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Old August 17th, 2010, 01:08 PM   #1
Newcastle Historian
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Teesside Area - RETAIL

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On the 'Skybar', some recent posts have identified a need for a RETAIL (discussions) thread, for this Forum . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian View Post
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Didn't realise that there wasn't a dedicated "Retail" thread on here!! 'Retail Threads' are, to be honest, some of the most popular threads on the other three forums, so I don't know if anyone thinks it might be useful to start a one on here?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobalania View Post
Yes, we don't have one. Would it be made into a sticky thread at the top, like the Skybar?

Thanks for posting that article on Hartlepool Retail
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian View Post
It wouldn't need to be a 'sticky thread', it is just the same as any other normal thread.

It is likely that it would be popular enough to remain at, or near, the top of the forum anyway!

Would you like me to start a Teesside RETAIL thread, or would you like to start one yourself?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobalania View Post
It would be a help if you could create the thread as you know how to get discussions going/the description of the thread in the first post. Thanks, much appeciated.

SO . . .

Here we are, a dedicated thread for the discussion of all RETAIL issues, in the area covered by our Forum.

Likes, dislikes, what should happen, what is going to (or 'not' going to) happen, rumours, hard news, new developments (that MAY eventually lead to a new 'Project Thread') etc, etc.

There's usually lots to say on the Retail front!!

I'll kick us off with the Hartlepool Retail newspaper article, that started these recent discussions off, transferred here from the Skybar . . .

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Last edited by Newcastle Historian; September 24th, 2010 at 02:01 PM.
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Old August 17th, 2010, 01:11 PM   #2
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and here it is . . .
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Facelift secures future of Hartlepool parade
August 3rd 2010, by Karen McLauchlan, Evening Gazette


A HARTLEPOOL shopping parade has been given a whole new look thanks to a joint effort from local residents, businesses and Hartlepool Council.

In 2008 residents attending the Rift House Neighbourhood Forum called for a facelift to the Catcote Road shopping parade as many units were empty and the area run down.

After some initial improvements Hartlepool Council entered into discussions with residents and businesses to identify how best to secure the long-term viability of the popular parade.

As a result funding was secured through the council’s SCRAPT programme (£50,000) and from the Home Office (£24,000) to improve the appearance of the shops and flats above.

A further £13,000 has been allocated by the Rift House Neighbourhood Forum.

The improvements include new fascia panels, painting, new litter bins, security shutters, CCTV cameras, new lighting columns, jet washing and hanging baskets.


FULL ARTICLE HERE - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/commerci...1140-26981836/
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Old August 21st, 2010, 10:36 PM   #3
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THORNABY SHOPPING PLAZA SOLD £16.4m
Aug 20 2010 by Ian McNeal, Evening Gazette



A REVAMPED Teesside shopping centre has been bought for more than £16m.

The Evening Gazette revealed in April that Thornaby’s landmark shopping plaza had been put on the market for £15m.

The sale arose after the site’s developer, Thornfield Ventures, hit financial trouble.

BAE Systems Pension Funds Trustees Limited has now stumped up £16.4m to buy the retail development.

It is understood the development attracted a number of bids, and sources close to the deal said the purchase price reflected confidence in the site.

Thornfield, alongside Stockton Council, was responsible for the £20m redevelopment of the tired 1960s shopping arcade, which also included the Pavilion leisure centre.

The rejuvenated centre was opened in April last year.

However, Thornfield collapsed during the recession and administrators put its assets up for sale to recoup cash lent to the business.

Stores at the development include Peacocks, New Look and Wilkinsons.

Councillor Bob Cook, Stockton Council’s Cabinet member for transport and regeneration, said: “Marketing of the Thornaby Centre attracted a number of bidders and after detailed consideration, Stockton Council gave approval for the assignment of the lease to BAE Systems Pension Funds Trustees Limited.

“Following its £20m refurbishment, Thornaby town centre has continued to attract both national and local retailers and is proving to be very popular with shoppers, visitors and businesses alike,” he said.

