Festive News 2017 2017 - Page 29

Hereford bucks the shopping trend FESTIVE NEWS • DECEMBER 2017 • PAGE 29 BELLA FONTAY’S Hair & Beauty City Review by John Jones, Chairman of BID It has been another challenging year on the high street nationwide, as the cultural shift to purchasing of both products and services online results in less and less need for people to spend money in high street locations. The good news is that Hereford City is continuing to buck the trend, with falling shop vacancy rates and robust visitor numbers. Through a combination of long term planning and careful management the city is now more appealing for shoppers to visit that it has been in several decades. However, even whilst Hereford does so well, we must plan for a radically different type of city centre over the next couple of decades, or risk being left with a city centre that again loses its purpose and appeal. We have a golden opportunity to address these long- term challenges through the work currently being done on creation of the Hereford Area Plan. The best city centres in the future are likely to be consolidated into smaller areas with a mix of retail and leisure outlets that are focused on the spending of disposable income; fashion and leisure outlets are likely to dominate. Most high streets currently still contain banks, estate agents, insurance brokers and a few other service industries that will not remain on the high street in the longer term. Within the Hereford Area Plan, we need to address this change, protecting and enhancing our core shopping areas, and finding the appropriate alternative uses for the areas that we cannot sustain in the longer term. Ahead of the longer-term changes that will shape the future of the city, there is a welcome wave of investment currently being delivered. The city link road All aspects of Hairdressing A busy High Town Tuesday-Friday 9.30-7.00pm, Saturday 8.30-3.00pm. is just about to open, much of High Town will be getting a face lift in 2018, followed over the next couple of years by Commercial Road and Blueschool Street. Work will begin next year on the Southern Link road, and there is even reason to be optimistic that the Western bypass will actually be built ahead of the 2031 scheduled completion. On top of all this council investment, the biggest factor of all will be the huge economic boost from the opening of the university. I still hear a lot of people questioning the need for a university here, but I believe it is the single biggest improvement that can be made to the local economy. Compared to the national average Herefordshire has a low standard of living, because of very low wages, and the university will help drive creation of the higher value jobs needed to improve local living standards. Myself and the other directors of Hereford Business Improvement District (HBID) will continue to help shape these projects over the next few years, whilst also delivering projects on the ground. We’ve achieved a great deal in recent months, including the inaugural BID awards, the launch of the Ferrous event and the installation of new pedestrian signage currently taking place. In 2018, our focus will shift to marketing of Hereford, so the wider world knows what a great place Hereford is. The Herefordshire economy as a whole, has a tendency to be highly resilient to wider political and economic changes. None of us yet know how Brexit will affect the country over the next few years, however I’m quietly confident that Hereford is very well positioned to continue its recent revival, irrespective of what the outside world throws at us. Concessions 20% off Tuesdays Free Parking ~ Friendly atmosphere 135 Quarry Road, Hereford HR1 1SX  01432 276148 @ BellaFontays www.cascadehairhereford.co.uk FOOTBALL ST TAR AR TS HERE H Over 2,000 youngsters enjoy football ball in our Leagues each weekend. On their behalf thankyou to the Lions ions and H S S  ^ O V  N L U L Y V \ Z S `  Z \ W W V Y [  [ O L  L Ɉ V Y [ Z  V M  [ O L  Junior League. For mor e information mation W S L H Z L  ] P Z P [  ^ ^ ^  O Q Å  J V  \ R Three Counties Timber Windows Softwood  hardwood  solid oak  Award winning engineered wood  Fired Earth  Farrow & Ball or Ral Colours  A TRUSTED NAME FOR OVER 30 YEARS Brings you the PVCu collection Long lasting, highly durable, low maintenance, high security features all with the appearance of real timber Over 200 RAL colours, obscure, leaded, vision etched or fusion glass designs. Visit our showroom to see our extensive range of displays Tel: 01432 271000 www.windowandconvervatorycentre.co.uk email: sales@howan.co.uk 3 Hereford Trade Park, Holmer Road, Hereford. HR4 9SG