I'm not sure what I wanted this post to be about, I'm not politicly educated enough to go through the issues of why and what can be done about this problem I can only give you my layman's view. The news reports are grim, with more shops going into administration every month.
Throughout my city and probably most others throughout the country empty shops appear, high rents and rates, lack of financial support, lack of community spirit and creative thinking within city councils and shop owners.
The list is no doubt endless.
The shops below are just a few of the empty shops in Carlisle city centre.
Past Times went into administration closing 46 stores, Carlisle being one of them.Closed 2012.
This was a Goldsmiths jewellers, closed 2012.
Hawkins Bazaar went into administration closing 65 stores, including Carlisle. Closed Boxing Day 2012.
This was a nibbly fish, foot place which after scare stories in the press went from being very busy to customer less in a week. This is in the main shopping centre The Lanes, they use special advertising boards to distract from the view of empty shop.
Was a milkshake bar, closed 2011, also in The Lanes.
Ex Faith shoe shop, also in The Lanes but being hired out this week as a pop up charity shop.
Was a Benetton shop, but closed 2012 when they didn't renew their lease.
Think these 2 were bith stationary type shops at one point, not had anything in them for a few years.
Another shop in The Lanes, this was a Quiz shop.
In The Lanes again this was a Laura Ashley shop.
Peacocks went into administration 2011, 344 shops were saved in a buy out but 224 were still closed including ours.
This was a tanning shop, closed 2011.
This has been many things but last was a cafe sandwich bar.
An ex hair salon, closed 2011.
This is a space I find really interesting, as far as I know it has never been occupied since The Lanes was done up several years ago, it's a coener that doesn't get a huge amount of footfall past it, but looks very cool.
A fashion boutique which closed 2012.
A bistro restaurant which didn't close but moved into much bigger premises around the corner, it always seems busy and is doing well at it's new premises, yeah.
Freckles bridle shop had another shop in Dumfries and choose to close Carlisle one.
Chapmans is currently having a closing down sale, the business as been there for 165 years and in the current climate has choose not to renew it's lease. It took up all 3 floors of this amazing building, and leaves 49 people unemployed.
Another long running jewellers which closed in 2011.
A pair of newly renovated but empty shops.
Nice to see this one has an under offer sign on it, and that the charity shop that was in it has moved to bigger premises.
These shops are in Botchergate which as thankfully seen some regeneration last year, I hope that soon these will get a helping hand too.
And below is Hoopers, it takes up a huge building in the heart of the historic quarter of Carlisle. It has just announced it's closure in June, with the loss of 83 jobs. Hoopers is in talks with other companies about taking over the space and hopefully keeping on some staff but at this time we have heard nothing else.
As someone who works in retail to walk through Carlisle's streets and see all these empty building saddens me deeply. I would love to set up my own art/craft studio with Carlisle but the rents are high and businesses don't get much support.
More so I want to understand, what make your business survive? Large shops and small in Carlisle are expanding and having refits, even in our climate of doom and gloom.
There's an empty shop somewhere in Carlisle with my name on it, but when I make it mine I want it to stay that way,so do you have the answers? What are you thoughts on what makes a business work?
How do you survive on the highstreet?
Waiting with baited breath,