Subway pulls the plug on Westgate

Wastegate subway closed

Wastegate subway closed

subway Notice of Store Closure

subway Notice of Store Closure

An example of the nonsense from imbecile leader of Rushmoor:

Successful initiatives such as Westgate and changes in the way people shop are providing new opportunities for the town and contributed greatly to the success of the bid. We are very pleased that this money has been secured for investment in Aldershot town centre.

When you make statements like this, you lose all credibility.

Westgate has been described as many things, but successful initiative is not one of them. It has had dire consequences on the town centre, retailers are suffering, look at the number of boarded-up and closed shops, retailers call it Wastegate.

Even in its own right, Wastegate is not a success. Walk through daytime and note the empty chain eateries. Every ten pound spent in one of these eateries, is ten pound not spent in the town centre, it is ten pound not recycled within the local economy, were it spent with local retailers.

The cinema, when a long awaited cinema opens in Farnborough, so far over a decade late, will see the bums on seats halve.

It was therefore only a matter of time before one of the chain eateries pulled the plug on Wastegate, now called and please do not laugh, Westgate Leisure Park. Subway has closed, all signs removed, a notice on the door advising go to the Subway in the town centre.

For many, with the large number of empty and boarded-up shops in the town centre, poetic justice.

Who will be next? Eventually around half will close, maybe viable for those remaining. If they cannot survive now, with overspill from the cinema, they will not survive when the cinema opens in Farnborough.

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3 Responses to “Subway pulls the plug on Westgate”

  1. Iain Says:

    I have become a regular customer of Morrisons since it opened so I get to see Westgate at various times on various days of the week and can categorically state that it is a success and has not adversely affected the town centre. Aldershot’s issues with closed shops started well before Westgate opened and is mainly due to incompetent or greedy landlords and uncompetitive chain stores failing to sell what is generally overpriced tat.

    Morrisons main competitor is Tesco, but none of the four town centre supermarkets appear to have suffered from the extra competition. In fact two of them have actually extended their opening hours in the past year.

    The cinema may well see a reduction in its audience when the Farnborough one opens, but surely by now there should be quite a number of customers coming from cinema-less Farnham and Fleet to offset that?

    The chain restaurants do not appear to directly compete with of the town centre restaurants and cafes, with the possible exception of Cafe Macchiato, but that seems to be as popular as it has ever been. However, if you only see the restaurants during the day then you will get a false impression of how they doing, because they are at their busiest at weekends and in the evenings from Wednesdays onwards, because most of their customers are busy working at other times!

    Subway is an exception for the following reasons – it is not really a fast-food destination when compared to the likes of MacDonalds and KFC, and the Westgate branch was tucked away in a dead corner which few pass close to by choice, so it was in the wrong location to begin with. I remember they took ages to open it originally compared to the other restaurants, which was perhaps an indication of what their expectations were. Having said that, even the Union Street branch seems to be permanently quiet and I am a little amazed that is still open.

  2. keithpp Says:

    Retailers in the town have been hit by Westgate that is why they call it Wastegate.

    Wastegate was an unwanted development, that by its very existence, was going to hit the town centre, by shifting the retail centre of gravity away from the centre of town.

    A French restaurant was the first to close when Wastegate opened.

    The street market was hit very hard when Wastegate opened. Worst day of trading they had experienced. It has recovered, but not the the level it was.

    The cinema has stated that they expect a substantial drop, when the Farnborough cinema opens.

    The Farnborough cinema has been subsidized by the council. It would not have otherwise opened.

    There is unlikely to be the bums on seats to support both.

    Morrisons is not a success, most of the time near empty. It is not one of their best performing stores. If as may happen, Morrisons axe some of their stores because are not performing well (one of the strongest critics Ken Morrison) Aldershot may go.

    People in Farnham would not be seen dead in Aldershot.

    The Queen Hotel did well when it opened in April, did well for the first week, it has since experienced a steady decline. Of late not even have the range of guest ales, because no demand, they were having to pour down the drain

    Subway was in a corner, but not hidden away, A big enough sign. But clearly not the business else they would not have closed.

    Yes, there is a problem of greedy landlords overcharging on rents, for what is basically a slum location.

    Just Shop, an excellent food shop (that actually brought people into Aldershot), the type of business Aldershot can ill-afford to lose, has closed, driven out of business by a greedy Nepalese landlord.

    Action can be taken on rents. One of the first actions to be taken, is to publish all rents, name and shame the greedy landlords. It also helps in Rent Tribunals, as can do rent comparisons. Such action has been successful in other towns.

    Aldershot is a deprived area. The last thing it needs is what little money there is, drained out of the local economy. That is what the chains do. They drain money out, kill a town, then they close.

  3. keithpp Says:

    £4.5 million to be poured down the drain, no consultation, now £60,000 to be spent on consultants to advise how yet more public money can be poured down the drain trashing Aldershot.

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