I have read in the Cornishman quite a few times over the last year both in the letters pages and editorial that there are loads of closed shops and more generally Penzance does not look appealing to visitors. This is all true but I feel I must point out that the bottom part of town is far, far worse than the top.
As some of you will know I ran Bar One for a year and I have recently had to give it up as the greedy landlord wants to sell the leasehold (for £15000) and charge double the rent I was paying. That is not achievable in my opinion and Bar One like a lot of places down that end of town will be just another closed business for some time to come.
Having a look around Bar One and surrounds what kind of businesses can you see?
- Well there is Bar One, closed of course
- a closed chinese takeaway (new lotus house)
- there are two large second hand shops
- mick convenience store (closing soon)
- Bride (up for let)
- the catch, closed
- ice cream shop, closed
- large motorcycle shop, closed
- there is an open Thai ‘massage’ parlour
- DV8, closed
- a shop next door to DV8 (was a baltic deli once), closed
- a shop next door to petshop (was Bag It then ‘phone shop), closed
- closed flabulous shop
- Boa (next to stuarts hair), closed
- Greengrocers next door to Dressing room, closed
- Lavenders pasty shop, up to let
- Clothing shop next door to Lavenders now a charity shop
- Michelangelos, closed
- Two other charity shops (Animal welfare and British Heart I think).
- there are two kebab shops
All of the above are less than 100 yards from bar One. Bar One of course is 50 yards from the bus/train station where a lot of visitors arrive. So the first 100 yards of view the visitors see is as above. Not a great advert is it?
Whats causing the problem? Well greedy landlords and the Council charging unrealistic business rates play a big part. These are hard times and some help for small businesses from the council and a more realistic rent charging structure from landlords (and their agents) would help massively.
The problems of the bottom of town are creeping up towards the top and I fear that soon Penzance will become a ‘ghost town’.