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Plenty of reasons to be optimistic

I'm not normally considered to be a cheery, cup half-full type, but I do think that those claiming the end is nigh for Newark are being a tad pessimistic.

Yes, the market is a sad shadow of its former self­— but who can blame the stallholders for not being too keen on standing outside in the constant wind and rain? Who would chose that option if an honest penny could be turned in some other way (although is there any reason why the market can’t be moved into the Buttermarket when the weather is terrible?).

However, Marks and Spencer is coming back; Superdrug is being replaced by a shop selling the same products ­— possibly minus the pharmacy but we have loads of those already ­— Tambo Lounge has just opened and shows every indication of thriving: a huge financial commitment to the town by a business far from local; the Holdens store is re-opening as a furniture shop maybe more of us will be able to afford; and at long last work has started on the Robin Hood site, another commitment to the town by a national company.

People sneered at Newark Town Council when they bought the Buttermarket, but at least five of the pop-up businesses that were given short-term leases before the Tambo Lounge development got underway have taken empty properties in the town and seem to be thriving.

Also, Newark isn’t alone in having quite a few empty shops. Has anyone been to York recently? Yes, York... ­— DEBBY SMITH, St Leonard’s Court, Newark.

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