Is Truro developing by celebrating Cornish business? It looks like it!
A few weeks ago somebody stopped me to say: ‘Did you know there’s 119 places to buy coffee in Truro – is it any wonder we’re all so jumpy?!’ People come to eat as well – there is an appetising and competitive choice of menus, and very high standards.
Recently, we fought an unsuccessful battle to bring Waitrose into town, partly to replace the closed Somerfield, partly to protect the town centre, as planning policy says we should against out-of-town shopping. Many say it should go on land around Carrick House up Pydar Street. It will be interesting to see what does go there – if, as some claim, it is John Lewis, then there will be some very cynical whistling between Truronian teeth (John Lewis owns Waitrose!). Meanwhile, how interesting to see a fledgling supermarket growing in Calenick Street – a Cornish company.
What’s happening in Truro town centre?
Look around! Whilst the recession seems to deepen, and the big boys try to decide if the internet is tomorrow’s shopping, or town centres, or malls, Truro is regenerating – people are coming here because it has variety, is safe, attractive, offers excellent service and remains compact, mingles shopping, recreation, services and entertainment, and is welcoming.
Truro is also attracting Cornish businesses to set up shop, and they are doing well – investing in Truro is good for Cornish business, like St Ives Silver, UNEEKA, St Agnes Bakery, Martin’s Bakery, Truro Farmers’ Market, Cornish Food Box Co. and others. The Pannier Market (once so disdained by M&S) is our Retail Incubation Centre – Music Nostalgia is its latest success story – sorry HMV!
Is making things and selling them on the same premises the shopping of the future, as with INHABIT in Green Street? Is this what we should encourage?
The excellent Food & Drink Festival wants more space! Should it expand into Boscawen Street and High Cross? This year’s Garden Festival, which so strengthened Britain in Bloom that Truro is a 2012 National Gold Medallist, is an acorn worth nurturing – so too the Art Festival, Music Festival and Fitness festival. These events, and others, bring people into town but how can we convert those crowds into takings? That’s a challenge.
And hey! What’s happening at Newham? The traders are coming together to improve its environment, its infrastructure and its productivity – this is exciting stuff!
Truro is changing. Cornish business seems to be driving it forward. Rents have moderated, which is good. With rates and overheads high, if we want the town to prosper then Truro City Council, Totally Truro, Chamber of Commerce, Hall for Cornwall, Truro Cathedral, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro Markets Group and other bodies need to cooperate and to focus on improving the environment, keeping the town compact, safe and accessible – and by promoting the experience of being here (and spending!) on the world-wide web – and I mean ‘world-wide!’. Good job the Cornish are always up for change, eh Pard?
Have your say about Truro’s future – www.trurokenwynplan.org - NOW!