Our city centre is a real source of pride for me. The work we’ve done in recent years has made it spacious and welcoming and I believe it’s never looked better.
The extensive transformation of Bridge Street through to Cathedral Square and Long Causeway has attracted significant new investment into the heart of our city.
We now have a vast array of new and attractive places for everyone to shop in, eat, have fun or just simply relax in.
And in case you’re thinking, ‘well, John would say that’ – it’s not just me who shares this view.
Last week, we received a phone call out of the blue from BBC Radio Kent, after its producer had visited Peterborough. He was thoroughly impressed with our city centre and described it as having a cafe culture look and feel, reminiscent of a European city.
He wanted us to talk on the radio station to share the secrets of our success, in the hope that these could be mirrored in Chatham.
Cabinet member councillor Marco Cereste spoke to the station on Monday about the work that we and our partners have done over the past decade to help revitalise the area.
He pointed out that ten years ago, the city centre would virtually shut down at 5pm and we have worked hard to inject some life into it after hours to attract more residents, visitors and businesses.
Not ones to be complacent, we’re currently in the process of setting up a Business Improvement District, which will help support and promote city centre shops.
All UK high streets have had a tough few years following the rise of online shopping, so please keep using them. For me, nothing beats browsing for an item in real life. (more…)