Impact on Shops

In this section we collated feedback from you and other Prestwich residents  and shared it with

As the feedback period has now closed, we have stopped accepting comments on this for now.

Feedback on how the Prestwich Regeneration Project needs to understand the requirements of both shoppers and shop owners

Small Independent Retailers

  1. 1. Prestwich residents want a mix of retailers and want to ensure that small independent retailers continue to flourish in the heart of Prestwich
    2. The phasing of any plans needs to ensure that these businesses are able to continue trading as before with any interruption or loss of trade

24 thoughts on “Impact on Shops”

    1. A business hub would be good where entrepreneurs can come together, or an alternative work space for those working from home (as a found in central Manchester) – I understand this would need to be commercially viable.

  1. I am sure all Prestwich residents would agree no more betting shops or charity shops. Look to Bury New road for inspiration, the precinct tends to be the much “uglier sister”, that dreadful shop next to Iceland is horrid how do they manage to pay the rents where I have never seen many people in there … Independent Bakery would be nice, a community/business hub. And a Gym, Prestwich definitely could do with a gym this would cut down on a lot of travelling to the nearest ones in Whitefield.

    1. I assume you don’t regularly enter a charity shop. Before becoming a volunteer in one in Prestwich I possibly had the same attitude that they weren’t really necessary. Having worked in one I no longer think that. The charity shops are a hub for vulnerable people – old and young. They provide quality clothing, shoes and toys at prices that low income families are more likely able to afford. You may not buy second-hand shoes for your children but some families have no choice. Some adults have no choice but to buy second-hand either. If the charity shops go then that section of our society will suffer. Also, the money raised goes to local organisations. If you ever need Bury Hospice then you’ll be grateful to their charity shops as it’s their shops that keep the Hospice running. These shops also provide an environmental service in recycling goods that otherwise go to landfill. These shops need protecting during the construction to ensure they survive.

      1. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that all charity shops should go but 5 in the space of 25 meters of each other is too much.

        Also, if you’re suggesting charity shops act as a hub then it’s clear that the current development doesn’t serve the demographics you mentioned and should be addressed in any new scheme. If you want the current shops to be accommodated in something new then we might as well not bother.

  2. As a Prestwich resident here are my views:

    Charity shops are found on almost all high streets nowadays, providing an important form of alternative retail, being valued by the charities themselves as a key generators for funds; by patrons supporting the charity and the circular economy, whose finances may be stretched and otherwise couldn’t afford to buy the items new, and by landlords, councils and other traders keeping properties occupied and sustaining footfall . I would hope there will still be a place for charity shops in the new development.

    I’m a regular customer of Budget Savers, and find they provide a wide range of products that aren’t always available elsewhere in Prestwich village, and they are pleasant and polite to deal with.

    Although the commercial reality is that residents won’t have a say in the type of retail businesses occupying the new properties I hope that the existing businesses in the precinct are given first refusal on units, and that the rents are affordable.

  3. It’s difficult to assess based on the information given so far, but it appears that this development will be given over to primarily residential use, and that retail, business and community use will be secondary to this.

    I feel that retail presence in Prestwich must be maintained to at least match the current level of provision, and that ideally it should be enhanced to support other retailers on Bury New Road. Judging by those buildings on the plan identified as ‘spaces for independent businesses’ and those not labelled as such but may include retail spaces it seems that retail space has been reduced.

    It is also disappointing that the current plans don’t appear to include a retail frontage on Bury New Road to tie in the development to Bury New Road.

