In the last few weeks the Lancaster Guardian has reported on objections to the regeneration of the derelict, dilapidated and downright ugly site that used to be Frontierland.
This site, which has lain barren for years, has steadily become more of an embarrassment to the views and the economy of Morecambe, and while every effort has been made to improve the offer of the town from local traders and others, regeneration in Morecambe has been for some time a concept with a mint shaped hole in the middle.
This development, which will cost approximately £17m, will create 500 jobs and transform the site.
It is somewhat of a surprise then, to see both the Belfast based and US owned Colliers International who run the Arndale, and British Land who want to redevelop the canal corridor in Lancaster, objecting to this scheme.
The Arndale say that the site will have an impact on the centre of town and point to empty shops at 18.5 per cent. Maybe it would be worth their while pointing out that the percentage of empty shops in central Morecambe just two short years ago was 30 per cent? Maybe they would be well advised to look at their own property in and around their own site and ask why they are empty?
We should take no lectures on quality from the organisation that has brought us Poundland and Brighthouse.
British Land on the other hand say that the regeneration of Frontierland will have: “a serious impact on shopping in Lancaster”. I can only hope so. Maybe that serious impact will be to enliven British Land into getting on with their plans.
Either way we’re constantly told by free market economists that competition is good. That it increases quality and lowers prices.
It seems that free market economics is good for some companies so long as the free market is nowhere near them. We should get behind this scheme and bring much needed money and jobs into the local economy.
Armed Forces and Veterans Champion
Labour Group Secretary
County Coun for Morecambe South (Westgate and Torrisholme).