One Greater Manchester shopping centre is set to close to the public for good at the end of the second lockdown.
Bosses have confirmed that the Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre in Rochdale will close to the public at the end of the lockdown on December 2nd.
It comes due to the economic strain of the coronavirus pandemic, bosses say.
All staff have been told about the difficult decision, according to reports today.
The news means that essential shops which are currently open will close after lockdown, and the non-essential shops that are already shut will never reopen.
The complex was recently bought by Owners MCR Property Group in 2017, who at the time hoped to ‘attract fresh leisure, commercial and new retail operators to complement the existing occupiers’.
However many people have stopped shopping in town centres as part of a ‘nationwide shift in shopping habits’, explain the bosses.
Additionally, they say the pandemic has ‘expedited this migration from traditional shopping habits and the impacts on the retail sector have been significant’.
Since reopening in June, footfall at the shopping centre has fallen by 45%.
Charles Denby at MCR Property Group said: “Nationwide we continue to see a large number of retailers experiencing serious trading difficulties, and more are resorting to insolvency procedures to cut their rent bills.
“This year has been a surreal, once in a generation experience that will not be forgotten, with COVID directly accelerating the decline of high street retail and the move to online.
“When the change in shopping habits collides with reduced income, an excess of space, and cost structures that are simply no longer realistic, landlords have to take action.
“We understand the impact the closure of the Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre will have on our tenants and will assist where possible through this difficult time.”
Blackpool is set to get a new £300m ‘indoor theme park’
This looks so good!
The latest development proposals for Blackpool will be the single biggest investment in the seaside town for more than a century.
The range of new attractions will include the UK’s first flying theatre, the world’s first multimedia exhibition of its kind and the most advanced virtual reality experience on an epic scale.
The development is set to span across a 17-acre plot, attracting 600,000 additional visitors a year and contribute a massive £75m a year too.
There will also be 1,000 new jobs for the people of Blackpool created as part of the development.
Based on the novels written by Eric Von Däniken in the 1960s and 1970s, the site will follow the theme of ‘Chariots of the Gods’.
It will include unsolved mysteries of the past such as the Pyramids of Egypt and Mexico as well as ancient cave drawings, the monuments of Easter Island and even alien visitors!
Flying Theatre True flight movement will provide an unparalleled real-flying sensation and is the number one attraction across major cities and theme parks. The world’s most advanced VR experience will also find a new home in Blackpool with state-of-the-art visuals, body tracking and even touch and smell.
The development will also house a new restaurant with a breathtaking ‘rollercoaster service‘, in a one-of-a-kind place of fun, adventure and discovery, all serving healthy and organic food.
Blackpool is currently working with Media Investment Entertainment – who own the intellectual property of Chariots of the Gods – and Nikal Ltd to help unlock the development of this opportunity.
The new development is set to be delivered over an eight to nine-year period and will bring new hotels, restaurants, food market, event square, residential apartments and multi-storey parking.
Boris Johnson confirms England will return to three tier system from December 2nd
Boris Johnson addressed the Commons remotely today, to lay out his ‘Covid Winter Plan’.
The Prime Minister spoke to MPs via videolink as he is still self-isolating.
Mr Johnson confirmed that England would be returning to the regional three tier system which was in place before lockdown began.
However, he announced that the three tiers would each become stricter to try and stop the spread of the virus.
In Tier 1, people should work from home where it is possible, while in Tier 2 alcohol can only be served as part of a substantial meal, and in Tier 3 indoor entertainment, hotels and all hospitality will have to close – except for deliveries and takeaways.
Also in Tiers 1 and 2, the 10pm curfew for pubs and bars will end, with last orders being at 10pm and establishments closing at 11pm, allowing people to leave in a more staggered way.
The Prime Minister confirmed that gyms, hairdressers, salons and all shops could reopen at the end of lockdown, and that outdoor sports can resume.
He also announced that some fans will be allowed back into sports stadiums in Tier 1 and 2 areas.
Mr Johnson said that ‘more regions will temporarily fall into the higher levels’, but that with mass testing it should be possible for these areas to move into lower tiers.
The government is also working with the devolved administrations of the UK to come up with a plan for Christmas, according to the Prime Minister, although he added: “I can’t say that Christmas will be normal this year”.
The government is also planning to ‘end automatic isolation’ for anyone who has come into contact with someone who has coronavirus, with a testing scheme replacing it, which will be piloted in Liverpool.
In the pilot, people who have come into contact with anyone who’s tested positive will be tested every day for a week – they’ll only need to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus.
It’s expected the details of what tier the different regions and areas of England will be placed in will be announced on Thursday.
Morrisons gives 10% Christmas discount to frontline workers in 16 jobs
As a ‘thank you’ to thousands of frontline workers, Morrisons will be providing a 10% discount to people from now until Christmas.
Those employed in the emergency services, care workers and Armed Forces personnel who hold a Blue Light Card will qualify for the benefit at Morrisons stores.
Cardholders will be able to claim the 10% discount on their groceries by presenting their Blue Light ID Card at tills at any of Morrisons 498 stores.
Morrisons have launched the discount to show appreciation to the key workers who have gone above and beyond their usual roles throughout the pandemic this year.
People in these roles qualify:
- Ambulance Service
- Border Force
- British Army
- Fire Service
- HM Coastguard
- Prison Service
- Red Cross
- Reserve Armed Force
- Royal Air Force
- Royal Marines
- Royal Navy
- Social care workers
- HM Armed Forces Veterans
- Community First Responders
- Second Line Responders
David Potts, Morrisons’ chief executive said: “Our emergency services, social care sector and armed forces have worked tirelessly this year to provide support to the many people who need it across the UK, often in exceptionally difficult circumstances.