By Andreas Mullings
A PLEA has been issued to the people of Horsforth to help restore its once thriving high street to its former glory.
Six commercial properties on the Town Street have closed down in the past year and there are 11 vacant commercial properties.
And now Horsforth Town Councillor Martin Hughes claims more help is needed from the community to stop business plummeting further.
He said “The little man in the high street is being squeezed.The High Street has the monetary support needed from the government, it’s just getting the community to get involved with the high street so it can generate business.”
Neil Goodall ,of Butchers of Distinction, Town Street, backed this, saying: “There are more shops on Town Street than before, but there isn’t enough business to support it. People now just go into Leeds shopping centre.”
Leeds City Councillor for Horsforth, Brian Cleasby believes the way to solve the problem is to bring more shoppers into the area: “We have been looking at the problems Town Street has faced and we are in agreements to allow estate agents into the high street in order to increase footfall and variety in the shopping areas.”
Horsforth resident Mark Woolfson, 59, said: “The main problem is with the landlords, they are only thinking about their bank balances. Not whether small businesses can afford the rent.”
Simon Rubinsohn, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Chief Economist: “The high street has been struggling for some time now and the pressure on retailers and landlords doesn’t look like it will ease up any time soon.”