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Forest of Dean District Council

Question: What can you do to encourage more retail business into the forest? Having more good quality fashion shops would encourage people to shop locally and prevent them having to go to Gloucester or Cheltenham. This will reduce carbon emissions and help develop local business.

Asked by gracetremlett on 12 Oct in the Categories: category.

Short link http://iac.im/9.199 | Comment on this question

  • Photo: Andrew GardinerAndrew Gardiner answered:

    Most relevent question and an issue which affects both the rural villages and the market towns. Generallly retail businesses in rural villages have been in decline for a long period – essentially because supermarkets offer more fasionable products. However smaller retail shops in Cinderford, Ross and Monmouth are competing with the large fashion outlets such as Co-operatives and Lapels in Ross where adequate parking is provided. But it would be great if we are able to supply our needs here within the Forest – because the more we patronised beyond our boundaries – the more we depress our own econonmy. Perhaps similarly to showcasing food produce, the District Council and local media could support and encourage and publicize through a Fashion Show Case for the Forest where local shops could contribute.

  • Photo: Di MartinDi Martin answered:

    What a really enlightened question . We have no fashion outlets except Dorothy Perkins in Lydney and how many young people can afford to shop there? We do not have assisted status in the Forest which prevents us getting any help in encouraging potential businesses. However this does not stop me and others pushing the County Council , Nation Government and all decision makers to support the regeneration of the Forest and in my case Cinderford and surrounding areas. I link in closely with Councillor Graham Morgan who is char person of the Cinderford Regeneration Board and will always push for more retail and all employment outlets in the Forest of Dean.

  • Photo: Jane HorneJane Horne answered:

    What an intelligent question. I think the only way to stop retailers ignoring The Forest is for local
    people to shop locallty and write to the press and say what they can’t buy. Newent has seen a lot of new shops open.lately and if they are well supported,hopefully they will remain. Too many people shop at big suppermarkrts. The other problems are parking.

  • Photo: Bruce HoganBruce Hogan answered:

    Hi Grace, that is a great question. The problem in the Forest is that we have four towns, none of which is quite big enough to attract the national retailers that will guarantee the shopper footfall that will encourage independent retailers. You just have to look at Ross-on-Wye or Monmouth to see the difference. The District Council has employed town centre managers as part of its regeneration team to help to promote out town centres as places to do business, primarily retail. It is essential that with the impending cuts we continue our regeneration efforts. Growth, not cuts will eventually bring us out of the economic crisis.

  • Photo: Len LawtonLen Lawton answered:

    Hello “gracetremlett”. What a wonderful idea, clearly someone with style. I agree with your principle of shopping locally. My wife always does our shopping in and around Newent or Cinderford, supporting our local shops is very important to us. Councils have to make it as easy as possible for shops and other businesses to start up and survive. It’s the community however that is needed when it comes to making our local shops a success, do your parents shop locally? I know people in Newent who do all their shopping in Gloucester, which makes me angry as almost everything is available locally. Which fashion shops would you like to see in the Dean? Do you think there are enough customers in the Dean to support them?

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