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How Many Empty Shops In Hereford 2016?

Empty Shops Hereford

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#1 Colin James

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Posted 17 January 2016

Another year has passed since I last did this exercise. I was out in the city on New Years Day, this is the first opportunity I have had to upload all of my findings. (January 2015)lets see what has changed  in the past year and see what the differences are from the original topic in December 2013 and from January 2015.

 

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#2 Colin James

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Posted 17 January 2016

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#3 Colin James

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Posted 17 January 2016

Continued...

 

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#4 Colin James

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Posted 17 January 2016

So 50 so far will a few more to add which is more or less the same as the past few years. I was surprised because it feels like there are less empty shops right now but obviously that is not the case.

 

I still need to add the empty shops in Maylord Orchards but not had time to go and check which ones are empty, will try later.

 

There is little surprise to learn that apparently Hereford is the least attractive place in the country to start a business...

According to this article in the Hereford Times


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#5 Mick

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Posted 17 January 2016

Thank you for undertaking this exercise again this year Colin, it is very interesting to realise that although some places open and some close the number of empty units hovers around 50-55 and that has not really changed, other than the same ugly units are still the ones that are empty. Something clearly needs to be done rather than let them just sit and rot. Numbers 3, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26 and 41 stand out to me. 


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#6 ragwert

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Posted 17 January 2016

No 50 is let and will be a restaurant.
49 is not a shop & neither is 39,28,27,26,22,18,3 & 2.

And this yet again goes to prove there are way too many shops for the lifestyle we have now.
Find an alternative for these empty units,homes would be a good idea.
 


Edited by ragwert, 17 January 2016 .

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#7 greenknight

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Posted 17 January 2016

No 50 is let and will be a restaurant.
49 is not a shop & neither is 39,28,27,26,22,18,3 & 2.
And this yet again goes to prove there are way too many shops for the lifestyle we have now.
Find an alternative for these empty units,homes would be a good idea.

I'm with Ragwert on this.
Many of these are on the periphery of town and personally if a change of use could be acquired they could be used for non retail small business start ups or even homes.
I use or walk through town on a regular basis and feel there is a more positive feel.
What's happening in Hereford is no different to anywhere else ...The council and commercial property owners need to get smarter.

Edited by greenknight, 17 January 2016 .

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#8 Aylestone Voice

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Posted 17 January 2016

Well you can argue that Colin should have perhaps titled his thread "Empty Units in the City Centre" rather than shops?

That said :-

14 was to be an amusement arcade,

33 to be a money shop

49 to be Papa Johns takeaway

50 to be a restaurant

 

Some of the units are so tatty (Eign Street) that surely no body would want them?

Whilst rates and rents are an issue it seems that there is not a groundswell of local people wanting to open up small businesses

I agree that those on the edge of the centre have a better future as residential?


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#9 dippyhippy

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Posted 17 January 2016

Me too, AV.

 

Folks need homes, and there are a fair few here which could be changed into residential use.

 

David Shepherd, the chap who is helping to set up the university stated that they were going to use some of the redundant shops. Does anybody know which ones may be in the running?


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#10 DILLIGAF

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Posted 17 January 2016

Kath cidston in OLM has now vacated too.
"The rates in Hereford are considerably more than that of a larger premise in larger cities" (source)
The whole rates malarkey and who owns what and burnt shells etc is a complete joke. Herefordshire Council & HCC need to sort it out quick sharp.
Even my 3yo keeps asking me
"Why is there no shop in there daddy?" She's 3!
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#11 dippyhippy

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Posted 17 January 2016

Hi Dilligaf, the Cath Kidston shop was a pop up, so it was only ever going to be temporary!

 

There was quite a furore over the way this was done, as I think initially it had been offered to Coco's Vintage..... who also stock Cath Kidston!


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#12 Ubique

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Posted 17 January 2016

I understand that one of the shops in Eign Gate is going to be the Samaritans Charity Shop .

I agree re Eign St . Every time we pass the empty shops opposite Steels Garage Mrs Ubique remarks that they should be knocked down and replaced by flats or just convert the shops etc to homes . Two shops on the garage side of Eign St by the Church have in the last few months been converted to homes so it can be done .
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#13 dippyhippy

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Posted 17 January 2016

Evening Ubique!

