Leicester businesses fear demolished council buildings could implode trade

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Nanabi Russell of A & B Cabs

By Andrew Clark

Businesses close to the demolished Leicester Council offices are concerned about how the landmark site will be developed in future.

In the aftermath of the two buildings’ destruction on Sunday, traders are worried the previous short-term loss of council workers could lead to a long-term business crash.

Alyson Mee, a shop assistant at The Bakery, said: “If you put student flats here, the businesses will go down here, as they’ve not got the money to keep local businesses going.

“We need something that is good for the economy and creates more jobs.”

She believes that replacing the council buildings with other types of offices will replace recently lost trade due to the council’s move away from the site.

Alyson said: “Putting offices in would attract more businesses – you’re going to get more workers who need feeding.”

Nanabi Russell, a book-keeper for A & B Cabs, shares Alyson’s philosophy.

Nanabi said: “Personally we don’t want to see another supermarket, not another high rise building such as flats.”

However, he disagrees that a lack of offices would be a problem, believing that food and drink outlets could attract more people from the city centre.

Nanabi said: “It would be nice to have an attraction to bring in people from outside, some coffee or wine bars, something different, as this side has no business at all. Something to benefit the whole of Leicester.”

Rita Vadoliya, a manager at an Independent corner store on Welford Road, agrees more could be done to bring in those from the Highcross area.

Rita said: “Something that entertains would bring the customers this side from the Highcross side, because the town centre is always busy on a weekend, but usually there aren’t many people on this side.”

Drawing in young people to the area should also be a priority according to the store manager.

Rita said: “It should be something to do with youngsters, although we’ve already got a gym on Welford Road.”

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