David Llewelyn Darkin

Why are we on self-destruct?

30th October 2019

Nobody goes to town anymore”. “All the shops have left”. “Town Centre is dying”. These are just some of the comments that I hear all the time about Llanelli Town Centre. So what’s unusual about Llanelli Town Centre?

Is it the empty shops? No, we have as many empty shops as other town centres. Nationally, the shop vacancy rate stands at 15.9% and Llanelli is slightly better at 15.7%.

Is it the footfall? Yes, we’ve got a much better footfall than many other town centres. Footfall rates continue to slip across the uk, whereas footfall rates in Llanelli continue to rise, such as at the Vintage Festival on 21st September this year, where Llanelli Town Centre saw a footfall figure of 42,900, 200% up on the same Saturday the previous year.

The truth is that thanks to the hard work of many people, the town centre is bucking the trend and doing really well against a national trend of shoppers moving online. So much so that our town is up for an award; we’re being recognised for how amazing our town is, yet the people of our town keep saying it’s crap!

Perception is reality. The main issue we face in getting people to invest in the town and set up shop is that everyone keeps running down the town. If you hear it from enough people it must be true?! I implore everyone to get behind our town and talk about the great things in Llanelli. We’ve got loads of independent retailers as well as amazing events all the time such as the food festival, carnival, 80’s festival, superhero day, dinosaur day etc.

I know that there’s oodles of things that can be made better about our town and I can practically guarantee that someone will be reading this right now and complaining about parking, anti-social behaviour, littering etc. Please be part of the solution and talk about the amazing things and what you love about our town.