 

The Samaritan's have recently opened a shop on Whitecross Road, a couple of doors down from Wood's Angling Centre.

 

The little shop/café that was next door, is currently not in use following the fire last year.... lots of scaffolding in place. The shop next to that is now being used by The Samaritans.


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#14 Paul Jones

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Posted 17 January 2016

Me too, AV.

 

Folks need homes, and there are a fair few here which could be changed into residential use.

 

David Shepherd, the chap who is helping to set up the university stated that they were going to use some of the redundant shops. Does anybody know which ones may be in the running?

 

 

NOOOOOOOO!! This is our city, DO NOT change it into a residential area please! 


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#15 Colin James

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Posted 17 January 2016

No 50 is let and will be a restaurant.
49 is not a shop & neither is 39,28,27,26,22,18,3 & 2.

And this yet again goes to prove there are way too many shops for the lifestyle we have now.
Find an alternative for these empty units,homes would be a good idea.
 

 

To be honest, I am just comparing with the same units as in previous years. Units 18 and 26 were definitely shops last time I looked. Dave Clements used to run his CB Radio shop from unit 26, and unit 18 used to be a butchers so unless these have been converted into a houses now?

 

Units 2 and 3 are empty shops, okay unit 2 was previously the Kamal Indian but it is an empty shop as far as I am concerned, I think it has already been altered inside.

 

Unit 39 in King St is a retail unit.

 

I appreciate unit 50 has been let but I can only base my finding on how the shops/units were New Years Day and it was empty, hopefully next year it will not longer be on the list, I am sure Lauren will make a success of her new restaurant but it is still a fare way off being open right now.


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#16 K.Butt

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Posted 17 January 2016

I understand that one of the shops in Eign Gate is going to be the Samaritans Charity Shop .

I agree re Eign St . Every time we pass the empty shops opposite Steels Garage Mrs Ubique remarks that they should be knocked down and replaced by flats or just convert the shops etc to homes . Two shops on the garage side of Eign St by the Church have in the last few months been converted to homes so it can be done .

 

I am with Paul Jones, I am not in favour in changing our city centre into a residential area. These shops/units need updating and made to look more attractive to potential businesses.

 

As soon as more residents move into the city centre the more objections pubs/restaurants and clubs face.


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#17 greenknight

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Posted 17 January 2016

Within the precinct area premises should remain retail however the rest should be given the option for change of use after all why have a shop window if the footfall is somewhere else. Most cities in the UK are experiencing the same story created by both the recession and the internet which we nearly all use in some form or the other so we need to get smart.
Empty property creates little or no revenue and no revenue means reduced coffers for the council to squander.
These places look squalid as time moves on and in turn this gives a negative impact just like the bomb site. Its a huge punt to take on a shop ....thousands in fact so if your gonna fill a shop window what would it be?
...not easy and very brave.
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#18 Bill Thomas

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Posted 17 January 2016

I am with Paul Jones, I am not in favour in changing our city centre into a residential area. These shops/units need updating and made to look more attractive to potential businesses.

 

As soon as more residents move into the city centre the more objections pubs/restaurants and clubs face.

Completely agree with you both. The council and shop owners should do more to make their premises more attractive. I do not agree that changing the use into residential is the answer in my opinion. There are lots of empty homes around the county that have been previously discussed. Keep the city centre as the city centre.


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#19 Alex

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Posted 17 January 2016

Thank you for undertaking this exercise again this year Colin, it is very interesting to realise that although some places open and some close the number of empty units hovers around 50-55 and that has not really changed, other than the same ugly units are still the ones that are empty. Something clearly needs to be done rather than let them just sit and rot. Numbers 3, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26 and 41 stand out to me. 

 

Yes, appreciate you doing this exercise again. It must take a while for you to put this little lot together. The numbers are more or less the same like in past years. The council should come up with some incentives, like free rates for a few years etc instating of wasting millions of pounds on new paving again.


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#20 greenknight

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Posted 18 January 2016

Yes, appreciate you doing this exercise again. It must take a while for you to put this little lot together. The numbers are more or less the same like in past years. The council should come up with some incentives, like free rates for a few years etc instating of wasting millions of pounds on new paving again.


