ELLESMERE is “on the up” and “bucking the high street trend”, according to town leaders.
Lincoln McMullan, chairman of the Ellesmere Chamber of Commerce, revealed that there were only three empty shops – proving the town is thriving.
He added that although the economic downturn has severally impacted many towns with empty shops causing an eyesore, Ellesmere has emerged relatively unscathed and is boasting a number of new commercial outlets such as the wharf development.
“Many of the shops in Ellesmere are small independent shops which is why we survive better than other market towns,” he said.
“When one shop closes another soon opens. It doesn’t take long,” he added.
He believes the shops are thriving due to large footfall and thinks this will only keep growing with proposed new developments.
And according to Mr McMullan, one of the three empty shops is soon to be opened as a cafe.
The Shropshire councillor for Ellesmere, Ann Hartley, said she believed the “fabulous shops” were part of a trio of things which make Ellesmere so attractive to visitors – the other two being the Mere and the canal.
“There is such a wonderful variety of little shops in the town which attract so many people," she said.
“We have a Tesco now which is very successful and if done tastefully it proves larger shops can work well with the smaller ones.”
Mr McMullan added that even though everything was going well, the Ellesmere Wharf development would ultimately “save the town.”
“The proposed hotel is really important to us,” he said.
“Ellesmere College has students from all over the world. Parents come to visit from places like Japan and Australia and they have nowhere to stay. They end up leaving the town and going to stay elsewhere. If they stay in Ellesmere, they will also shop in Ellesmere, drink in Ellesmere and eat in Ellesmere,” he added.
See full story in the Advertizer