THE council seems determined to see the death of North Shields, not only as a place to work, but as a shopping centre.
The biggest shop in the Beacon shopping centre has been turned over to yet another ‘discount store’, right next door to another one.
And down our main street, what do we have at the top? A discount store, and in the middle, and further down in the biggest space the town there is, yes, another huge bargain store, and at the bottom of the street is yet another one.
As for the rest, we have a selection of charity shops.
North Shields is a small town of pleasant, historic architecture with a highly skilled and seriously under utilised workforce.
Of course it cannot compete like for like with big cities with their international shopping chains and access to international manufacturers, or the out of town outlet parks, but it is perfect for small independent retail and manufacturing businesses producing well made quality local goods.
And now is the time in the world economic cycle when new business and manufacture has the best chance to be developed.
The council has put a lot of effort into the big stuff on the big industrial estates, now let us demand the council don’t lose this golden opportunity to use the incredible talents and skills of our local people in developing sustained growth of some home grown businesses that will give this beautiful small town the future it deserves.