A Bournemouth shopkeeper says she is confronted with open drug use, ‘constant thieving’ and human waste amid a struggle to stay in open.

Retailers fear they won’t make it through to the end of the year if the situation does not improve.

Despite its ‘beautiful beach’, some businesses feel embarrassed by the state of affairs.

Boutique women’s fashion store, Roberta has been open for 35 years and is based in Westover Road.

Owner Catherine Gosney said: “I think we’re the last ladieswear still left in the town after Yours [Clothing] closes, which is crazy. So, every time somebody closes, we get busier, but it’s not good for the town.”


Catherine said that despite having customers,‘we don’t feel safe, particularly in the winter months’.

She said: “So, it is fine at the moment, but we don’t have security here, we don’t have men working here and we get theft, we get faeces left outside the door, we get drugs outside the door.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Catherine said the ‘plans are to move now, Wimborne, Ringwood... anywhere that has affordable parking for customers, where they can get in and park safely, cheaply’.

She said there’s now nothing to come in for, due to retailers such as Marks & Spencer closing over the past 18 months.

She believes Bournemouth town centre cannot compete when Castlepoint Shopping Centre has free parking.

“So the only thing that will regenerate the town is to make the car parking street level, restore on-street parking and make it free for three hours for shoppers,” she said.

She added: “Every retail park, shopping centre and supermarket in the borough has free, safe and accessible parking. Any regeneration of Bournemouth town centre is impossible unless it has the same parking provision as these competing destinations.

"There is so much potential here.

“If short-stay town centre parking is free of charge and the car parks are made cleaner, safer, accessible and greener the town’s fortunes could be turned around so quickly.

“For the majority of the year, Bournemouth is cold, wet and windy. There are simply not enough people willing to cycle and walk to town in the rain to sustain the economy all year round."


The Daily Echo has been speaking to residents, shopkeepers, councillors and more concerning the state of the high street.
Scores of shops have closed for good, meanwhile, big-name retailers have moved elsewhere.
Bournemouth has been described as the jewel of the south coast, but what does the future hold?
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