The current problems in the retail business in which many large stores are closing doesn’t auger well for Portsmouth’s Cascade Shopping Centre with both the former Marks & Spencer and British Homes Stores (BHS) sites standing empty.
The latter, of course, was closed several years ago and currently it seems unlikely to be able to attract a new tenant from the retail trade and will need to look elsewhere.
Empty retail units discourage shoppers and Manchester, for instance, has systematically marketed empty retail and other units to secure permanent long-term lets in order to maintain and enhance the centre.
It hasn’t gone unnoticed that a suitable home is needed for the Richard Lancelyn Green collection of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes memorabilia, so why not set it up in the former BHS store?
As I pointed out in this column a couple of months ago this central location has many advantages over the intended site on the Avenue de Caen on the Common and could be set up in a short time.
For visitors interested in nineteenth century writers the close proximity of the birthplace of Charles Dickens would be an extra attraction.