LETTERS: How to improve Lowestoft town centre
PUBLISHED: 06:00 17 March 2019
The challenge raised in last week's Advertiser as to "what would improve Lowestoft?" is a very important question.
Some of the key things that would improve the town centre are well summarised in the article by Kerry Lee who says: “It looks very unsightly when you go into the town centre. It needs money spent on how it looks and we need more ‘proper’ permanent shops and police patrolling the town.”
There are many things that would improve it, but what is the goal we are trying to achieve?
Is it to bring back retail or just make it a nice place to go to?
If it is bring back retail then we need to attract a higher percentage of middle class citizens (and possibly even upper class!), whose average spend is greater than the majority who currently hang out in the area.
Not only do you then get the benefit of higher revenue for the shops, but also more respectable persons with higher standards populating the streets in an area that is currently surrounded by poverty stricken residents.
Both these improvements would dramatically raise the profile of the entire area.
How do we bring back retail?
Offer whatever it takes to get more popular/proper shops such as: Primark, H&M, River Island, Mothercare, Krispy Crème.
Make people feel safe by increasing police patrol and tackling drug addicts and the homeless.
Give it a face lift! Revitalise some of the beautiful buildings from their derelict state into something outstanding! (or at least tidy)
Bring back the market to help give the streets some buzz. Upkeep of flowers, shrubs and trees, keep the place clean.
Attract professionals/business people. Turn some of the shops into plush offices that attract professionals. These busy people will want quality places to purchase their lunch i.e. Pret A Manger (they may even do some clothes shopping too!). These smart office buildings will also make the place look better.
If we just want it to be a “nice place to go” then it’s future is questionable as a town “centre”.
If it’s to stay a centre it needs to attract people who are raising the bar, raising the standards and raising our outlook.
Please can we take a radical approach to improve a town which deserves the best!