STANTON Hill folk and business owners are calling for urgent action to save their ailing High Street and bring new shoppers into the area.
Last year, Chad reported how traders were concerned about what would happen to the old Co-op shop when the supermarket moved to larger premises at the former Netto store.
Now they say that the vacant shop is just one of many others on the High Street which is discouraging people from visiting.
Trish Phillips, who has a florist on High Street, said: “It could be such a vibrant village but it’s dying. The closure of the post office was the start.
She also believes that more services would draw people to the area and ultimately boost the economy.
A bank would be a good idea. We need something to get people walking up and down the high street. It’s desolate up here,” she said.
Landlord Steve Jackson, who owns several of the business premises of the High Street said trade had been ‘devastated’ when the Co-op moved.
“As soon as Netto closed, people started getting on the bus to go to Sutton,” he said. “People from the outlying areas would come up to Stanton Hill to go to Netto and then call in at the butcher’s.
“We’ve got a caravan park in Teversal but we don’t get them coming any more.”
Ward councillor Jason Zadrozny, who sits on both Ashfield District and Nottinghamshire County Council, said a new business was needed to be brought into the old Co-op store to kick-start the regeneration of the High Street.
He said: “There’s a difficulty knowing what to do. You can’t strong arm a private business into letting it out to somebody.”
Yesterday, a spokesman for the Co-operative Group said the firm had experienced some difficulty in attracting a new tenant for the site.
“The former Co-operative food store at Stanton Hill has been marketed extensively by our letting agent Innes England but given the difficult market conditions, it will take some time to secure a new tenant,” said the spokesman.
“We haven’t received any interest from any of the big food retailers for this property although we have now received interest from an independent proprietor and, although it is early days, we are hopeful this interest will progress.”
The district council says it is working with the Co-op to make the site more attractive.
Said service director for economy, Trevor Watson: “Whilst not owned by Ashfield District Council, we will work with the owner of the building to explore measures to improve the appearance of the building whilst it is empty.”