Yes they should Alex but so should the landlords. They may give good terms for the first couple of years but then BANG..up it goes and reality sinks in. For me the council should get tough with these guys and compulsory purchase a shop if it remains empty for more than two years. If this was possible from a legal perspective they might start getting flexible. The business rates afforded to new enterprise could be levied based on business performance allowing an entrepreneur to grow his or her business.

Edited by greenknight, 18 January 2016 .

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#21 greenknight

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Posted 18 January 2016

I'm not sure who marked me down but clearly you have not tried to find viable business premises in Hereford. If you had you would understand. Some shopkeepers would prefer the premises next door to be occupied rather than a door way full of sick and windows flyposted.

Edited by greenknight, 18 January 2016 .

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#22 Rebecca Morrison

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Posted 18 January 2016

Yes they should Alex but so should the landlords. They may give good terms for the first couple of years but then BANG..up it goes and reality sinks in. For me the council should get tough with these guys and compulsory purchase a shop if it remains empty for more than two years. If this was possible from a legal perspective they might start getting flexible. The business rates afforded to new enterprise could be levied based on business performance allowing an entrepreneur to grow his or her business.

 

greenknight you are 100% right it is down to both the council and the landlords. Surely the landlords have some sort of duty to keep their premises in some sort of condition or are they just allowed to let the building fall into disrepair and rot? Why are the council not fining them?


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#23 Paul Jones

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Posted 18 January 2016

I'm not sure who marked me down but clearly you have not tried to find viable business premises in Hereford. If you had you would understand. Some shopkeepers would prefer the premises next door to be occupied rather than a door way full of sick and windows flyposted.

 

I marked you down for your comment on changing use to possible starter homes because I do not agree. There are many empty homes around the county I do not think we should start thinking of making the city more residential, that will be the nail in the coffin. Council should look at investing in their city and maybe spending money together with the landlords to help in making Hereford more of an attractive place to set up a business rather than being the least attractive! They would rather waste this money on new paving and fancy seating and trees in the centre that will never be maintained. 


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#24 greenknight

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Posted 18 January 2016

It would be the last resort Paul and not necessarily starter homes. I would first prefer to see other commercial opportunities first. Some of the shops shown have now been empty for many years and realistically have little or no chance of opening.

If you had the cash to open a shop in town that would sell a product that you could not buy off the internet and would make enough money to pay the bills, provide you with a salary...what would it be?

Not a trick mate what would you stake your mortgage on?

Edited by greenknight, 18 January 2016 .

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#25 Paul Jones

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Posted 18 January 2016

It would be the last resort Paul and not necessarily starter homes. I would first prefer to see other commercial opportunities first. Some of the shops shown have now been empty for many years and realistically have little or no chance of opening.

If you had the cash to open a shop in town that would sell a product that you could not buy off the internet and would make enough money to pay the bills, provide you with a salary...what would it be?

Not a trick mate what would you stake your mortgage on?

 

I would open a shop that offers a service along with the product, that is what is lacking, also I have noticed when you go into a shop and ask the assistant to you have these shoes in a size 9 (example) they can't be bothered to look out the back half the tim and will just utter words like everything is out and then follow it up wit the classic you can order online, so I blame the shops for encouraging their staff to tell customers to go online, if everyone did that they would have no need for a shop.

I just think the council and landlords should be doing a lot more. You have already stated the obvious when you said "some shops have been empty for years and realistically have little or no change of opening" so unless investment is made both both parties then these premises will continue to just decay even more.


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#26 greenknight

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Posted 18 January 2016

Shops should always offer both service and product but again the internet has provided a bigger choice and that's what are shopping habits dictate and no savvy business person wants to be caught holding lots of old unfashionable stock when like us at a click of a button it can be purchased online.

This is the high street dilemma and of cause providing a product that will sell and not a me too. As everyone is keen to point out we now have shed loads of coffee shops... well it does not matter how warm the welcome is you've still gotta sell the stuff and its bloody hard.

Have you thought of something to put in the shop window yet Paul which does not already appear on the high street?
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#27 Paul Jones

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Posted 18 January 2016

Shops should always offer both service and product but again the internet has provided a bigger choice and that's what are shopping habits dictate and no savvy business person wants to be caught holding lots of old unfashionable stock when like us at a click of a button it can be purchased online.

