THE owner of a newly opened shop says he is optimistic for the future of a town centre’s main street.
High streets throughout the UK have been struggling to survive in recent years, with closed shutters and desolate streets an increasingly common sight.
And despite a concerted attempt by a number of bodies in Flintshire, town centre footfall across the county has fallen.
But Darren Rigby, who last week opened Rigby’s sweet and party accessory shop on the pedestrianised section of Brunswick Road in Buckley, said he still had faith in the town’s retail future.
Mr Rigby, 41, from Mold, said: “I recognised Buckley as being quite a big town and it’s got a marvellous high street with the pedestrianised area.
“There are a whole load of people who live in Buckley and they don’t want to go elsewhere and I do believe Buckley has got a lot going for it and it can become one of the biggest and best towns in Flintshire.
“If we get all the shutters open in Buckley people will be coming in and doing their shopping there.”
But Buckley councillor Richard Lloyd said that although a new store in the town was positive, careful planning of the high street was needed if it was to be a success.
He said: “We have always got to be concentrating on what’s going to be sustainable.
“We don’t want a repetition of the same type of shop, if we have four of the same shop with nothing to purchase we can’t produce anything of any note.
“All areas have a town centre masterplan but they need to be well thought out and if we had put one in place 10 or 15 years ago we might not have been in this situation.”
“So I am optimistic that a new shop is here, but we need to make sure we are making our town centres sustainable.”
Cllr Lloyd and Mr Rigby both said a supermarket, which is expected to be built in Buckley, would help rather than hinder other shops in the town.
Mr Rigby’s mother-in-law Pat Millington agreed, saying: “I think the supermarket is a good thing and it will bring more people to the area.
“They are saying nobody has any confidence [in the high street] but people do.
“I went to Buckley and I loved it, I loved the little shops like the butchers and the greengrocer’s – I just thought it was lovely.”