It's now or never for Southend High Street

Date: 30-06-2022

It's now or never for Southend High Street

Derelict’, ‘Dire’, ‘Dull’, ‘Dangerous’. These are just some of the words used to describe Southend High Street. Some may disagree. But one thing all sides agree on - Southend High Street is dying. 

 We have all seen the number of empty shops growing. Those that are not empty are often replaced with phone shops, charity shops or another coffee shop. Whilst there is nothing wrong with any of those, they are not the hallmarks of an exciting City Centre, with flocks of people, bustling boutique shops and big brands.


We must reverse that trend

Many people are quick to say ‘Southend is not unique, the internet is killing the High Street across the Country.’ They’re not wrong. The trend of internet shopping has only exacerbated the problems our high streets face. However, on top of this Southend suffers from expensive parking charges, a dangerous reputation and a street scene which is predominately made of the colour grey.
Of course, the Council has tried. It has recently spent thousands of pounds on the street scene. However, this has only amounted to changing one set of grey paving…to a different shade of grey paving.
The fact is, people, do not want to go into Southend High Street. We must reverse that trend. We must give a reason for people to want to go to the High Street in its own right. We need to continue with events such as luminocity but also look at ideas to improve the space such as the building of an amphitheatre, bringing in a big screen which can air events of significance, introducing green space and free parking, and of course ensuring that people feel safe.


Save Southend High Street

We should start treating the High Street more akin to a public park. Encouraging people to come and enjoy the space, increasing the footfall, and turning Southend High Street into a great space that happens to have shops, rather than one that relies on them.
From there you have an enjoyable space, but on top of that, you will see big and small businesses flourish due to an increase in footfall.
I know everyone has their view on the High Street, and I would love to hear all of yours. But I think what we all agree on, it’s now or never to Save Southend High Street.


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