  4. I’d expect that market research will show the expected number of independent units Prestwich could support and the practicality of pop-up/meanwhile areas being set aside. I’d like to see the research findings published. i.e. it’s one thing saying lets have 6 units set aside for independents, then only 2 sign up, or we have a square big enough for 10 pop up market stalls, and only 6 turn up cos there’s a market hall just up the tram in Radcliffe. We also need a calendar of pop-up events to be driven to promote Prestwich as a destination, e.g. monthly markets & periodic festivals, tie in with Prestwich Arts Festival, Clough day, Festwich etc…

  5. There needs to be a proportionate split between retail and housing provision, possibly more retail. The Barclays Bank should be purchased to become a foodhall and with it being positioned on the front of the village it will be an enticer for passing traffic to visit the village- esp. if it reflects a similar business model and design to the Bowland Food Hall in Clitheroe. For Independent retailers to sustain their businesses they must be financially viable therefore the community needs to support these businesses now as previous experience informs us, that if businesses are experiencing financial challenges now they are likely to face them in the future. They may need to review their current model and transform- if we don’t use them we will lose them! A strategic approach to the retail businesses would be great – not sure if this will happen unless PVNF becomes designated -so no more betting shops, a limit on fast food shops, quirky tasteful gift shops, independent boutiques, and ecologically aware policies to be implemented to ensure reuse, recycle and restore philosophies.


  6. ‘loads of flats and townhouses, some shops and offices…’
    This quote is taken from this great summary of the project, along with controversial practices by the developer,Muse, in other local schemes

    It sums up what has been troubling me most about this development: that it’s not an equitable deal – Muse itself gains greatly by the building of lots of residential properties, whilst Prestwich itself loses out with a reduction in spaces for people for shopping and eating out, health and welfare, learning and leisure, community activities, public parking, etc. We should be told how much land is being given over to residential and to nonresidential use.

    The council should be selling this by providing detailed plans on what the community will gain from this, and yet they haven’t, which is concerning.
    I acknowledge that possibly without the Muse residential properties the development may not be financially viable, the council should be strongly representing the interests of the community here, but I know in the recent past that councillors have ignored the views of those they are elected to serve.

    It would also be interesting to understand how Muse became the preferred partner, if there were any other tenders, and if so, what other plans were for this development.
    If anyone could help with a Freedom of Information request it may be worthwhile doing this.

  7. Currently the regeneration area is a combination of retail, community hub services and parking. There os concern that a lot of the area will be come residential. Whilst some residential is welcome such as above shops, or on the car park next to the church, The current masterplan layout needs redesigning to ensure the current retail and community services is retained and enhanced and retail provision is maximised for independent retailers to flourish. Independent retailers need footfall to survive and therefore the proposed community hub space should be replaced with retail space, maximising frontage onto Bury New Road and footfall. Some independant retailers have expressed concern at loosing this position and may leave Prestwich if not provided. The Turkish restaurant should be demolished to open up the area from Bury new road to see the vibrant village green/square and invite people to stop and particpate. The Barclays bank should be purchased by the council as a market/food hall spilling out at the rear with seating areas to the village green/centre which should be viewable from Bury New Road. Arriving at the met station there should be clear walking boulevard leading into the vibrant village green and down onto bury new road.

  8. Maintaining a mix of retail is necessary for the new site to serve the needs of local residents and visitors to the area. This should include grocery stores & charity shops. Rents will need to be affordable and provision made for existing retailers to maintain a presence on site during the development works.

    1. The issue of the independent is a big topic for me. Firstly who will get the income from a commercial unit? When the Radius development replaced Sainsbury’s everyone again was excited about new entrants to the area. We got a very nice Cheese shop which wasn’t supported enough to pay the rent. There was an empty unit next to it for years and people I know looked elsewhere when they enquired about the cost so we ended up with a Costa, a double unit Bookies instead of the cheese shop and 3 more nationals taking up the rest of the units. Why? Because they can pay.

      Personally I don’t see BMBC imposing a rent ceiling so instead of Percival’s you get Smiggle, Iceland would probably come back but like The Rock the small cafes will be priced out. Prestwich Social is empty most of the time and the cafe society people seem to think exists, doesn’t. The charity shops could replace the takeaways down to Aldi but I see the independents living in secondary locations looking at the shiny new palace without subsidy

      1. Just to give you a current idea of leases, Prestwich Social has a twenty five year lease which began in 2021 at a cost of £25,000 for year one, £27,500 for year two, £30,000 for year three and £35,00 thereafter with reviews every five years.

        So most retail units must be flexible enough to support small businesses without exorbitant fees.

