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Eldon Square should be fine I think. Its tightly tied into the town centre as a whole.
Metro Centre though...it has been looking ropey for some time already. I went for the first time in a long while last year and was shocked at quite how empty it is. So many abandoned shops. Apparently they already have a replacement lined up for Debenhams, which is good as they seemed set to be a killing blow. But long term out of town shopping centres are a dying breed.
Looking at the big picture I welcome this. In person shopping is due for a huge decline but keeping as much of it in town centres as long as possible is vital for the transition.
But on a local scale... Just what will become of the metro centre? Such a huge chunk of land, of the economy....

The food bit of Eldon Square- yep, it should work. The same sort of thing is very common in Japan where it works well. I'd say the problem there is not so much that its just chains, but the chains it does have are in that family dining middle ground which is struggling a lot in modern times. When people go out for a meal they want to go to a proper independent place for a unique experience and good quality. When people want quick food they want it cheap and fast. This middle ground is losing out.
Metro centre could be prime land for development and housing, though the optics....eeek. It will depend on whether the administrators think that:
  • They will be able to realise more as a going concern than a site
  • They can continue to open - covering day to day costs
The problem with the ES food court is as you say the mid market is dying and PLCs tend to want to deal with PLCs so their tendency will be to work with chains rather than independents [or rather the 'deal', guarantees etc will de facto exlude micro businesses].
 

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The problem with the ES food court is as you say the mid market is dying and PLCs tend to want to deal with PLCs so their tendency will be to work with chains rather than independents [or rather the 'deal', guarantees etc will de facto exlude micro businesses].
They’ll probably have no choice but to deal with smaller businesses now if they want to keep the place busy. Maybe even some initial rent-free periods.
 

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They’ll probably have no choice but to deal with smaller businesses now if they want to keep the place busy. Maybe even some initial rent-free periods.
It's a delicate balance for the administrators, though perhaps easier with NCC involved - the administrators are in effect personally responsible for losses, however I can also see NCC being keen to fill units with 'community/social' outlets which is noble but not necessarily right for a high profile site like the food court.
 

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Simply put, Eldon Square and the Metro Centre being the two biggest shopping outlets will need to work together to find a solution.

However, the likelihood of NCC and GC sitting down together and working out what is best for either Tyneside or the North East generally, is virtually non existent.

It's almost like we need to combine authorities somehow to make sure they are all collaborating for the region's, and not just within their arbitrary borders sake.

By us trainplanners on the Rail Transport threads, having an upstream of Redheugh Bridge bridge to best and immediately link the Metro Centre area to Newcastle City Centre could really help boost the Metro Centre area's regeneration into whatever it may become in the future. Retial will not be enough, and any further development would be curtailed by the capacity (or lackof) of the Western Bypass. If the Bensham chord between northbound ECML and westbound services on Tyne Valley line is restored in addition to a 'Metro Centre bridge', then it would be feasible to allow all trains to potentially stop at Metro Centre as well as Central.
 

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MetroCentre could and should becoming a prime housing area. I dare say plenty of the shops could be retained as part of some sort of new town centre. I think the biggest hurdle though is that whisky INTU own the actual shopping centre, the units surrounding it are owned by different developers.
Even with a new hosing estate/town, you could also create quite a large park & ride there for access to Newcastle. It already has the train line, the busses, and is just off the A1.
 

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Both The Times and The Guardian reporting that John Lewis Newcastle on list of "likely" store closures.
There were a bunch of numpties on the Chron comments earlier in the week saying the branch would 'never' close. I refrained from joining the debate.
 

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Would hope that this crisis will also force a re-think into the EPS North proposals for more retail on Pilgrim Street.

Granted, there will always be some- but current proposals for it to be all retail, is utterly futile.
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Image courtesy of renderloft
 

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@No Opinion - There definitely needs to be much more emphasis on true mixed use developments with retail at ground (and maybe first) floor and then offices and residential above.

Unless the government starts taxing online retail heavily we won’t be going back to physical retail being the main channel.

JL leaving Eldon Square would also leave a massive void in the centre.
 

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It is indeed disturbing how they keep building new retail when there's so much empty around.
Just look at that new hotel made near the Bigg Market; IIRC only a Subway branch has opened in its retail units thus far?

Its sad to see all this stuff happening. And this is big brands closing down. Consider all the little shops who are just hanging on with government aid but will struggle as things reopen half heartedly...
 

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It is indeed disturbing how they keep building new retail when there's so much empty around.
Just look at that new hotel made near the Bigg Market; IIRC only a Subway branch has opened in its retail units thus far?

Its sad to see all this stuff happening. And this is big brands closing down. Consider all the little shops who are just hanging on with government aid but will struggle as things reopen half heartedly...
Imagine if Cobalt and Quorum business parks closed down and we had all those business working in town supporting the high street, town would be buzzing through the week. There would still be issues with the large shopping centres but the city centre would surely benefit massively
 

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There seems to be a pervading mindset that the CBD is where people work and shop, and the suburbs are where people live.

This was the will of the Modernists, who took a mathematical approach to urban planning. Each to be in its own place.

But, critically, the Modernists failed to understand the human condition. We are not automatons, and now we start shopping in out of town centres, and working in business parks, then we have to suddenly find relevance for our vastly irrelevant urban cores. Internet shopping is a contributor, but of course the Councillors will blame that and not the free parking retail parks on the outskirts of town.

Interim solution- make all out of town retail and business parks have to pay for parking. Land is too scarce a commodity for these lazy, american types of development anyway.

Urban cores should not just be thought of 'where we need to shop', rather, this is where most activity takes place. There will always be some retail- as you do need to see before you buy some things, but merge and make city centres leisure, encourage office use (what's left of it) and increase dramatically residential city centre living.

Build an 8 storey block around the Stack. Retain Dex Garage as a cool Peckham levels type shop to allow space for start ups, artists and inflatable barista chatrooms or whatever. What goes in this block? Let the market decide. Resi, Office, retail on GF- who knows.

Just don't flog the contracting ideological duck that is 'city centre shopping'.
 

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With talk of there being a replacement lined up for Debenhams at the Metrocentre, could this be John Lewis striking a deal with whoever is running intu these days to move to a more modern, compact store. Having recently visited the new Birmingham John Lewis, I was shocked to see how small it was in comparison to Newcastle.

Again, pure speculation, particularly in the current climate, but would a Selfridges or Harvey Nicholls prefer a Newcastle store as opposed to a Gateshead Metrocentre store? Or would the John Lewis Eldon Square site be easier to reconfigure into leisure or even residential use?
 

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All for EPS going ahead which will give buildings which are much more useful for modern retail such as a relocated John Lewis. Eldon Square can be knocked down as far as I’m concerned
 

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I think the reality is that Newcastle will host one department store, and the Metro Centre the other.

Fenwicks should be the priority. Debenhams may yet limp on.

There just isn't the market for multiple ones in the same place or duplication of the same store only a few miles apart.

Newcastle, and Pilgrim/ ESSC could instead focus on the mix between leisure/retail/living/working
 
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