Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 5°C

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.

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.”

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

Police are searching for a man in a car who approached a nine-year-old girl in Stowmarket.

Council and highways authority officials insisted that better warnings and other preparations eased the pressure on roads around Ipswich after the closure of Orwell Bridge yesterday.

Members of Deben Rowing Club, in Woodbridge, were left devastated after nearly £10,000 worth of damage was caused by Storm Doris.

Children on an educational trip were not in danger from damage allegedly caused at a theme park by Storm Doris, a school has said.

A man has died at the wheel of his car after suffering a medical episode at the wheel of his car, paramedics have reported.

It’s not too late to book tickets and take in a great show this March. Suffolk’s theatres offer a wide range of performances to choose from with something for everyone including music, comedy, plays and wrestling.

A protest march is taking place tomorrow in support of Clacton’s Minor Injury Unit (MIU) as the end of a consultation on health facilities in north Essex draws to a close.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24