Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 3°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Stowmarket: New mayor believes population growth will attract major retail brands to town

10:30 20 May 2014

Stowmarket Mayor Gerard Brewster

Stowmarket Mayor Gerard Brewster

A newly-elected mayor is “convinced” his town will see major retail brands investing if its population increases.

shares

Gerard Brewster, the Mayor of Stowmarket, said the market town’s population was close to reaching a “tipping-point” which would give an incentive to firms to establish new shops.

The population was recorded as 19,000 according to a Mid Suffolk District Council paper from 2012.

“The big brands will only come when we get a bigger up turn in the economy,” Mr Brewster said.

“It‘s more likely to happen when we get more growth in Stowmarket – when the population reaches a tipping point and the larger stores can see the potential of more footfall. We are very close to the tipping-point now – I am sure it will come, I am convinced.”

Around 1,500 homes are expected to be built in the town over the next 13 years. Sharon Brown, manager of Stowmarket Town Centre Partnership, said there were no vacant shops suitable for major firms.

“There may well be a tipping point but regardless, if we had 100,000 people living here, if there’s no where to put shops there’s no where for them to go,” she said.

“The danger is that big firms will want to come but because there is no where for them to go in the town centre they would go to out-of-town locations and decrease the footfall to the town centre.

“We need local authorities to facilitate building bigger shopping units within the town centre.” Last month Mid Suffolk said it was not “that optimistic” that major plans to redevelop the town centre would ever happen.

Dave Benham, the council’s corporate manager for economic development and tourism, said the project was achievable in 2008 but following Mid Suffolk losing its bid to compulsory purchase the existing buildings in the street in 2010 it was now unlikely to happen.

Jerry Coakley, professor in finance at the University of Essex’s business school, said a town’s demographic was more likely to be an indicator of the type of shops it would attract.

He said: “For general business I think the character of a town, its infrastructure, its cultural capital – theatres, cafes, restaurants, and its schools these days are far more important.

“I think population was more important in the era of mega sites but that has now past. Now supermarkets are concentrating on smaller sites.”

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Mark Bee and his deputy Lisa Chambers at Endeavour House in Ipswich after they saw off last year's challenge to their leadership.

Conservative councillor Mark Bee is to step down as leader of Suffolk County Council after four years in the role.

Voting isn't the only form of political engagement

The ideological machine that is meant to serve us has gone wrong and is tyrannising us, but that doesn’t mean we should boycott the ballot box

Suffolk has an ageing population - but can we cope?

Dramatic increases in the average age of people in Suffolk have been highlighted in a report which reveals that in some areas nearly one in 10 are expected to be aged 85 or over in the next two decades.

Damage to overhead wires between Diss and Stowmarket - photo courtesy of Greater Anglia

Rail users face an afternoon and evening of severe delays on routes between Norwich and London, after high winds caused damage to overhead power lines between Stowmarket and Diss.

There is the potential for sweeping changes at Braintree District Council come election day – though in practice that is unlikely to happen.

Klaudia Sokolowska

Police are searching for a 14-year-old girl in Felixstowe who has gone missing for the third time in three months.

Hunting for eggs

Will you be feeding the newborn lambs at The Museum of East Anglian Life, trying your hand at archery at Ickworth House or hunting eggs at The Middy’s Steam up this weekend?

Princess Anne meets Livability Treetops Service Manager Janet Bilton during her visit to Livability Treetops in Colchester on Tuesday.

The Princess Royal flew in to Colchester today as part of her work supporting a disability charity.

Firefighters were called to the house fire

Firefighters were called to a house fire in Stowmarket this afternoon.

Fears over future of probation service in Suffolk and elsewhere in East Anglia

Criminals jailed for up to a year could be supervised over the phone and use kiosks to report to the probation service electronically once they are released back in the community.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages