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Is this high street the beacon of possibilities for other towns across the country?

Is this high street the beacon of possibilities for other towns across the country?

Is this high street the beacon of possibilities for other towns across the country?

Not a day goe's by without the media reporting doom and gloom from the high street, yet when you look deep enough there are stories that the mainstream press seems to not want to report on. In Bristol, here is a great story worthy of sharing.

Gloucester Road has long been seen as the epitome of Bristol's independent spirit, with its collection of independent shops and quirky pubs and bars needing little introduction.

And unlike other traditional high streets across the city which are fighting to survive as more and more big brands continue to close down - Gloucester Road has managed to ride the wave. Short listed for The Great British High Street Awards last year, Gloucester Road is thought to have the country's largest continuous stretch of independent shops and businesses. And that is part of the reason why there have been calls to replicate the success of Gloucester Road in other parts of the city.

James Cox, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Bristol West, said he would like to see its success brought to other communities.

He added: "Around the country and in Bristol we are seeing more and more high streets failing as they struggle to compete in the internet shopping age and the uncertainty around Brexit. “We don't think we should abandon the high street, we should be encouraging innovation and embracing the benefits of the 21st century economy. "Gloucester Road has remained largely successful as an ambitious, innovative independent high street. “If Bristol City Council reformed their planning laws, we could support more local entrepreneurs, help retailers adapt to the growing digital economy, and finally scrap the backwards and much loathed business rates system we could replicate the success of the Gloucester Road across our communities."

It calls for bold action to ensure town centres and high streets thrive in an increasingly digital economy, such as boosting support for local entrepreneurs, reforming local planning laws, developing local asset registers and creating a new industry-led body to help brick-and-mortar retailers adapt to the digital economy.

The plan also lays out policies to make it as easy as possible for entrepreneurs to set up on the high street, by offering low-cost incubation space and business support for start-ups as well as making temporary pop-up units available for start-ups to trial new products and services without being tied to long rents.

But Gloucester Road’s success has always been about the community spirit which many say goes hand-in-hand with the high street success.

Speaking to Bristol Live previously Anne-Louise Perez, who manages the Gloucester Road said: "People have it all on their doorstep here and Gloucester Road is the heart of the community.

“But it needs its community of residents to survive and they really do come out and lend their support.

"It would fall apart without the community here - the road would just be the A38. It would have no character, none of that diversity of shops and people just wouldn't want to come here."

Read more about what is happening in Bristol by clicking The Bristol Post 

Credits The Bristol Post and image Anne-Louise Perez

 

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Is this high street the beacon of possibilities for other towns across the country?

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