YEP Says, February 27: Opportunities that come with changing face of high street

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Creative thinking could rejuvenate shopping areas.

TALK of the death of the traditional high street may have been a bit premature.

Certainly the resurgence of Leeds city centre with schemes such as Trinity and the forthcoming Victoria Gate development suggest there is plenty of life in the retail heart of the city yet.

It helps that the economy seems once more to be showing signs of life – and that some companies are starting to get to grips with the internet and how to integrate online shopping with its physical stores.

But there are still gaping holes in many shopping areas, especially on their fringes.

It’s why the suggestion by industry expert Ian Summersgill that these empty units should be converted into homes is worthy of consideration.

But that isn’t the only way to breathe new life into streets and areas that have fallen on tough times.

From creating spaces for young artists, to selling local produce usually sold at the increasingly popular farmers’ markets, there are a number of ideas that are worth exploring. The important thing is that there is plenty of debate about this issue.

There is no question that the face of the traditional high street is changing, but this should be seen more as an opportunity than a problem.

With a bit of creative thinking, there is no reason why our new-look shopping areas can’t be more enticing for us to visit rather than less.

Keeping up with our tech-savvy children

She may be only 11, but Kacie-Lee Holdsworth hits the nail on the head when she says that her generation are more technologically savvy than their parents.

The youngster, part of a team creating programmes for East Leeds FM thanks to funding from the Leeds Community Foundation, has never known a world without mobile phones or computers that get smaller and smarter by the year.

There’s no question that many parents are finding themselves left trailing in their children’s wake.

But it’s important they do their best to keep up to speed – if only to help make sure youngsters stay safe in this brave new high-tech world.

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