A spokeswoman for BAE Systems Pension Funds Trustees Limited said: “We see the shopping centre as an attractive investment and fully intend to ensure that it remains an attractive destination for local shoppers.”

The sale of the development was handled by commercial property group CB Richard Ellis, while property group LaSalle Investment Management oversaw the purchase on behalf of BAE.the purchase on behalf of BAE.


Full article

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/te...4229-27098557/
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Old September 10th, 2010, 01:26 PM   #4
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North-South divide evident in shop closures
September 9th 2010, Evening Gazette


THE number of shops closing across the UK is slowing but the North is faring significantly worse than the South, a study found.

Town centre vacancy rates rose from just over 12% at the end of 2009 to 13% at the end of June, according to the Local Data Company (LDC).

Middlesbrough was ranked 11th nationally among large centres for its vacancy rate - which has risen by 1.46% in the last six months to 19%.

In medium-sized centres, Stockton was ranked fourth nationally with its vacancy rate rising by 6.86% to 27.27%.

Stockton also topped the vacancy league across the North- east with its rates significantly higher than Newcastle (17.9%) and Carlisle (14.7%).

Redcar’s vacancy rate rose by 0.25% to 16.7%. Hartlepool saw a 2.96% climb to 16.6%.

Darlington’s vacancy rate is 14% - with the figure rising 1.49% in the last six month.

Of the 63 large centres studied across the UK, 10 showed an improvement over the last six months and eight of those showed a consistent improvement over the year.

Those “improvers” included Bath, Guildford, central London, Cardiff and Liverpool.


FULL ARTICLE HERE - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/business...1140-27234446/
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Old September 15th, 2010, 07:23 PM   #5
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Journal Business Supplement, 15th September 2010 . .

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Old September 24th, 2010, 01:59 PM   #6
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McDonald’s pulls out of Stockton High Street
September 24th 2010, by Krysta Eaves, Evening Gazette


MCDONALD’S on the High Street in Stockton is set to close next week after 22 years.

The decision to close the fast food restaurant has been attributed to altering trading patterns as well as a changing high street.

In a statement McDonald’s said: “We can confirm that McDonald’s, together with our local franchisee, have taken the decision to close the restaurant at Stockton High Street from Thursday, September 30.”

Around 50 people worked in the High Street branch and all have been offered jobs at nearby restaurants such as Portrack Retail Park.

The statement said: “No compulsory redundancies will take place as a result of this closure, with all staff being offered transfers to neighbouring restaurants.”

The company added that following an ongoing review, the Stockton High Street site was “no longer viable”.

“Since the restaurant opened in 1988, trading patterns in Stockton have changed, and as a result we have taken the difficult decision to cease trading at this site,” the statement added


READ MORE HERE - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/business...1140-27335533/
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Old September 30th, 2010, 12:47 AM   #7
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One of the biggest shop names that has departed our high streets in recent years, is WOOLWORTHS, or to be totally correct . . . F W Woolworth & Co Ltd.
A gentleman called Graham Soult is a regular poster on SkyscraperCity, and he also writes a very interesting BLOG on retail issues. One of his recent articles was about branches of Woolworths that we used to have in Middlesbrough, and he has given me his permission to reproduce that article here, in this thread . . .


Unpacking Middlesbrough’s Woolies history
Graham Soult, January 4th 2010,

I’m always delighted when people comment on my blog posts, and a recent contribution from Gareth Hill has proved particularly interesting in shedding light on the history of Woolworths’ presence in Middlesbrough, following on from my visit to the town back in September. Gareth wrote:

"In Middlesbrough the former Woolworths in the Hill Street centre was actually Woolworths’ fourth store in Middlesbrough.

The first was on Linthorpe Road, opposite the Sony Centre. In the 1950s they moved a few doors up Linthorpe Road to a new Department Store, just before Binns corner. This was one of the many larger stores which had large food halls which closed in the early 80s when the British arm of the business was sold. This building was split into three separate units.

For a few years there was no Woolworths presence in Middlesbrough. Then in about 1990 there was a short-lived Woolworths Music & Video store in a corner unit diagonally opposite the store you visited. You may therefore have visited a further three former Woolworths."


