Which businesses left Northampton's high street in the year since UK's first lockdown?
It can only be hoped that the next year will see businesses thrive again as restrictions come to an end
Northampton's high street said goodbye to as many as 28 businesses in the year since the UK's entered its first Covid-19 lockdown.
The nation yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the first lockdown with tributes to the 126,000 people who have died in that time.
Another toll of the past 12 months has been the unprecedented blow to the economy that will take years to recover and saw some of of the oldest national chains disappear.
The impact has been reflected in Northampton. The Chronicle & Echo estimates that in the last 365 days, as many as 28 businesses on our high street have closed their doors.
Some of these casualties include national chains collapsing into administration or cutting overheads. Debenhams in the Drapery said its goodbyes in January this year, and Moss Bros left its home in Abington Street in December. Edinburgh Woolen Mill, Virgin Media and a string of charity shops also disappeared in the last 12 months. Sainsbury's also left the Grosvenor Centre after decades.
However, many local retailers have also left.
The town's independent hospitality and dining options have noticeable taken a hit. Among the closures in the last year are The King Billy Rock Bar, Buddies USA, the Bread & Butter Factory, Gin & Temple and the Rendezvous Cafe. More recently, Jenny's in Abington Street has left its home in Abington Street.
Meanwhile, it has been an especially tough year for Market Walk. The former Peacock Place has been troubled for several years now and has been the subject of several unsuccessful planning proposals. The centre reached the New Year with just three stores left open.Several local businesses also took the opportunity to move away from the town centre, such as Wargames Workshop in Abington Square and Bohemian Finds, again from Market Walk.
And while the Chron's high-street health check at the end of the 2020 found as many as 10 new businesses opened their doors, the rate has been outstripped by closures.
It can only be hoped that the next year will see businesses thrive again as restrictions come to an end.