‘Dire state’ of town centre criticised

A Lerwick councillor has said he has never seen its town centre in “such a dire state”.

Neil Pearson asked if the council, and Promote Shetland, could do more to fill the street – with a number of shops, such as M&Co and R.W. Bayes, recently closing down.

His fellow Lerwick South representative John Fraser said shop owners had historically been “very much resistant” to having high street big-hitters in Lerwick.

But he added: “The reality is they employ staff, they bring footfall and they create traders for the traders next door.

“I say bring it on.”

Convener Andrea Manson disagreed, saying she did not believe other shop owners were resistant to big chains coming to the street.

She said, instead, they were not interested in coming to Shetland because of the lack of people.

“I think we’re just too small,” she said.

“Everybody would embrace it if they came, but I don’t think they would see the footfall”.


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