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Crunch talks over Worcester shopping centre
CRUNCH talks have taken place over how to improve the fortunes of a Worcester shopping centre, it has emerged.
Politicians want to make better use of The Hopmarket amid concerns not enough shoppers pay it a visit.
It comes amid publication of a new report suggesting the rental income will take a slight drop next year due to the poor economy.
Despite the precinct being off Foregate Street, there has long been concerns too many pedestrians walk past it without stopping to take a look inside.
One solution could be some new signage, or a marketing drive to create better awareness of the parade, which is full of independent retailers and residential flats.
The city council, which owns the 27-unit complex, is estimating rental income will drop from £145,000 to £140,000 in 2013-14.
Despite the predicted fall, 19 organisations are expected to benefit from charitable donations totalling £90,000 next year, £5,000 less than the awards for 2012/13.
A proportion of the rent cash is divided up and handed to groups which are deemed to make worthy contributions to the city.
The list for 2013/14 includes homeless shelters, youth clubs and bodies which help the vulnerable.
The cash is still below the £235,586 the groups originally requested.
The report on it warns “the economic climate and low interest rates” continues to “suppress the level of funds available”.
Councillor Lynn Denham, who represents the city centre, said: “You would hope with The Hive and the new Asda that the increased footfall around the city would benefit The Hopmarket.
“Part of the issue could be that it’s a little bit off the beaten track - at the moment we’ve got to be realistic about it.”
The Hopmarket sub-committee, which met last night, is going to debate ideas for promoting the parade better.
WHO WILL GET WHAT IN 2013/14:
All Saints Church £2,500
Cedar Trees £3,000
Forces Support £4,000
Happy Days £1,434
Perdiswell Young People Leisure Club £10,100
Citizens Advice Bureau £15,100
Worcester Action For Youth £5,000
Worcester Leg Club £1,300
Worcester Play Council £12,300
Worcester Snoezelen £13,000
Worcestershire Lifestyles £8,250
Maggs Day Centre £6,500
Dial South Worcestershire £1,273