Upbeat reaction to empty shops

kna  Knaresborough High Street.  (140117M2h)
kna Knaresborough High Street. (140117M2h)

The Knaresborough Post has had a huge response to recent articles looking at the economy of the town centre.

Small business owners have contacted the Post to tell us their thoughts on the future of Knaresborough town centre and why more people should shop local and support shops.

Nish Kanabar, owner of Castlegate Stationary on Knaresborough High Street, which opened in September last year, is optimistic that things are looking up for the town centre, especially with the Tour de France in 2014.

He said: “We agree with the headline ‘Not all doom and gloom.’ Since we opened, we have had nothing but support from the local community and have had some many comments about how welcome our business is to the town.

“Once the empty units start to fill up and with summer and the Tour de France going through the High Street, I am sure this will boost the local economy.”

Knaresborough businesses are pulling together to ensure they ‘shop local’.

Castle Dental and ZigZag gift shop have started a scheme where Gillian Gray at ZigZag remembers staff birthdays and sends cards and gifts.

Sarah Nicholas at Castle Dental said: “When we get very busy we are often too hectic to remember birthdays and everything is a bit last minute, and people just hope that their birthday falls when it’s quiet and fuss is made.

“The first birthday was last week and Gill arrived mid-morning with a basket of gifts. We are looking forward to the next birthday.”

Some business owners are calling on the empty units to become pop-up shops to allow companies to test the market.

Joe Seager who owns online sock retailer www.thatsocks.co.uk, said: “Pop-up shops would create an atmosphere on the high street unlike any other and would put to use these empty shops.”

Terry Maude, chair of the Mother Shipton statue fundraising committee has also thought of a use for an empty shop unit.

“It would be great to have the sculpture working there in public in the centre of town for all to see,” he said.

l New shop opening - see page 9.