Needless to say, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to do a bit of digging around into what Gareth had told me. A bit of Googling later, I’d come across this great Evening Gazette blog post about the history of Woolworths in Middlesbrough, including a fabulous photo (below) of the Mark II Linthorpe Road store – known as Central Buildings – on its opening day of 3 September 1958.


Woolworths in Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough on its opening day of 3 September 1958. Photograph courtesy of Evening Gazette

Passing along Linthorpe Road today, I was determined to see if I could spot the building in question. In fact, it wasn’t very difficult at all, given that surprisingly little seems to have changed (apart from The Mall’s annoying canopy, which rather got in the way of me replicating the original view):


Former Woolworths in Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough (4 Jan 2010)


Here’s a clearer view, taken from the opposite direction:


Former Woolworths in Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough (4 Jan 2010)


In comparison, locating the original Linthorpe Road Woolworths has proved much more of a challenge – and even now I’m not sure that I’ve managed to identify the right building.

Gareth had referred to it being “a few doors” from the 1950s Woolworths and “opposite the Sony Centre”, but the only Sony Centre that I could find details of prior to my visit was the one in Captain Cook Square – well away from any Linthorpe Road frontage. I had some vague recollection, however, of reading something a few years ago about the Middlesbrough Sony Centre having moved location.

Perhaps Gareth was referring to where it used to be?

With this in mind, and using a process of elimination, I took a photo of one of the few remaining old (i.e. pre-1950s), suitable looking buildings, in roughly the right location along Linthorpe Road:



Is this Middlesbrough's original Woolies?


Perhaps someone in the know can reveal whether or not I’ve correctly identified Middlesbrough’s original Woolworths?

Following my visit, a bit more digging suggests that I can’t be too far off the mark – it looks like the Sony Centre did used to be in Linthorpe Road (#98), in a unit that now appears to be occupied by Carphone Warehouse, and that is more or less opposite the building that I photographed.

So, some one out there had better put me out of my misery!

Am I right, or am I wrong???!!

END OF BLOG.




The above article (and some responses to it) can be viewed on "Soults Retail View" BLOG, along with many other articles about the Retail Scene in North East England and elsewhere. The LINK is below . . .

SOULT'S RETAIL VIEW - A BLOG ABOUT NORTH EAST SHOPPING
http://www.soultsretailview.co.uk/



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Last edited by Newcastle Historian; September 30th, 2010 at 11:27 AM.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 02:35 PM   #8
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Fast lane for repairs
October 11th 2010, Evening Gazette


A DO-it-yourself car garage - thought to be the first in the North-east - opens its doors in Darlington today.

Customers of Spannerit can rent fully-equipped bays to mend their own cars - and owner Jim Pearson is hoping his new venture will create jobs as it takes off.

Jim loves tinkering with his treasured TVR sports car - and even his Isuzu Trooper.

But his problem was space. “Like many people, I live in a modern house with a garage just big enough for one car,” said Jim, of Faverdale in Darlington, “so if there was a job to do on the car, I had to push it outside and hope it didn’t rain. But more often than not it can mean lying on your back in the cold and not having the right tools.”

Taking the TVR to a local garage wasn’t an option.

Jim’s estimate is that they can charge around 120% more than the cost of the parts.

And so Spannerit was born.

A large garage at Banks Road in Darlington with separate bays which can each be hired for as little as £15 an hour so you can make DIY repairs to your own car, bike or even boat.

For a few pounds more there is a four-post lift available. And the site is open seven days a week until 8pm.

Jim provides tools including trolleys and axle stands, washing facilities and even refreshments. Customers only need to bring their cars and a bit of know-how.


Read More - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/business...1140-27447114/
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Old October 11th, 2010, 02:48 PM   #9
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Middlesbrough has a dynamic retail offer.

The Town Centre has 4 shopping centres . . .

1 - The Mall.



2 - Hillstreet Shopping Centre.



3 - Captain Cook Square.



4 - Dundas Shopping Mall.



