If you own a shop or commercial property in Newark town centre, then you have had some mixed new this week. Rioja Estates have announced that Phase One of the Designer Outlet at Spittlegate in Grantham has commenced. Great news for Grantham in that 1500 jobs will be created and for those who love their shopping, 90 stores, restaurants and coffee shops will be created. Add to this the proposed shopping village at Downtown by Oldrids with over 100 stores, cafes and restaurants being created it is difficult to see how Newark town centre will survive given both parks are just down the A1 and with much better access than Newark town centre.
A sizeable number of shops are presently vacant with big hitters like Marks and Spencers pulling out, add to that the pandemic I fear that even more may close as a result. Government assistance by way of furlough and assorted grants is a massive help however the owners still have mortgages to pay and food to put on the table. The sales pitch of these fabulous new retail parks will draw people into the town, and we will all benefit is a difficult one to fathom. Given all that is available to shoppers just off the A1 with all that free parking I struggle to see why anyone would nip into Newark town centre, with all the traffic issues it has, to have a look around!
With so many commercial properties already empty and with the distinct possibility of more to come I fear Newark town centre will become a ghost town unless the council gets very creative. Planning regulations have been eased with this in mind; it is not an issue for just Newark after all, but nationally.
Solutions are not straight forward, particularly post pandemic, many pubs have closed the doors for good as have café owners. A change of culture is called for with traffic free social areas so people can roam to their hearts content and feel safe in the environment. The challenge is to create something that will drag people away from their living rooms and be attractive both financially and intellectually so as to encourage them back time and again.
If you own a shop or commercial property in Newark and are struggling to see any kind of return, then contact us for a fair price for a fast sale and we will be on the case straight away.