ALNWICK SHOPS: Be positive, the town’s not that bad

Alnwick town centre.

Alnwick town centre.

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Re: Alnwick versus Morpeth, with all due respect to Her Grace, Duchess Jane, one cannot logically compare the two towns as being equal.

Morpeth has had huge private investment in the successful re-development of the Sanderson Arcade, with its anchor of Marks and Spencer, and ample parking.

Morpeth has a larger budget for its parks and gardens etc, and I have to say that regretfully there is less rubbish about, reflecting more respect for the town.

However, the success of this development area does not spill out into the other streets, even though there is the draw of Rutherfords department store.

Morpeth has at least seven charity shops compared to Alnwick’s five, and empty shops as well. Perhaps Alnwick should be more pro-active and positive in its outlook. Amble is certainly pulling itself up by the bootstraps. At least they are trying a one-way system and have tried a park and ride.

Yes, we could do with an upmarket hotel. To qualify for five stars, one needs a lift which possibly means a new build. Note that the Hog’s Head Inn now occupies what may have been a suitable site.

However, there is always the possibility of a listed building that is very costly to maintain. In due course, the Duke’s School springs to mind.

What is needed is some joined-up thinking because Alnwick is totally at odds with the UK, by retaining a three-tier education system, don’t you think?

Certainly a decent bus station and adequate toilets are pretty basic requirements, but where to find the money in these cash-strapped times?

Opportunities have gone by, it is time to replace complacency with positive thinking.

As regards ‘quirky gift shops’, Narrowgate is doing its best but there are only so many slices of the cake.

Do not get side-tracked by pedestrianisation, please opt for one way instead. Cheaper, practical and safer for all forms of transport and pedestrians.

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