Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Where there's a will....supermarkets can do better and smaller

Affluent Ripon's historic square where Sainsbury's have tailored their store to fit  in sympathetically with the surroundings 

Working town Colne in Lancashire - have a similar designed store to the one rejected by Sefton last year
ABetterCrosby's birth was a painful and sudden one in 2010 when it was brought it kicking and screaming into the world (over a pint in the Crows Nest). Initially a group campaigning to stop an ill conceived plan to plonk a white retail park styled monster on top of Crosby village, since then the group has taken its first tentative steps towards becoming a community group to promote the interests of Crosby and its residents and businesses.
We had our first AGM last Feburary, a workshop event 'Re-imagining Crosby Village', responded to the Councils rather dull but important Core Strategy and just this month organised the Christmas Tree and some celebrity support.

Most recently we have re-aquainted ourselves with Sainsbury's team from last year and been introduced to their new member Laurie Chetwood Architect in a series (well three) "charettes"- a device used by architects to throw up ideas for projects and buildings. This of course should have happened last time around but didn't and so expectations this time are high that Sainsbury's really are listening and not just trying to "shoehorn"in their wishes for a very large shop into out town.

Size certainly matters in the world of supermarkets and the definite impression has been given that 50,000 square feet (80000 overall) is a must for a new Crosby store to be viable (the present store is viable at 20000 sq ft if viable = profitable)
So is there a genuine will to lead regeneration of a thriving bustling "High Street" in Crosby village( see Mary Portas review published todayhttp://www.bis.gov.uk/news/topstories/2011/Dec/portas-review) by Sainsbury's, or just a cosmetic exercise in wrapping up a huge store in acceptable packaging, leaving independent traders without affordable premises in which to continue trading and offering diverse, sustainable, individual and local shops.
Watch this space...carefully.

Monday, 5 December 2011

David Morrissey Lights Up Crosby Village!

Choirs,dancing girls,fairground rides,hog roasts and Hollywood film stars all made their way to Moor Lane Crosby on Friday December 2nd for the annual lights switch on, organised this year by ABC and in particular Peter Harvey.
Hundreds gathered around the tree in high expectation as David Morrissey arrived, unbelievably punctually, no waiting around in the cold for this mega star. It was as though he had just popped by on the off chance that the Christmas tree lights needed switching on and after a few words in his familiar and friendly way the lights were lit! Of course we might have expected him to rush off again, as Friday was a busy day for him, but no, he chatted, posed for photos and signed autographs, he seemed to have time for everyone.
                                                           Thanks David, a true star.