Tough Times in City Centre According to Independent Businessman- News story

Hull trader Van McIntyre claims times are tough because a drain of businesses away from the city centre has had a devastating effect on trade.

Mr McIntyre who owns Chapel Street News said there are too many empty units in the area around his shop, Jameson Street and Paragon Street which has put people off visiting the town centre.

He also expects some disruption because of the regeneration work which has recently started for the 2017 City of Culture events.

Even the opening of a new Sainsbury’s has had a double edged impact on independent traders in the immediate vicinity.

Mr McIntyre said: “It could be seen as an advantage and a disadvantage because it brings a bit more trade to this area but also they sell everything that we sell like Lottery and confectionary.

“We don’t mind the competition but when there’s a large concentration of similar units in a small area it doesn’t help anyone.”

Asked about the regeneration work, and its effect on his business Mr McIntyre blamed the council for a lack of work on the pavements and roads in the area over the years which has also put people off visiting.

Coun Martin Mancey has recently said that Hull BID have a very important part to play in the consultation between the council and local businesses but Mr McIntyre says not all city centre businesses agree with the work Hull BID do.

“We would probably prefer more direct consultation from the council,” said Mr McIntyre: “As businesses we need to know more about what’s going on and that way hopefully we can minimize any disruption.”

Whilst expecting the events in 2017 will increase footfall and, therefore business, he also believes it needs more investment to bring more people back to the city centre.

Mr McIntyre also said it’s a concern that Pizza Hut and Starbucks have recently left the area.

“There’s no eating areas which, for a city centre of this size, is very poor fayre, we’ve lost Pizza Hut and Starbucks and there’s a genuine lack of eating places anyway,” Said Mr McIntyre.

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