As an regular visitor from Gloucestershire to friends who live in Rugby I have taken an interest in the debate raging about the future of the town centre.
Yes Rugby town centre does look tired and a bit shabby with empty shops but it is no different, and probably better off, than most other town centres in the country.
It’s a sad fact of modern Britain that the high street is changing, probably irrevocably.
Small high street branches of national retailers are no longer viable and firms want branches in retail parks and shopping ‘destinations’ and I don’t believe there is anything that can be done on a local level to change that.
The days of bustling high streets are long gone. Towns like Rugby will have to play to their strengths and Rugby’s strength seems to be its independent shops.
The night time economy will also play an important part and perhaps more could be done to make a night out in Rugby more inclusive and attractive to more people.
That way, when the new Debenhams opens, those people who otherwise might not have visited to Rugby might be tempted to find out more of what the town has to offer.
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