All are centrally located within a minute's walk of each other.

The pedestrianised Linthorpe Road and Newport Road are at the retail heart of the town with Debenhams and House of Fraser gracing the refurbished pedestrian space.



New additions to the town include Monsoon, Costa Coffee, H&M, Starbucks and Zumo. Zumo has been so successful that they have opened a second premises in the Hillstreet Shopping Centre.

Topshop have recently relocated to a much larger unit in The Mall and New Look have opened a second shop in the town centre also in The Mall. Plans are in place for a food court and improved customer facilities which have included the purchase of the previously Council owned car park.

The town has also developed a designer shopping area, namely Linthorpe Road Central which is dominated by the impressive Psyche building. Psyche is designer shopping heaven offering labels such as Rock and Republic, Armani, Paul Smith, French Connection and Dolce & Gabbana plus many more. This area has been transformed by the Psyche development and has attracted many independent names such as Triads, Yakuza, Deap and Red Square.



Sassari's Continental Cafe, Joe Rigatoni's, Akbar's and Esquires Coffee House, all on Linthorpe Road, provide a great place to eat and unwind whilst shopping. The Linthorpe Road Central area sits neatly alongside the University of Teesside campus which is also near to the buzzing heart of the student night scene.


Read More - http://www.visitmiddlesbrough.com/si...guide-shopping
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Old October 14th, 2010, 05:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Moorfield plans Darlington extension
Published: 13 October, 2010

Moorfield Group has bought the Post Office building on Crown Street, Darlington to allow an extension to its Cornmill shopping centre.

The building consists of a ground floor retail unit with vacant offices at 1st and 2nd floors above. The Post Office has taken a lease back on the ground floor unit for a term of 15 years at a market rent. The deal facilitates the next phase in the expansion of the 221,000-sq ft Cornmill Shopping Centre, with the intention of extending the existing shopping centre to the 1st and 2nd floors above the Post Office.

Mark Holmes of Moorfield said: “This latest announcement marks our commitment to Cornmill Shopping Centre and Darlington. The shopping centre is more than 98 per cent let and with the possibility of extending the facilities further, we will be able to accommodate new and exciting retailers who will join a host of high street names already established in the centre.”

DTZ acted for Moorfield in the deal, while BNP Paribas represented the Post Office.

This deal comes off the back of the recent letting of the 22,000-sq ft former Woolworths unit to Next. Furthermore Virgin Media has taken a three-year lease on a unit while Internacionale, Box Office, Azuri and Three have all signed deals to remain in the centre.
Read More - http://www.shopping-centre.co.uk/new...extension.html
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Old October 27th, 2010, 01:55 PM   #11
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Teesside Retail Park Plans
October 27th 2010, by Iain Laing, The Journal


A MAJOR plan to develop a key site on Teesside Retail Park is set to go before Stockton Councillors.

Athenaeum Developments Ltd (ADL), which was formed in Sunderland, is preparing to submit an application to redevelop the old Springs Health Club site.

Since it closed three years ago the building has fallen into disrepair and has now become an eyesore despite being on an important gateway site on the approach to the retail park.

Under the proposed £7.5m scheme the dilapidated building would be demolished and replaced with a new, 66-bed Travelodge Hotel, a Nandos restaurant and a Harvester family restaurant operated by Mitchells and Butler.

The development would help to create more than 60 full-time equivalent permanent jobs, with approximately the same number created during the construction phase.


Read More - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/commerci...1140-27546660/
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Old October 27th, 2010, 06:20 PM   #12
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From the JOURNAL 'Wednesday Commercial Property' Supplement - 27th October 2010 . .

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Old December 4th, 2010, 06:46 PM   #13
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Middlesbrough is a pretty good town to shop in, but i still think its lacking in areas, maybe the public realm needs to be improved???
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Old December 5th, 2010, 10:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobalania View Post
Middlesbrough is a pretty good town to shop in, but i still think its lacking in areas

I was just wondering if there were any particular shops that you think Middlesbrough should have, that it currently hasn't?
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Old December 6th, 2010, 07:43 PM   #15
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I think it needs some more independent retailers, instead of the usual highstreet chains.