This is the high street dilemma and of cause providing a product that will sell and not a me too. As everyone is keen to point out we now have shed loads of coffee shops... well it does not matter how warm the welcome is you've still gotta sell the stuff and its bloody hard.

Have you thought of something to put in the shop window yet Paul which does not already appear on the high street?

 

There are many products that can be sold, it does not have to be something unique. "Hi-Fi Gear" have recently moved from Rotherwas into King Street and they are very busy, because they offer the full package. I have no problem with coffee shops, I would rather a coffee shop than an empty shop, they all busy so the demand is there.

 

If I was going to open a business now I would probably open a Polish bakery.


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#28 Aylestone Voice

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Posted 18 January 2016

Shops or houses? Perhaps both.

Let's consider the old Chadds units between the toy shop and the Kerry. Can anyone foresee the whole building being used as a shop? Not in my view. The best use would be to convert the upper floors to flats and leave the retail on the ground floor. Of course this should be happening across the city centre.


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#29 greenknight

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Posted 18 January 2016

There are many products that can be sold, it does not have to be something unique. "Hi-Fi Gear" have recently moved from Rotherwas into King Street and they are very busy, because they offer the full package. I have no problem with coffee shops, I would rather a coffee shop than an empty shop, they all busy so the demand is there.

If I was going to open a business now I would probably open a Polish bakery.

Polish Bakery in the Polish quarter, why not!

HiFi well we need it and I wish them well however we are canny shoppers these days and sadly what we like to do particularly with any kit where there is a need to 'touch and feel' is satisfy our curiosity and then check online and see if we can get it cheaper!!
My dear friends at Costa ..well the rent per year is £75,000 on the ground floor alone payable to whoever buys the building as it's up for sale with an option to convert the rest into accommodation.

If its not unique then it's all about the margins and these are tight these days.
Don't get me wrong Paul I understand your concerns however it's been a similar tale from the village where many wanted to keep the shop or pub however popping in for some milk or half a shandy alone won't keep a business alive.
I can't tell you how much I laughed when you saw pro shop campaigners flying the banner one moment and then the next filling up the boot with a weekly shop in the disabled bay at Morrison's.

I'm sticking with the idea of keeping empty retail, retail,within the precinct area however shops that have been vacant for long periods outside this boundary should be subject to a CPO unless there are good reasons. Councils and commercial property should provide tailored incentives for occupancy but should this fail all other options should be reviewed including finally residential.Yes we do have a number or empty properties around our city however surely providing homes for young people who perhaps could walk/cycle to work has to be better than pitching them up in new build boxes on the outskirts of the city on land that used to be green fields?
Most young people embrace life within a city at least during some point in their lives.

Edited by greenknight, 18 January 2016 .

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#30 Paul Jones

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Posted 18 January 2016

Polish Bakery in the Polish quarter, why not!

HiFi well we need it and I wish them well however we are canny shoppers these days and sadly what we like to do particularly with any kit where there is a need to 'touch and feel' is satisfy our curiosity and then check online and see if we can get it cheaper!!
My dear friends at Costa ..well the rent per year is £75,000 on the ground floor alone payable to whoever buys the building as it's up for sale with an option to convert the rest into accommodation.

If its not unique then it's all about the margins and these are tight these days.
Don't get me wrong Paul I understand your concerns however it's been a similar tale from the village where many wanted to keep the shop or pub however popping in for some milk or half a shandy alone won't keep a business alive.
I can't tell you how much I laughed when you saw pro shop campaigners flying the banner one moment and then the next filling up the boot with a weekly shop in the disabled bay at Morrison's.

I'm sticking with the idea of keeping empty retail, retail,within the precinct area however shops that have been vacant for long periods outside this boundary should be subject to a CPO unless there are good reasons. Councils and commercial property should provide tailored incentives for occupancy but should this fail all other options should be reviewed including finally residential.Yes we do have a number or empty properties around our city however surely providing homes for young people who perhaps could walk/cycle to work has to be better than pitching them up in new build boxes on the outskirts of the city on land that used to be green fields?
Most young people embrace life within a city at least during some point in their lives.

 

I agree with you up until your last paragraph, young people are in need of new affordable homes but I do not think the city centre/outskirts is where they should be.


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