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Letter: Maintaining Our Heritage Buildings is Critical for Guildford’s Economy

Published on: 12 Mar, 2021
Updated on: 12 Mar, 2021

From: Alastair Smith

Chair of the Guildford Society

In response to: Guildford’s Singular Heritage Badly in Need of Repair

The Guildford Society shares the concerns on the state of the town centre expressed by Christian Holliday. Maintaining Guildford as an attractive location is vital to keep people coming into the town, which is under considerable pressure due to fast-changing retail patterns.

We also believe that we need short-term measures to preserve the town centre vibrancy (which ultimately pays for maintaining our heritage) for example encouraging smaller local shops in the town centre, permitting a range of temporary attractions.

Keeping heritage buildings, and their setting, maintained is critical to ensuring Guildford remains a unique town, providing an attractive environment for retail and other attractions.

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test 6 Responses to Letter: Maintaining Our Heritage Buildings is Critical for Guildford’s Economy

  1. E Butcher Reply

    March 12, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    The borough council made a huge mistake renovating Tunsgate Square, at huge cost, just to entice more upmarket chains when it could have been an opportunity to encourage smaller businesses. This area is now going to be a white elephant.

    The gradual disappearance of food shops over the years, presumably because of high rents, has added to the present situation.
    Guildford is or was a wonderful town with all its history but bad decision making with the change in shopping habits and with Covid and internet shopping, makes the future look bleak. So very, very sad but predictable.

    • George Potter Reply

      March 17, 2021 at 2:14 pm

      If I’m not mistaken the Tunsgate renovation was funded by the owners of the shopping centre, not the council. And there are, of course, several independent businesses on Tunsgate itself.

      George Potter is a Lib Dem borough councillor for Burpham

  2. James Gray Reply

    March 15, 2021 at 11:46 am

    Projects like the redevelopment of Tunsgate are a sign of confidence in Guildford. The scheme has attracted an array of high-quality tenants and follows Waitrose coming into the former Bellerby Theatre site.

    The future for Guildford looks very positive with infrastructure improvements like Guildford Station coming too. Some thought does need to be given to how good independents can be supported and encouraged.

  3. Keith Francis Reply

    March 15, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    “High-quality tenants” maybe, but will you be shopping in them?

    Tunsgate Square used to have its own supermarket, a Macfisheries with underground car parking.

  4. Stuart Barnes Reply

    March 16, 2021 at 9:12 am

    I can’t help thinking of the great Patrick Hutber and his observation that “improvement equals deterioration”.

    It is certainly proved over much of the building in Guildford over the last 20+ years. For an example (admittedly not recent) think Friary Centre.

    Those who can remember what was there before will know what I mean.

  5. Lisa Wright Reply

    March 17, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    Has anyone actually determined which demographic segment Guildford is trying to attract and why?

    I’m not sure spending money on our buildings, while necessary, will bring the best ROI [return on investment].

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