What i think Middlesbrough needs, along with Stockton is a more cafe culture, lots more places to eat out in and around the town centre as oppose to just the night clubs and bars.
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Old December 6th, 2010, 09:10 PM   #16
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There's coverage of retailing in Stockton (and an interview with me, hopefully!) on BBC's Inside Out - 7.30pm tonight on BBC1!

http://www.soultsretailview.co.uk/20...-some-answers/
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Old December 6th, 2010, 11:37 PM   #17
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Damn, i missed it, but would like to see it. Will it be on Iplayer.

If Mcdonald's has closed down due to the reason i think it has, then that shows clearly that theres something seriously wrong in Stockton if a McDonald's can't even survive anymore.
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Old December 7th, 2010, 10:53 AM   #18
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Some excerpts from Graham's Blog, on the above subject . . .


I had a really enjoyable and interesting day filming with the BBC in Stockton and Hartlepool – happily just before all the current snow and ice kicked in. The reason for filming in Stockton was its dubious honour of having nearly 30% of its town centre shops empty – one of the highest proportions of any of the 500 town centres covered by the LDC survey.


B&M Bargains, on the site of Stockton's old Woolworths (22 Nov 2010)

My job was to provide some insight into why Stockton has such a high vacancy rate – building on my August blog post on that topic – as well as commenting on the success of those discount retailers, like B&M Bargains in Stockton, that have taken over old Woolies sites across the region.


Stockton High Street (17 Sep 2010)

As you know from my previous comments, I have rather a fondness for Stockton town centre. Its unusually wide High Street is one of the best urban spaces anywhere, and it is lined by some beautiful – if sometimes neglected – buildings.


Castlegate Shopping Centre, Stockton (28 Jun 2010)

Equally, visit the Castlegate Shopping Centre, where we started our filming, and you can also be forgiven for wondering where the LDC got its figures from. Though very much based around a value offer (including Wilkinson, Poundland and Home Bargains, as well as B&M), there are hardly any vacant units and the mall was really busy with shoppers on the Monday morning that we were there.


Wellington Square, Stockton (17 Sep 2009)

Nevertheless, walk the length of the High Street towards the empty Globe Theatre and the number of vacant units does start to add up. In Wellington Square, Stockton’s newer shopping centre, I counted at least 15 (mostly smaller) empty units, despite the presence of strong anchors such as Debenhams, New Look, H&M and (a modernised) M&S. Around the corner, in the High Street itself, one particular stretch includes only one permanent shop in a row of six units that are otherwise either empty or to let. With these kinds of numbers, the LDC findings begin to make sense.


Empty shops in Stockton High Street (22 Nov 2010)

So, why does Stockton have so many empty shops? When the BBC’s Chris Jackson asked me this question while filming in front of some of these vacant units, I suggested that it was down to a combination of factors.

While it’s easy to blame out-of-town retail, it’s certainly true that Stockton town centre has to compete with an unusually large number of out-of-town stores, both at Teesside Shopping Park and Portrack Lane. This doesn’t stop some retailers, such as M&S, having a presence both in-town and out – indeed, even B&M has just opened a Homestore in part of the old Big W at Portrack Lane, obviously seeing this as complementary to its Castlegate shop.


Marks & Spencer in Stockton (16 Nov 2010)

However, other retailers that could conceivably have a Stockton town centre presence, like Next and TK Maxx, already have stores at Teesside Shopping Park instead. Factor in the competition from Middlesbrough’s strong retail centre just four miles away, and it’s easy to frame Stockton as having a town centre that is simply too large for its current needs. Imagine that Stockton’s empty shops could be magicked away, with those that remain compressed into a smaller footprint. Without the distraction of the empty units, what you would see is a pretty strong retail offer for a place of Stockton’s size. Indeed, there are plenty of towns that would love to have both Debenhams and M&S on their high street, as Stockton still does.


Closed-down Rosebys in Stockton (16 Nov 2010)

As I explained to Chris, however, Stockton’s situation is not all down to local factors. There’s little any place can do when quite a number of its empty shops – such as a former Ethel Austin, Leveys, Rosebys, Au Naturale and Internacionale – are the consequence of weak retailers collapsing or struggling at a national level. Unfortunately, such names tend to be disproportionately represented in more secondary or less affluent retail locations rather than in major city centres, exacerbating the problem of empty shops in those places that often most need a retail fillip.

However, work already underway in Stockton provides some optimism for the future. The local council seems to recognise what needs to be done, improving the appearance of empty shops to minimise their blighting effect on the town centre, and supporting the transformation of the derelict Globe Theatre into a venue that draws people into that part of the High Street. All this is helped by the fact that Stockton High Street offers such a unique and impressive setting.


Inside Middleton Grange, Hartlepool (17 Sep 2009)

In contrast, Hartlepool’s town centre, where we filmed later in the day, suffers from having much less richness and character, due to its town centre basically being the Middleton Grange shopping centre. As with other homogeonous town centres such as Washington, this inevitably limits the options for retailers looking to enter Hartlepool, particularly those that would prefer a bustling high street location to an enclosed mall. After all, there must be some reason why Hartlepool’s large Woolworths site remains empty at the same time as many big names (and potential occupants) – such as BHS, H&M, TK Maxx and TJ Hughes – remain absent from the town.


Church Square, Hartlepool (16 Nov 2010)

Though parts of Middleton Grange are bright and busy, it suffers from being largely inward facing, and from having inadequate physical connections with the surrounding area. It is around these edges – notably in the dismal Market Walk area – where Middleton Grange seems to have its largest number of empty units.


The desolate Market Walk area of Hartlepool (16 Nov 2010)

I love the vibrancy of Hartlepool Marina, as well as the pleasing architecture and townscape of Church Square and Church Street (part of Ralph Ward Jackson’s original town centre for West Hartlepool – more of which in an upcoming post). However, getting to these places on foot from the town centre is stymied by a succession of busy roads, despite the distance not being very great. For the same reason, I suspect few of those who visit the Marina, Museum of Hartlepool or HMS Trincomalee make it over to the town centre.


The attractive Hartlepool Marina (17 Sep 2009)

Apart from making Hartlepool less hard to navigate, an important point I made on camera related to the town’s lack of a department store. Go back twenty years, and Hartlepool had Binns (House of Fraser) as well of Uptons, anchoring either end of Middleton Grange.


The outline of the former Binns logo can still be seen (16 Nov 2010)

Today, the Binns site is occupied by Wilkinson, and the old Uptons is a Co-op Home Store – basically one of Anglia Co-op’s Westgate Department Stores, but with only home-related departments and no fashions. If Hartlepool is to prevent the leakage of shoppers to centres such as Middlesbrough and Sunderland, this is a gap that really needs to be filled.


Graham Soult's site is always FULL of great "Retail" information, like this.

Well worth regular visits.


http://www.soultsretailview.co.uk/

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Old December 7th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobalania View Post
Damn, i missed it, but would like to see it. Will it be on Iplayer.
It's available to watch on iPlayer now - presumably only for seven days though!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/wk8qy/

And thanks for the kind words Pete
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Old December 13th, 2010, 04:24 PM   #20
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No 24 on red carpet for Franks
December 13th 2010, Evening Gazette


A NORTH-EAST flooring retailer has opened its 24th store - in Middlesbrough - and announced plans for expansion across the region.

Franks the Flooring Store has opened the new branch on the Trunk Road Retail Park, behind B&Q.

The move is part of the firm’s growth programme announced in the summer.

Franks is creating up to 60 new jobs across the North-east, including five at the store in Middlesbrough.

The company currently employs more than 150 people across the North-east. The growth is on the back of a rise in sales over the last two years as householders look to improve their own homes rather than moving.

The opening of the Middlesbrough store demonstrates the progress the company has made in the last 30 years since it opened its first shop in West Auckland from small premises in 1981.


Read More - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/business...1140-27816263/
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