Burton and Dorothy Perkins pull out of Aldershot

Burton and Dorothy Perkins pull out of Aldershot

Burton and Dorothy Perkins pull out of Aldershot

Another retailer has given a vote of no confidence in the failing Aldershot town centre.

Burton and Dorothy Perkins, part of the Sir Philip Green tax-dodging Arcadia Group, are to close down in less than ten days time.

This will leave yet another boarded-up shop unit in Aldershot town centre.

The likelihood of it being re-let in the near future is low, due to high rent and poor state of repair.

Look inside the shop, look beyond the shop fittings which forms an internal shell, and look at the structure of the building and note the poor state of repair.

It could be seen as an opportunity for a local small business, but unlikely due to the high rent, long lease and poor state of repair.

The Arcade offered suitable units for small businesses, but it now sits boarded-up, deliberately designed to kill off the few remaining small businesses still in The Arcade.

A couple of weekends ago, Aldershot Live Music Day, if the intention was to draw people into the town centre, then contrary to the false claims of the Council on their facebook page, it was a failure. Aldershot was as dead as every other Saturday. Music wise it was dire.

The only draw for Aldershot, is the Thursday market. And that is under threat.

Westgate, Wastegate as local retailers call it, is doing what it was designed to do, lay waste to the town centre.

The failure of both Aldershot and Farnborough as town centres has to be put down to the lack of vision of the local council and the failure to comprehend how local economies work. Or worse, deliberately laying waste to the town centres, carrying out a policy of ethnic cleansing of small businesses.

The only way either Farnborough or Aldershot are going to recover, is from the bottom up, organic growth, working with and supporting small retailers, not looking for a developer or a national chain to deliver a quick fix.

Margate provides an interesting case study. A seaside town long past its sell-by date, high unemployment, in some parts close to 20%, used as as dumping ground for people on benefits, retail vacancy of a third. Why spend a weekend in Margate when a cheap flight will take you anywhere in Europe.?

Regeneration of Margate has two parts, culture and providing low rent units for retailers.

If we compare Margate with Aldershot and Farnborough. Aldershot has become a sink for immigrants, comparable with an inner-city slum. Farnborough has The Tumbledown Dick, a c 1720s pub, a once popular live music venue now sitting derelict and a planning application submitted for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s. Firgrove Parade, local retailers and a restaurant, planing permission approved for destruction, including destruction of town centre green space and trees.

The problem with Farnborough and Aldershot is pig-ignorant, arrogant councillors who think they know best. One only has to look around both town centres to see they do not.

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