  9. There seems to be a lot of housing and not much business accommodation (possibly a 70/30 business/housing split). Will the amount of space dedicated for shops/businesses be more or less than we have now? How does handing over a large chunk of our village space for building an expensive new housing estate serve the community?

    Which market will the new housing be aimed at – local people, owner residence, buy to let, affordable housing, family downsizers, elderly etc?

    How will the height of the new five-storey Longfield buildings compare to The Radius – higher or lower? What will the impact on sunlight be for people and trees/greenery at ground level?

    What will the housing look like? Will it have brick and slates roofs?

    Apartment blocks instead of town houses would allow room to combine businesses and homes.

    We want the new development to provide a real focus for Prestwich – a central area we can be proud of and value. Let’s not become a Whitefield where there are businesses either side of the A56 but no town centre.

    Will the buildings be fully integrated to avoid avenues between the blocks which are hard landscaped and windswept?

    Will the design include flat roofed buildings (inevitably leaky)?

    Will there be wind tunnels like the one by Quality Save?

    Seems to be a lack of frontage to Bury New Road. Businesses should be visible from Bury New Road to attract visitors.

    All buildings have ‘backs’ – will they be hidden or on show?

    How will the various blocks be serviced for deliveries etc?

    Bury New Road/Rectory Lane corner could be a sterile area.

    Do we want a food hall marketplace instead of space for businesses?

  10. Copied from PVNF WhatsApp Group

    Local Economy

    What is the Council’s plan for keeping the Longfield businesses/Prestwich economy alive before, during and after the re-generation? Eg:

    • Renewal of leases and management of the units by the Council’s agent
    • Consultation about arrangements before, during and after the build
    • Consultation about their requirements for new premises in the new buildings
    • Negotiations re: preferential rent and rates for existing tenants like Village Greens, Keg Cask and Bottle, Alex’s Pet Shop, Massa Bakery, Macca’s, Percivals, Budget Savers and the other independent businesses in order to retain them in the Longfield area as an anchor to attract new businesses in the future?

  11. One of the best things about Prestwich is the fact that we have the Longfield Centre with a range of facilities: 1) independent businesses (like Village Greens, Keg, Cask and Bottle, Alex’s Pet Shop, Percivals, Budget Savers, opticians, cafes etc) 2) community services (the library, the heritage centre, the Longfield Suite, GP practice, walk-in centre, parking). 3) open spaces to bump into and chat with friends, neighbours and fellow shoppers. If the Longfield Centre is turned into a housing estate, Prestwich will become like Whitefield – a strip of shops either side of the A56 with no central commercial/community focal point.

  12. Has the Council asked the Longfield’s existing tenants for their specifications yet? Also, will they receive preferential rents and rates in the new development to encourage them to stay or will they be priced out?

  13. I don’t think Prestwich needs any housing in its commercial/community centre. Why not build houses on the Swiss Cottage land or on the land opposite St. Mary’s Primary School instead?

  14. Copied From PVNF FB Page

    The council will want flats/apartments so they will get more council tax to help with the cost of the build! BUT it would be nice to have a village full of independent shops but I doubt many will be able to afford the rates of the new build. I know what we have at present isn’t great but let’s hope they don’t break it completely with concrete blocks!

  15. It would be great to have a market hall like Radcliffe market. We need to support small, independent businesses and ensure that they aren’t priced out.

  16. My concern is that the development really does replace and improved our shopping centre and our community facilities. These first plans seem heavily waited to housing. There is no definite shopping centre, no main road presentation, no number of units for retail allocated and no mention of rents to ensure local independents are able to continue to thrive, despite consultations saying local independents are important. What is in place for existing businesses to trade during this transition and where will they be placed during demolition?

  17. My concern is that the development really does replace and improved our shopping centre and our community facilities. These first plans seem heavily waited to housing. There is no definite shopping centre, no main road presentation, no number of units for retail allocated and no mention of rents to ensure local independents are able to continue to thrive, despite consultations saying local independents are important. What is in place for existing businesses to trade during this transition and where will they be placed during demolition?

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