Fresh start plan for empty Oswestry shops

A rescue package for Oswestry is being drawn up with the aim of finding new uses for the market town's empty shops and business premises.

Church Street, Oswestry. Photo: Google StreetView.
Church Street, Oswestry. Photo: Google StreetView.

The Future Oswestry Group is to carry out a survey in the town centre this summer, to help identify and reduce the number of empty properties.

Future Oswestry, a partnership between Shropshire Council, Oswestry Town Council and Oswestry BID, is working to deliver activities and projects to benefit the town, its residents and its businesses.

But Steve Charmley, deputy leader of Shropshire Council and cabinet member for economic growth and regeneration, said: "By actively working together as part of the Future Oswestry Group we’ll be able to progress and deliver a number of activities and projects which will benefit and boost the town. This survey is an important first step.”

He said the collective work would inform further discussions around potential options for the re-use of empty shops and premises in Oswestry.

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Oswestry Mayor, Councillor John Price said Oswestry and the surrounding countryside was a terrific area full of beauty and full of charm.

"We have a lot of visitors, there is so much to do here such as the recent, fantastic food festival, one of the busiest we have had. We also have a thriving market."

Momentum

"I welcome partnerships to enhance Oswestry and increase the footfall and I am also keen to develop the cross border working that we also have a great tradition for.

“Whilst we were disappointed not to receive the Future High Street funding the application process itself has brought a momentum to tackling longstanding issues, such as empty premises in the town centre.”

Oswestry's recent successful food festival

The Oswestry BID will use the data collected to identify past and present trends for Oswestry town centre, which will be used to develop a plan to help town centre businesses reverse the national trend of town centre decline

Adele Nightingale, Oswestry BID manager said: “Town centre businesses across the country are struggling to survive and Oswestry is not immune to this trend. The larger high street retailers are increasingly retreating from town centres and we need to develop a plan for Oswestry to fill the gaps they have left and restore a vibrant town centre in a sustainable form.”

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