Closure causes calls for town centre improvements

CLOSURE: Councillor Ian Johnson on Holton Road

CLOSURE: Councillor Ian Johnson on Holton Road

First published in News

THE announcement that the Burton store on Holton Road, Barry will soon be shutting shop has sparked an outcry about the state of Barry town centre.

Following the news of the impending closure, many people took to social media to bemoan the lack of quality shops on Holton Road and the influx of charity shops into the town centre.

On the Barry & District Facebook page commenter Aimee Maffey summed up the sentiment of many, saying: "This is the only man's clothing shop we have in Barry. I believe in giving to charities but every odd shop in Barry town is a charity shop, its stupid. (We) need more interesting shops that will make Barry town appeal more to tourists and to the locals. This town is going down the pan."

Town centre councillor Ian Johnson has called for a quick response from the Vale council to make improvements and bring businesses to Barry.

The Plaid councillor said that he wanted to see new businesses, particularly independent shops, setting up in Holton Road and stated that the Vale needs to set targets to increase the number of shoppers in town.

Councillor Johnson also repeated his frustration and disappointment with the failure to achieve £15 million of regeneration funding from the Welsh Government last year.

“Our town centres are at the very heart of our communities and the Vale council must take care to make sure that they continue to thrive," he said.

“Holton Road is Barry’s central business district but has been criticised for the poor state of buildings, lack of green space and limited variety of shops.

“Work should concentrate on attracting new and independent stores to the town centre, particularly providing seed opportunities for young people, as well as new nationwide stores where possible.

“The need to link Holton Road with opportunities on the Waterfront and Barry Island should not be missed, as well as improving visibility from Barry Docks train station.

“In addition to aspirations to make Barry town centre a nicer location to visit, it is important that hard targets are set and met, such as increases in footfall, increasing employment and reducing vacant units.

“Although Barry missed out on £15m worth of regeneration funding last year because the Vale council failed to get the bid right, this is a town with great potential and there can be no excuses for not seeing visible improvements to the town centre.”

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