AFTER seeing the story about Huntingdon development, I just wanted to have a say on how I would plan the future of retail in the two towns.
Firstly Huntingdon. It has the space and is in the process of redevelopment, so why stop at providing for Sainsbury's, how about the shoppers themselves? Huntingdon has many small chain stores, all open to the weather. With Sainsbury's moving and Manor Estates firmly in charge of that area, I would have looked at putting the old Chequers Court area within a mini arcade. This would attract more shoppers to the town centre on wet cold days. For Huntingdon chains stores is the way to go, but the town needs to provide more comfort to get the foot fall.
Now St Ives. St Ives should look at Ludlow in Shropshire. Ludlow is devoid of chain stores, the shops are all occupied by independent retailers selling local produce and wares. The market there sells local too, as well as being daily, so lots of fresh healthy products and good prices. Why have Costa in St Ives? Why couldn't locals be encouraged start a new coffee shop?
Ludlow also has many festivals to help bring in people from far and wide, these people then spread the word. St Ives has the a strong historic background, as does Huntingdon, and we could use this for festivals to be more widely advertised. I have enjoyed events in the area a lot, but they do seem a bit cheap and not well thought out sometimes.
So there you have it, Huntingdon to bring trade back from Peterborough and Cambridge, and St Ives to bring a taste of something different. Two towns down different paths, supporting each other.