Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 11 February 2016


Whisper it gently but good things are happening at Plymstock Broadway. For most of the 23 years I have been in post this shopping area has been on the decline.

On a recent visit, I noticed the much improved appearance of the shopping area – better play areas for children, nicely planted out landscaping areas; a much tidier appearance generally. It was also great to notice some new shops, not all of the budget or charity variety. I am aware of the plans for Costa to open a coffee house in the centre of the Broadway, and this will only add momentum to the sense of incremental improvement.

How has this happened? In conversations with the new (ish) centre manager, it is all part of a deliberate strategy on the part of Praxis, the company which now owns the Broadway. They have ambitious plans to take this centre in a positive direction and make it more reflective of the vibrant catchment area that it serves. I understand that one or two more well-known stores are about to plant their flag in the Broadway quite soon, adding impetus to this project. Hopefully this will attract more local shoppers to the Broadway, benefitting all. An upward spiral.

At the same time the spacious first floor apartments that surround the retail area have received a face lift and several new tenants have been attracted. With onsite security this is now becoming an attractive place to live. I congratulate the centre manager and her team on this bold effort to upgrade the Broadway. If the large space (previously the supermarket) at the end of the complex (which does not belong to the centre owners) can be resolved this year, as is planned, we will have an increasingly attractive and dynamic centre on our hands, one which it will be a pleasure to visit for all ages. If you have not been to the Broadway recently, give it a fresh look.

In this constituency we have three similar shopping areas: the Broadway, the Ridgeway in Plympton and Iybridge town centre. The Ridgeway received a boost when Wetherspoons opened and attracted a younger age group. This has made a real difference.

Ivybridge continues to battle in the face of competition from Endsleigh and Tesco, but, backed by the town council, the fight to find a positive way forward continues.

All of us who value these secondary shopping centres should do our utmost to support them.

posted by Gary @ 09:00