I’ve never been to Ludlow which, based on tonight’s BBC programme on the town, is my loss. What a beautiful place. It has an impressive history as a market town and has gone to considerable lengths to protect it’s heritage (over 500 listed buildings) as well as invest to enable Ludlow to develop in the 21st century.
Other than Tesco, whose supermarket has some architectural merit, the town centre, according to the programme, has no national retailers and is a high street of independents and markets. This is what make our town centres interesting: variety and diversity for the shopper.
Impressed as I was with the programme, I feared it wandering into the format of a tourist travelogue. It didn’t, as it moved to a social housing estate that housed 40% of Ludlow’s population. It was classified as an area of deprivation with high unemployment and a long way to travel to find jobs.
As much as I admire their high street of independents and markets, perhaps a couple of national retailers might take a few people off benefits and give them their own independence.