Presentation to Councillors at Full Council on July 12th 2016
The Hinckley and District Chamber of Trade President Rosemary Wright presented a petition of 2200 Signatures signed by business owners situated in the Town centre and their customers to the Mayor Councillor Richard Allen.
“Rosemary then presented a business case to full Council:
“The Hinckley and District Chamber of Trade would like to put a case to you for the Borough Council to BUY the important Co-op anchor site on Castle Street including the Co-op car park on Hill street.”
“The businesses situated In Upper Castle Street at the top of the Town are 50 of the most unique independent retailers and professional services in the Borough”.
“The top of the Town being blighted by a lack of parking, includes another 70 businesses situated on Hill St. New Buildings, The Lawns etc.”
“There are a further 70 retailers on Castle St. reporting the same impossible business conditions with turnover and footfall down due to a lack of parking”.
“All of these businesses are being effected by the closure of the Co-op car park and the difficulties their customers find in parking.”
“The businesses are being effected financially and our members have a drastic reduction in footfall and turnover with the latest footfall figures dramatically confirming this. They are over 30% down compared with the same period last year.”
“If drastic steps are not taken the Town will be relocated to the bottom of the hill and excellent retailers could be forced to close”.
“We realise that Councillors are not to blame for the Co-op closure, but please think on the business facts:”
“There are 130 spaces on the Co-op car park lost to shoppers parking.”
“There are 109 spaces on Mount Rd. now used for Leisure Centre parking.”
“So 240 spaces lost to shoppers at the top of the Town.”
“The Co-op Site at £1.6 million could easily have 200 car parking spaces with the demolition of a ground floor lean to. If the site was part double decked it could be many more spaces.”
“The shop could be developed as an overspill for the Atkins Building which has a waiting list for prestigious small business units”. ” Equally the site could be a Borough Council drop in centre in a more convenient location for residents”.
“The Borough Council owns all the reasonable size car parks in the Town except for 3. That is very wise because it is the only way the Town can be master of its own destiny, not at the mercy of developers, and its businesses have some long term security in relation to parking and access by their customers.”
“We all appreciate the effort made by the BC to see through the suggestion by the COT to use the Midland Studio car park but this with only 40 spaces is very short term, only 6 weeks!!!
“The top of the Town and its businesses are being strangled by inadequate parking”.
“I hope that you will all give serious consideration to the position that a vital retail area in the main administrative Town in the Borough is in and come to the business conclusion that you cannot afford to let this important site stay out of BC Control.”
“Finally Councillors it is not your fault the Co-op has closed——-but it will be your fault if you do not do something positive and creative to resolve the problem.”
“The COT urge you to Buy the Co-op site as an investment so that this situation can never happen again.”
The public Gallery at the Hub was well attended by Businesses from the Town and COT members and they were very vocal in support of the presentation by their President.
A response to the presentation by the Chamber of Trade was given by the Portfolio holder Councillor Chris Ladkin who responded with a motion and resolution which was carried unanimously: