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High-Rise Bungalow
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The recession is not helping, but it seems easier not to come into town these days. Shopping, work and leisure can be enjoyed in the increasing amount of out of town alternatives and of course the online community.

Why come into town ?

It can be for pratical reasons or it can be just to enjoy the atmosphere. Here are a few reasons why i come into town.

I like coming into town because......

- I like the hustle and bustle.

- I like the variety of architecture.

- I like the tall buildings

- I like the many different cultures.

- I like the market (even though it's declining.) Bowls of fruit for a pound.

- I like to visit my sister and enjoy the view of the river/canal from her flat window.

These are a few reasons why i come into town. I would appreciate other forum members reasons, and reasons why you don't come into town and where you go instead.
 

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I go into town for everything from shopping for food, to clothes, etc. As I currently live in the City Centre I am always there. The cinema is a great asset that draws people to the City Centre too. I often go for a nice meal at Las Iguanas, Nandos or Zizzis, etc. The City Centre has a retail and food offering that out of town places simply don't.
 

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I agree the town centre is far better than any out of town offer available.

The only advantage that out of town offers is free parking, but I'd rather pay to park than glide around large souless boxes for retail and spend more than a few seconds in some of the appalling excuses for eateries at Fosse Park, Meridian etc...

Do very little shopping online myself, because I want to see what I am buying "in the flesh".
 

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Leicester - why not?
LE5
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I could never go to characterless places like Fosse Park. Yes the city centre has its problems but it has no doubt been through some tough times in hundreds of years. It's the lack of ambition that some residents and the powers that be have that really annoys me. I'd prefer the character of the city centre than some soulless out if town complex.
 

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I enjoy the City Centre for all the reasons you've listed Wotzda. The feeling I have when I'm in the Lanes area and the cathedral cannot be replicated in Meridian or Fosse Park.

In addition there is New Walk, the Museums and the new music venues.

Like Lears, I also prefer shopping in town than online because I like the personal touch!
 

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I work in town so I come into town every day for food.

The atmosphere is nice, it's good to look at all of the buildings and find new places you've not been to before.

After work hours, I come into town to eat and drink. I like to take my girl out to the swanky resturants with 2 for 1 printouts in hand. I like the pubs and the people in them.

I shop for the bits and peices I need in town, though saying that it's annoying how you can't find certain items anywhere in town (Alcohol spray and T-Cut come to mind).

For most things that can be brought online (electricals mainly) I shop online as you get a better price. For food shopping I prefer out of town superstores as you can find everything you want in one place at a good price.
 

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Don't they sell T-Cut in Wilkinson's? Also plenty of garages and accessories stores in LE1 that would sell it I imagine? Same for alcohol spray.
 

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High-Rise Bungalow
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There was a time when you could get everything in town ! Out of town shopping has definitely diluted city centre shopping.

In general the city centre is now for national chain stores (Leisure shopping) A lot of the independent traders (practical shops) have closed down (become outdated) or have moved out to the suburbs.

The truth is we at one time had a city centre where all needs were met in a centralised location. Now we have a situation where, whether suburban High Street, out of town warehouse or city centre store, everything is spread out.

The Suburban high street might give you lots of independent traders, where you can pick up something unique a cheap haircut or snake food for example.

The out of town warehouse gives you lots of choice and cheaper prices with free parking and bulky goods straight in the back of your car.

And the city centre gives you a high value brand name and the sophistication of modern urban living, although pound shops and charity shops (which I don't mind) may detract from this !

And the internet cannot be ignored of course allowing you to shop from home.

The city centre will survive but I think it will have to drastically reinvent itself. I think Leicester was in the process of doing this but the recession has put pay to high value leisure orientated ventures which must I think be the future for our cities.

Being an urban enthusiast helps of course (like most on this forum) in patronising the city centre but I’m sure a lot of people no longer venture into the city centre on a regular basis anymore.
 

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I think Leicester is a city with some basic problems, which have been exacerbated by the recession. With Highcross and the Culture Quarter, the council have stretched the city in two different directions.

Highcross still seems to be doing well, and it certainly offers something you don't really get out of town, but the cultural quarter just hasn't worked. The area is devoid of life, and is slowly dying. The cenrtal city core between these two areas is also declining, which is in part due to Highcrosses success and the Cultural Quarter's failure.
 

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Greatest theatre in LE1
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The problem is that all the best bits of the city are in completely the opposite corners of the city centre. Sports to the south, shopping - north, arts - well all over the place

Drinking - all over the place as well!

Transport - a bit more organised, but fairly disparate

The Arts section is just in the wrong place!!
 

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A good point about the lack of co-ordination of usage in the city centre...

AREAS JUST BEYOND THE CITY CENTRE

The North East - Frog Island and All Saint's - many old and empty warehouses, in need of a total revamp. The site is cut off from the city centre by the ring road.

- Immediately beyond this area are Woodgate, Fosse Road North and New Parks areas. Not generally prosperous.
- Between the city centre and Frog Island the Highcross dominates. The success of the Highcross has not expanded out to Frog Island, due largely to a worldwide recession and the collapse of planned waterside developments.

Best Suggestion - use the Highcross to spread developments out toward Frog Island. A light rail solution is needed to solve Leicester's transport problems and the former Central Station would make a great transport hub. The empty warehouses are obvious choices for new housing.

The North - St Margaret's - again a lot of old warehouse space, including the massive Corah's site. There are a lot of offices in this area and the site is cut off from the rest of the city centre by a multi-lane ring road.

- Immediately beyond the area is the large Abbey Park and the planned Science Park and residential developments.
- Between the city centre and St Margaret's the Bus Station dominates. Churchgate is full of small mainly independent retailers. There are also many bars along the street. The architecture in the area is largely low in quality.

Best Suggestion - leisure facilities would be best placed in this area. There is much poor archiecture, so most replacements would look nicer anyway. There is a massive opportunity to redevelop land between Belgrave Gate and the Bus Station.

The North East - St Matthew's - a large mid-rise council estate built in the 1950's and 1960's. Cut off from the rest of the city centre by the ring road. An area of high deprivation and very poor architecturally. The location and characteristics of St Matthew's hinder investment in this part of the city. Two huge flyovers also have a negative effect on the area.

- Immediately beyond the area is Belgrave and the self-style "Golden Mile". An area that caters very much for the largely Asian population.
- Between the city centre and St Matthew's is the "Belgrave Triangle", which is easily the least successful and ugliest part of the city centre.

Best Suggestion - in a ideal world, get rid of St Matthew's. It has outlived its sell by date and needs replacing with either leisure facilities or some high quality family homes. The Belgrave Triangle has some appalling architecture and needs a complete revamp.

The West - Riverside and Castle - the oldest part of the city, cruely carved up by the creation of the ring road a few decades ago. Large parts of the riverside are empty, where old buildings have been demolished for failed new developments. The Castle and Newarke are separated from the rest of the city centre, by the ring road - though considerable efforts have been put in place to lessen the impact at The Magazine.

- Immediately beyond the area is Tudor Road and the West End, including the bars and restaurants along Braunstone Gate.
- Between the city centre and the Riverside and Castle are Greyfriars's and the Cathedral. Both areas are woefully underused and full to the brim with character, history and great architecture. Of all the areas in the city centre, this is the place with most potential and would provide a link between the city centre, DMU and Braunstone Gate.

Best Suggestion - change the use of Greyfriar's and also encourage linkage developments along the ring road.

The South West - De Montfort University, Leicester Royal Infirmary and LCFC/LTRFC - an area of large institutions and sports teams. In the past it also contained Granby Halls and nearer to the city centre is the City Council HQ.

- Immediately beyond the area, all the major residential areas are quite a distance away. There is Freeman's Meadows and the terraces behind the LRI, but the bulk of the residential population is DMU students in purpose built Halls.

- between the city centre and this part of town are the Welford Road and Newarke Street areas. They have no specific purpose and multi-usage.

Best Suggestion - hard to come up with a new use for the area. Big organisations and sports teams dominate. De Montfort House does most to ruin the area. Its replacement and some of the other poor quality housing around it, would improve the area massively.

The South - New Walk and Leicester University - an area teeming with fantastic architecture and character. Nothing more to add. Should act as a template for all new development in Leicester. The area is successful for a reason!

- immediately beyond the area is Clarendon Park and Stoneygate. The former is hugely popular with professionals and the latter is amongst the richest places in the region.
- between the city centre and New Walk lies Calais Hill. There are offices in the area, but there is also a lot of underused old warehouses. The area lies between New Walk, Granby Street and Belvoir Street.

Best suggestion - Calais Hill is ideally suited for residential use. There are already a lot of flats in the area. Personally, if pipe dreams are permitted, I would opt of a major new retail complex to counterbalance the Highcross!

The South East - Railway Station - an area of offices and a planned new Business Quarter.

- immediately beyond this area is London Road and the older parts of Highfields. Some great architecture and multi-usage including retail, reaturants and bars.
- between the city centre and the Railway Station is Granby Street. Partly a very good street, but also suffering with empty properties.

Best suggestion - the Business Quarter would really help the area. However St George's Tower has failed to attract any new business; beside a hotel. The Highcross pulls trade way from this area, so a retail hub would be very welcome to counterbalance.

The East - St George's Retail Park - when the land became available for this, right next to the train line - there was an opportunity to provide a great leisure complex. Now we have a retail park, cut off from the rest of the city centre by the ring road and a huge roundabout.

- immediately beyond this area is the train line and the rest of Highfields. High levels of deprivation and a lack of connectivity with the city centre.
- between the city centre and St George's Retail Park lies the Cultural Quarter.

Best Suggestion - it is hoped that the Cultural Quarter will springboard further development in the area. A lot of new apartment buildings have sprung up in recent years.


In summary connectivity and underuse are the main issues for Leicester. Large parts of the fringes around LE1 need to be connected to the city centre for success. Large areas of the city centre are woeful and need something to springboard them back to life.

Where this is most necessary is in the north of the city. Frog Island, St Margaret's and St Matthew's are major failures in the life of Leicester. Until they are tackled, Leicester will continue to under-perform. This is a matter of urgency for the city!!!

Seriously this part of the city needs a complete rebuild. The Leicester Regeneration Company didn't even give consideration to the area. There was some suggestion of family homes in St George's North, but that always appeared a miscalculation. Instead the LRC concentrated efforts far off in the north, beyond Abbey Park!

Greyfriar's needs an overhaul to start recovery in the west and to help re-establish the Old Town. This should be the home of small high quality retailers, bars and eateries - to complement The Lanes and St Martin's. Further west, the riverside needs to kick into action.

The South of the city is OK.

Hopefully the east will re-emerge with the Cultural Quarter as the years go by?

Unless we sort the fringes of the city centre out, the inner part will always remain disjointed and will under-perform. We need far more leisure facilties, a greater spread of retail, better transport, a postive attitude towards historic areas and a more pleasant urban fabric. In turn civic pride will increase and investment is attracted to local loyality and aesthtic surroundings.

Leicester needs a Task Force and a VERY strong Elected Mayor!
 

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Brilliant analysis Lears.

You're right also when you say that a taskforce is needed to knit the disparate parts of the city together. Hopefully Prospect Leicestershire will be able to fulfil this role in the near future.
 
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