Longridge Town Team and Longridge Business Group are getting together to ensure the town’s trading future in light of recent national high street failures.
“These lessons for Longridge are needed as we see high street chains such as Jessops,HMV and Blockbuster go under,” Town Team members and councilliors Ken Hind and David Smith said in a statement.
And new chairman of the Business Group, Carole Hart, stated that local bodies and businesses working together should strengthen the future and she was looking forward to helping to progress the town forward.
Both Councillors Hind and Smith, also as Ribble Valley councillors, in their aim to promote the economic development of Longridge, have urged the government and local councils to reconsider its high street and housing policy, taking account of the changes caused by internet shopping .
Ken Hind told The News: “We have to beware of policies that take no account of changes taking place in shopping habits.
“Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster have not got into trouble because they sell a bad product, but because they have not adapted to competition coming online.
“In Jessops’ case most mobile phones and tablets have cameras, music and films can be downloaded or streamed and the availabilty on films on televison has increased.”
Coun Smith added “This has a double impact for housing and high street policy.
“It is better to convert empty unused shops to homes than to see them lying empty.
“They will reduce the need to build houses on greenfield sites.
“Flats above shops should also be brought into use to accommodate young and single people in search of a home.
“We need to continue to encourage proprietor-owned niche small business shops, so providing diversity on the high street.
“At the same time we need to discourage more out of town shopping centres as they often undermine the high street.
“Supermarkets should be encouraged to come back into our town centres and high streets, the benefits of this can be shown in Longridge.
“We need to press our shop owners to sell online as well as on the high street.”
Both Town Team members stress that the town, although very progressive in retail, has still to be aware and adapt to change taking place in the wider economy.
“Economic development and housing policy needs to keep pace with the movements in technology,” they added.
“The Town Team will consider these matters in association with the Longridge Business Group and how we can adapt to change in Longridge.”
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Weather for Longridge
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 28 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 7 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West