News that the Sainsbury supermarket chain is not to build a new store in Crosby can be seen as a victory for locals who did not want a larger Sainsbury store or a lost opportunity to bring in much needed private sector investment into a shopping centre that needs to be upgraded.
My good friend Peter Hough, a former Crosby Councillor, clearly thought the investment trumped the argument so he stood up and questioned the campaigners who were fighting against the new store. Peter lost his seat on the Council for his trouble but you have to wonder where else Crosby will find another investor in its future.
I fear that Crosby’s principled stance against significant private sector retail investment could well bring it a much bigger challenge as there is little if any public sector money to turn around Crosby’s shopping centre.
If I have understood what the Crosby campaigners want of their shopping centre it seems to be more small shops offering what you could call a traditional shopping experience. I wish them well as it strikes me that a number of private sector investors need to be brought together who share this vision. I hope they succeed having turned down a single large scale investor who had a different vision.
Oddly, nearby Maghull is in a similar position. Here there is a small Morrison’s Store that the retailer and I think most of its customers want enlarged. My view is a larger Morrison’s would be good for Maghull shopping Centre and I hope that it gets built sooner rather than later.