Stop the decline of our town centre

MEMBERS of the public are being asked to come up with fresh ideas before any more shops in Peterhead shut their doors.

With 14 empty retail units in the town centre alone, there are growing fears that local folk will have to travel elsewhere for their shopping.

The latest store to be added to the list was Partridge’s which opened in October of last year. Owner Hamish Partridge said if it wasn’t for the current economic climate, things could have possibly turned out better for the fashion store.

“It is with sadness and regret that our Peterhead store will be closing due to the economic climate,” he told the Buchanie.

“We have to safeguard the business and consolidation is the best way at the moment. The Turriff shop and website will be trading as normal and all stock will be transferred to Turriff.

“It is unfortunate that these is the times we are in and consumers must support local independent shops to safeguard the high street. Too many independents are closing as well as famous chain brands, but to secure the future of the high street we all need to do our bit and support local shops.”

Members of Peterhead’s Community Council have recognised the problem and are asking for the backing of Peterhead people to help put a stop to the closures.

Secretary Gordon Farman said: “It’s very sad news that yet again another new shop has opened up in Peterhead and been unsuccessful. Peterhead Community Council have recognised that these issues are not going to go away and we have set up various meetings with different people in the hope to find a solution to the problem in the town.

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“We will have a stand at the Trade Fair during the Scottish Week in the hope that members of the public are able to help us come up with a solution to the problem. We need people to tell us how we can fix the problems, not how bad they are.

“It’s got to the point now that we can’t as a community allow it to go any further, and hopefully people can help us come up with ideas and put pressure on the people in power to do something about the problems and help the town.”

Chairman of the Buchan Area Committee and Councillor Stuart Pratt added: “It’s disappointing to see another shop close but these problems aren’t just happening in Peterhead.

“It’s very difficult to run a small business in times like these and shops need the support of their local people if they want to stay open, whether anything can be done to improve the situation is debatable.”

Meanwhile an empty unit will re-open later in August, previously known as Urban Kids, the corner unit on Chapel Street will open as a William Hill, after their previous store had to be closed in December due to flooding.

A spokesman for the chain said: “William Hill has had a re-site in Peterhead and is hoped to be open on August 24.

“We had to close the shop on December after it was flooded from above and our members of staff had to be relocated. The 5 permanent members of staff will be moved back to the Peterhead store and we are looking forward to opening again after having to be closed for such a long time. The area manager is positive that the new premises is in a better position and will be brand new from top to bottom.”