty and closing stores were a ‘big issue’.
The Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership, alongside the council, has already implemented several initiatives to help address the challenges.
ShopAppy - an online service designed to enhance people’s shopping experience on Great Yarmouth’s historic market - was launched as a pilot scheme for 12 months in September.
While the council introduced its ‘First Hour Free’ initiative a number of years ago.
It is hoped the scheme, which offers customers who shop at certain retailers the equivalent of one hour’s parking off their purchases of £10 or more, will make Great Yarmouth more accessible.