After a planning application was submitted to Aberdeenshire Council by a national bakery company for a premises in the centre of Stonehaven, our reporter asked the Leader’s readers through our Facebook page what they feel Stonehaven needs more, or less of, in the town centre.
The number of replies to the question suggests that residents of Stonehaven feel a very strong sense of ownership about their town centre and feel that premises in the town continue to close down and then open up as similar businesses that there are already several of in the town.
One reader said: “Variety is what is needed to keep people in the town, not more of the same!” and another suggested that it’s good that National companies are taking an interest in Stonehaven but the town already has many of the same type of businesses.
One reader said: “Do we really need any more shops selling food at all? There’s heaps of them! How about something new?” whilst another said: “Can we not get different shops in Stonehaven? We have too many of the same things - beauty shops, hairdressers, bakeries. Why not get some more clothes shops or something we don’t already have?”
One reader said: “I would love a fresh fruit and veg shop where I can go in and buy fresh produce. I used to love when we had the fruit shop but it had to close down” when referring to the greengrocers that was on Evan Street in Stonehaven.
Earlier this year a “Save Stonehaven’s Shops” campaign was launched which chose a shop a week out of the town’s local businesses and residents were urged to visit that shop at some point to supprt the small businesses in the town.
The good news for small businesses is that many of those who responded suggested that they would prefer to support the local businesses whenever possible rather than chain companies and felt the town will do a roaring trade on and around Hogmanay.