Sir, – As a native of Elgin who gets “back home” as often as possible, I was delighted with the news of the big financial investment which could double the size of the St Giles Centre in High Street.
Sounds wonderful, and I hope everything goes smoothly. However, I hope equally that there will be the retailers to fill the new shops.
I say this because my wife and I visit at various times Kirkcaldy, Perth, Dundee and other places in this part of the country, and the saddest sight is to be in a centre which was once full of shops but has now a lot of empty spaces like missing teeth. I think particularly of the Glenrothes centre, still fairly busy but gradually seeing traders of various kinds moving out.
It would be best to get the traders to promise they’ll open up in the new accommodation then build to requirements, but I do trust that there are guarantees from a viable number, especially major retailers, that they will be there when opening day comes.
I also believe it is time to look at the bigger picture – the rest of High Street.
Again, as someone brought up in an era where there were all sorts of shops lining both sides of the town’s main thoroughfare, it saddens me when visiting to recall not only what was – Ramseys, the Gordon Arms, Woolies, Hepworths, the Maypole to name a few – but also at the condition of some of the buildings.
To say their appearance is not what it was is a massive understatement, and a bad advertisement for the town. – Yours etc,