01:42AM, Thursday 28 March 2013
A 20,000 weekly drop in shoppers at Windsor's King Edward Court shopping centre has been reported by its manager.
Martin Miranda broke the gloomy news to members of the Royal Borough's Visitor Management Forum at the Guildhall on Tuesday (MARCH 26).
After the meeting Mr Miranda, who is also secretary of Windsor District Chamber of Commerce and deputy chairman of Windsor and Eton Town Partnership, said: "The credit crunch has now been going on for three to four years. We have seen a steady decline in Peascod Street and the Royal Shopping Centre."
In the past he said Windsor had played host to three types of shopper: visitors, residents and businessmen and women. But the closure or moving out of so many businesses had deprived the town of a vital group of customers.
He said: "We no longer have that broad spectrum. The people you see in the town now during the
week are elderly, often they are not employed.
"The Royal Borough has to take the lead and do what it can to support businesses here. The consultations
about the new neighbourhood plan have been aimed overwhelmingly at residents - businesses are not even allowed to vote in the final referendum.
"If we don't Windsor to become a dormitory town there has to be a change."
He was dismayed by the battle in the courts led by Alma Road residents to delay the large planned office development there which would have brought more people in the town.
He said: "People have to be more broad-minded. We cannot keep going down the slippery slope because then you reach a stage where it is very hard to get back."
W An independent market is bringing people back to Windsor, says its founder. See page 5.
See letters page 20.
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