A hairdresser at one of Preston’s oldest salons today told of his fears after the only other retail outlet on a city centre street closed its doors.
John Corrigan, 53, of Alan Joyce Hair Design, is concerned of the impact on the salon after the only other shop on Glover’s Court – Preston Bridal Boutique – ceased trading on Friday.
It is just a few months since another shop, Past Times, also closed.
It means the salon, which has been trading for 60 years is now the only retail outlet there – except for pubs and clubs.
John hit out at what he called a “lack of investment” in the area.
He said: “Glover’s Court is a prime city centre street and in any other city you would expect to see a city centre street full of shops.
“But no money has been spent here for quite some time. Our salon is probably one of the longest established in Preston. Since the recession I know of at least five hairdressers that have closed in other city centre streets. I think we have weathered the storm so far because our clients are long term customers.
“Booths used to have a head office on this street, and there have been various other businesses. It was a thriving shopping street but now it’s just us and the clubs.
“When you consider we are actually a main route through the city centre it doesn’t lend itself to investment.”
His concerns come after we revealed how the Preston branch of The Bridal Gallery Group Ltd, a family-run bridal firm, was among shops to be closed on Friday as a result of financial difficulties.
It is 18 months since Glover’s Court was branded as having the highest number of crimes in the country by a new Home Office crime mapping website – even though only three crimes had actually been recorded there that month.
But John said: “I don’t think this has really had an impact it is more the lack of vision or thought for the area.
There is no on-street parking and it puts people off when they can go to a retail park and park for free. They don’t make it easy for us to attract custom.
“It’s short-sightedness not to encourage these little side streets to be more profitable.”
Niki Park, manageress of the Wellington pub on Glover’s Court, said: “We used to be packed out at lunch time but so many of the nearby offices have closed down that it’s a struggle now. “
A council spokesman said: “A planning application for the former printers building on Glovers Court and the adjacent derelict land, has now been approved which will see the conversion of the building into high quality office space”