Swansea City Centre – We want your views

Since the 2008 recession town centres around the UK have been hit with the hardest trading conditions for generations. There have been a number of high profile retailers reporting extreme financial pressures as well as the negative impact on small independent businesses.

 Swansea City Centre is no different with decreasing levels of footfall over the past few years. Not to mention the increasing competition from out of town retail parks, new developments out of Swansea and the rise in use of internet shopping.

 These points highlight the difficulties and challenges facing Swansea and City Centres across the UK.

The Review

The Council’s Environment & Communities Overview & Scrutiny Board are currently carrying out a review of Swansea City Centre, with the aim of looking at how effective Swansea’s approach is to improving the City Centre.

 Chair of the Board, Councillor June Evans, said ‘“These are  tough times for city centre traders because of a volatile economic climate, the rise of out-of-town shopping and the growing popularity of shopping online.

 “But tackling issues facing the city centre is a high priority for the Council and this is why we’re conducting a survey to find out what people think and why many prefer to shop in out-of-town retail centres.

 “Our research will be invaluable in producing a report based on all of our discussions and findings. What we’d ask is for as many people as possible to give us their feedback.”

 The Board will be collecting evidence until December with the aim of the review being completed at the beginning of the new year.

Your Views

As part of this review the Board are keen to hear your comments on Swansea City Centre and are particularly interested in finding out if people prefer to shop in out of town complexes and why that it is.

 Therefore we would like you to answer and comment on the following questions:

 1) Why are you shopping in out of town shopping complexes rather than Swansea City Centre?

 2) What would encourage you to shop in Swansea City Centre more?

 We are also running an online survey to gather views on this issue. If you would like to fill in the survey it can be found here.

Background Reading 

If you would like to do some background reading before you comment then please see the documents below:

 City Centre Action Plan

City Centre Strategic Framework

Environment and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Boards City Centre Review Scope

This consultation will run until the 7th November. All the comments will be collated and a report will be presented to the Board.

Comments

  1. C.Westbrook says:

    Look at public transport to and from suburban areas. Theres much spending power living in Suburbia.!!
    Public transport now too stretched to enable share with other communities that it is no longer viable to get to town AND BACK without being a sports runner
    to catch bus back or too stressful to walk around for 2 and half hours till next bus back.

    We now even online shop for items from Wilkinsons..its less stressful than waiting for late badly scheduled buses..Tesco is near the bus station but it is being removed..a bad move.

    We cant use theatre, restaurants, jazz club or late shopping as last bus home is 5pm ish.
    Taxi costs stand at over 10 pounds now just to get in one way.

    Better to get lifts with friends to Lidl,Aldi,Matalan,Fforestfach Tesco for food and electricals,home decor items at Home Sense, two pharmacies and Costa coffee .. 3 clothes outlets.. Get lift home without being rain drenched and stress blown waiting around at cold bus stations or stops. Sort the buses = help sort the situation.

    • Rosie Jackson says:

      Thanks for your comment. It will be included in a report to the Board which will be looked at when they discuss their conclusions and recommendations. Details of the findings and final report will be published on this blog.

  2. Andrew Jones says:

    Basically like so many people I know I don’t bother to go into Swansea City Centre unless I have to as it no longer offers a pleasurable environment with very little to offer ( contrast with Carmarthen which is fantastic now!) Our council has allowed the city centre to go into freefall decline over several decades and is a disgrace – just look at the Kingsway – it’s heartbreaking! And the fact all these years on nearly everyone I know mourns the loss of David Evans means that we desprately need a quality department store and/or speciality retail experience like the old Treasure store

    Yes there are a few good shops but far too many cheap shops/pound shops/empty shops. Considering Swansea is Wales’s second city it is a disgrace!

    And what is the response of the council – cheaper parking!! What a laugh – the real problem is there’s just not enough choice and quality left in the city centre to make the trip worthwhile. Let’s have a proper strategy which includes reduced business rates/incentives to get good shops in and people shopping in the city centre again. Why not follow the example of Carmarther which has created the ‘Old Town’ specialist area as an alternative to the multiples in St Catherine’s Walk. That could easily be done around Castle Street and Princess Way – to include finally letting the empty units on the site of the old David Evans – that white elephant is an embarassment and high time the council took some action to sort out and stop passing the buck! Filling half of it with a cheap gym is a cop out – it’s a small development and if it can’t be filled with the shops we desperately need then the councillors should be EXTREMELY worried about the future of Swansea City Centre – or is it just the case that as long as their favourite poundshop is here then they are happy?

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