Since a sixth new betting shop opened on Skegness’ high street recently some town officials have questioned whether we have too many.
Although most are pleased empty retail units are being occupied, some questioned the concentation in a small shopping area of the resort.
A second William Hill opened last month and members of the public and local officials moved quickly to voice their concerns about lack of variety, by way of Skegness’ retail offering.
Chairman of Skegness Chamber of Commerce Tony Tye said: “I’m pleased to see another empty unit taken up, but another betting shop? We must have become gambling mad, we have enough.”
Although on a plus side he believes Skegness is ‘doing better than most coastal resorts’.
“Money’s being spent on improvements in town with a new Aldi in planning, a small Asda, the rebuilding of a bigger Lidl and developments to Skegness Retail Park,” he added.
Skegness Town manager Lisa Collins said Skegness has ‘a very low rate of vacant shops’ - five per cent compared to a UK average of 10.4 per cent.
She said visitors ‘particularly enjoy’ independent stores, adding: “I know locals are keen to see more big name retailers but investment in Skegness is gradually increasing and if we can demonstrate a buoyant economy, in time we may see new stores recognising benefits to trading in Skegness.”
With internet shopping changing habits, she said: “We need to provide a different offer to keep our town centre vibrant by offering a mix of shops, services and attractions.”
Skegness’ Mayor Coun George Saxon said: “There’s an over-intensification of bookies here now, but no one’s breaking any rules, there must be demand and it creates jobs.”
l What do you think? Are there too many betting shops in Skegness or can we not afford to be picky - as long as the units are being filled? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your views.