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Paignton street 'could be new Brighton Lanes'

By Herald Express  |  Posted: November 17, 2012

  • ATTRACTION: The Lanes in Brighton

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WINNER Street could become the 'Brighton Lanes' of Torbay.

An initiative is being launched by traders to create a new image for the area drawing on its growing number of independent specialist shops and restaurants.

The Paignton Business Improvement District group has been working with traders, landlords and Torbay Council to identify ways of reinforcing the area's appeal to shoppers, particularly for items like antiques and second hand goods.

Matthew Clarke (pictured), chairman of the steering group said: "There are some of us who have enjoyed the delights of wandering around 'The Lanes' in Brighton, browsing the numerous shops stuffed full of antiques and curios.

"The architecture in the area lends itself to this popular category of retailing strengthened by the numerous hit television shows such as Bargain Hunt, Antiques Road Trip, Cash in the Attic and, of course, the Antiques Roadshow.

"However, here in Devon there is a lack of such a community of shops that lend themselves to the arts whether they be antique shops or galleries, craft shops and studios with perhaps a mix of ethnic restaurants.

"Winner Street is just the right area to promote the idea to encourage like-minded businesses to gather in a community of 'retailing' which would act as a 'major' reason to come to Paignton as a destination."

Mr Clarke said the previous projects to enhance the appearance of the street, with the specially crafted shop signs and restored shop fronts, together with some existing successful shops, had already created the right kind of atmosphere for the venture.

"Early discussions have been had with a couple of the landlords and a representative of the council who have initially welcomed this idea.

"The 'Welcome to Winner Street' feature has now been installed and we're encouraging businesses to view the street in a different light.

"There are many galleries and studios paying exorbitant rates and rent to exist in neighbouring towns.

"Here in Paignton, we are planning to have an indoor antique market in one of the larger units and to purchase our own market stalls to have regular themed markets in Palace Avenue.

"With a variety of shops of all sizes available in Winner Street and Church Street the idea could take off very rapidly.

"The Irish Bar, now empty, opposite the Coop would make an excellent addition in a new guise to the already fantastic Nepalese and Thai restaurant offering.

"One only has to see what happened to Hay on Wye to see what can be achieved if all parties work together to create an exciting and unique destination to attract customers far and wide to our town."

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  • TrubblnStrife  |  November 19 2012, 7:57PM

    This is a wonderful idea, but looking at the photos, it seems to me that the chief difference between the Lanes and Winner Street is pedestrianisation! So get rid of the cars, put out the cafe tables, and you'll be halfway there! Best of luck, Mr Clarke, with your vision – a thriving area of this nature will be a fantastic asset for Paignton, and, I'm sure, a great attraction to visitors.

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  • Nippie  |  November 19 2012, 4:45PM

    Fanx Wiscot!

  • Incredulous2  |  November 19 2012, 9:28AM

    The key difference between Winner St and The Lanes is that The Lanes is not in the middle of 'bedsit land', unlike Winner St. The need for police to race down Winner St on a regular basis to access Church St as well as the top end of Winner St, responding to disturbances, would be a real hazard to cosmopolitan shoppers!

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  • wiscot  |  November 18 2012, 8:36PM

    Nippie - you need to 'click' on the right and left arrows underneath the photograph block and then all will be revealed to you.

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  • Nippie  |  November 18 2012, 7:25PM

    Where is Matthew Clarke's photo?!!

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  • oceanside  |  November 18 2012, 4:47PM

    Having lived in Brighton it would be a good idea to look at the North lanes area as opposed to the Southern Lanes which is more of a tourist trap. The North Lanes has a diverse range of shopping from yes antiques but also clothes, deli's, cafes, even vegetarian shoes!!!

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