If you own commercial property in Grantham town centre, then you have had some mixed news this week. Rioja Estates have announced that Phase One of the Designer Outlet at Spittlegate has commenced. Great news for Grantham in that 1500 jobs will be created and for those who love their shopping 90 stores, restaurants and coffee shops will be created. Add to this the proposed shopping village at Downtown by Oldrids with over 100 stores, cafes and restaurants being created it is difficult to see how Grantham town centre will survive given Spittlegate is to the South and Downtown to the North.
A sizeable number of shops are presently vacant and with the pandemic I fear that even more may close as a result. Government assistance by way of furlough and assorted grants is a massive help however the owners still have mortgages to pay and food to put on the table. The sales pitch of these fabulous new retail parks will draw people into the town, and we will all benefit is a difficult one to fathom. Given all that is available to shoppers just off the A1 with all that free parking I struggle to see why anyone would nip into Grantham town centre, with all the traffic issues it has, to have a look around!
With so many shops and commercial properties already empty and with the distinct possibility of more to come I fear Grantham town centre will become a ghost town unless the council gets very creative. Planning regulations have been eased with this in mind; it is not an issue for just Grantham after all, but nationally.
Solutions are not straight forward, particularly post pandemic, many pubs have closed the doors for good as have café owners. A change of culture is called for with traffic free social areas so people can roam to their hearts content and feel safe in the environment. The challenge is to create something that will drag people away from their living rooms and be attractive both financially and intellectually so as to encourage them back time and again.
If you own commercial property in Grantham and are struggling to see any kind of return, then contact us for a fair price for a fast sale and we will be on the case straight away.