Town centre needs better attractions

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A CINEMA and better leisure attractions would help attract more people to Rotherham, a study into ways of promoting the town centre has concluded.

The town should also take advantage of a growing trend towards supporting independent local businesses, the 2011 Retail and Leisure Study, conducted by Colliers International, says.

The report says “great strides” have already been taken by Rotherham Council to improve the town centre as a shopping destination, including a Shop Local reward scheme.

Incentives for businesses to open new shops led to 44 new stores opening last year.

The study says the town centre should be the focus for the majority of new retail development in the borough.

Currently, more than three-quarters of retail spend are made outside the town centre.

It concluded: “The impact of Meadowhall and Parkgate continues to be felt, however with the recent economic downturn and the increase in petrol costs, trends are beginning to change.

“More than ever shoppers are looking to their social conscience and want to shop local to support their independent locally grown businesses and the jobs they provide. Rotherham town centre therefore needs to be in a good position to benefit from this localised way of shopping that is forecasted.”