According to the last census nine years ago Ruddington had 6441 residents – more than some towns – and that is a number since swelled by significant additional housing. But how many of us use the village centre businesses on a regular basis – even if only once a week? I feel the answer is “not enough”!
Certainly the recession coupled with online shopping and banking trends have not helped. But there also seems to be a modern mindset that it is compulsory to head off to some huge and distant supermarket for all our shopping needs, however tedious and soul destroying this may be, just to save 3p on a tin of beans! Meanwhile our calm and pretty village centre, still with an astonishing variety of attractive shops, eateries and pubs – and all with personal customer service – is often neglected and under threat. In recent history we’ve lost HSBC, Ruddington Carpets, Petsetera, Garrett Computers, The Clock Shop and Crusader Gifts whilst others are up for sale.
Thankfully many units have been re-let to new businesses but some shops have been empty for a while, spoiling the look of High Street and Church Street in particular.
It’s not all doom and gloom, of course. Irene Morgan runs the new Buy Right clothes and accessories shop which she says offers “a bit of something for everybody“. After a slow start when they first opened in March she says they are now getting a good response from customers. Summers at Eleven is a brand new boutique salon next door. Meanwhile Mascari Kitchens on Charles Street offers high end contemporary German kitchen design and has been attracting trade via its website and new village showroom which opened in February. Owner Rob Mascari says he chose Ruddington “because it is a vibrant village with a good catchment area, as well as being a great place to work“.
Our local businesses can only survive and thrive if people use them. And, take it from me, using our village for the majority of my shopping, banking and holiday booking is a very pleasant experience. With six and a half thousand potential customers living in Ruddington alone there are plenty of us here to support the village centre – but if we don’t choose to use it, then we will lose it!
Researched & written by Graham Wright
See also BANKING IN RUDDINGTON – under LOCAL NEWS & SNIPPETS – Snippets.