Jono Edwards: All the investment can only be a good thing - for everyone

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Although most of us are settling into 2015 with two dozen Lemsips, a nose that’s dripping like a broken fridge and a box of tissues that rip the end of your nostrils off like coarse sandpaper, I thought I’d share with you some positive and some controversial projects that are happening in our area in 2015.

Thankfully, there’s plenty of positive investment coming to our area this year, a host of brand new restaurants, currently dormant pubs coming back to life and former nightclubs taking on new forms as new outdoor drinking 
areas.

All in all, exciting times!

Deep down, I firmly believe that all this investment in our industry can only be a good thing – for everyone, even the likes of us that have businesses in town.

It’s about time the people of Mansfield had more nice places to frequent and more choice of what food to eat.

Hopefully this will attract more people into the town as a whole, allowing us to compete more with the cities.

I have to admit, I’m not personally a fan of the food at Nando’s, but it’s really great to see that the major ‘chain brands’ like Bella Italia, Chiquito’s and Nando’s have the confidence to invest in our town.

Believe me, like attracts like with these major brands, so I wouldn’t be surprised whatsoever if the likes of Starbucks, Pizza Express and Prezzo don’t join the trend and set up shop in Mansfield in 2016.

Let’s hope the fashion brands and toy store brands follow suit, bringing even more quality high street stores to the area, though not at the expense of the hardworking local independent retailers.

On another note, controversial investment in our area is being brought on by the Co-operative supermarket chain.

Proposed plans already in place to build ‘convenience stores’ in the car parks of The Ladybrook pub, The Reindeer pub in Mansfield and now, the conversion and closure of The Mapplewells pub in Sutton.

I really can’t understand how any pub is expected to thrive and continue to trade successfully when there’ll be a store selling far cheaper alcohol from its car park – the mind boggles!

But sadly, I’m sure that was a decision made by the brewery involved and not by the landlord or tenant encouraged by them to make a good living.

Closing a pub and converting it is slightly different however.

I wouldn’t like to think that any right-minded brewery would close and sell a profitable pub, so therefore you could think – is the pub closing because of us - the customers?

Is it the classic case of ‘use it or lose it’?

I honestly don’t know the answer.

I just find it sadly ironic that local pubs that have thrived for years and years are closing to be redeveloped by the very same force that nicely helped along their ‘demise’ in the first place – the supermarkets.

I’m all agitated now... I’m off for another Lemsip!