Local Broughton councillor, John Merry, did provide a statement to the Salford Star…
“We would like to thank the businesses of Mocha Parade for their patience as we work on plans to create a bright future and better shopping experience for all” he said “We are in advanced stages of negotiation to remodel the centre, with the ultimate aim of giving the people of Lower Broughton what they deserve.
“Contact has been made and maintained over many months and years with all existing traders and we will help them stay and relocate to a new shop if they wish” he added “However if they do not wish to stay we will offer them financial compensation. The interests of traders and local people is our main priority as we look to create a proper shopping experience with fresh jobs and opportunities for local people.”
This statement is totally contradicted, however, by threatening correspondence seen by the Salford Star from the Council’s property joint venture company Urban Vision…
“The Council are looking to provide traders, who are considered to be potentially most at risk from the development of an Aldi foodstore (and potentially other national retailers) with as many options as possible during this difficult time” it states
“…As you are aware there are no guarantees of a new shop unit as all new tenancies will be subject to a robust business plan appraisal process, only business that can demonstrate strong financial viability will be considered for a new unit. It is also likely that the landlord of the new centre will not be the Council…”
It’s almost impossible for any shop on Mocha Parade to prove `strong financial viability’, when the centre has been run down for years and the community, for the most part, kicked out.
“People from the new houses come on Mocha more out of desperation than anything” said one trader “They tell you that the look of the place is degrading, it’s not something they want to come onto, it’s more out of necessity. When their friends and family come, it’s not something they want to show them… `This is our shopping area’…It does bring the area down. Something has to be done.”
Unfortunately, it looks like the shops that have traded through the re-development, the Boxing Day flood and the total deliberate run-down of Mocha Parade will be kicked out if they don’t fit with what Aldi, or some other supermarket, wants.
As Urban Vision stated, “there are no guarantees of a new shop unit” and “It is also likely that the landlord of the new centre will not be the Council…”
That’s scant reward for traders, who have served the local community for years. Meanwhile, Salford Council is busy spending whatever Section 106 money it’s got from local developments on prettying up the local parks, rather than sorting Mocha Parade, which is the elephant in the Lower Broughton regeneration room.
One more sad story from the star,peoples hopes dashed.