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Store closure blow ahead of Pilot cash

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: June 22, 2012

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LISKEARD has suffered another blow with the closure of a family-run electronics store as it prepares to regenerate its centre using £100,000 of Portas Pilot funding.

Miners Home Appliances on Pigmeadow Lane, part of the Euronics network, has placed a sign in the window which reads: "This store is now closed. All interested parties will be contacted ASAP."

The phone is not being answered and the store's website has disappeared offline.

Owner Dave Miners, who was born and bred in the town, had enjoyed more than 24 years in the industry.

Rik Jones, chair of Liskeard Chamber of Commerce, said it was sad to see one of the longer-serving shops in Liskeard close down. He believed having the likes of Argos on the edge of town did not help smaller stores.

"Not only have we lost a reputable store selling many electrical items, along with spare parts, but Miners also had their own engineers that made home visits repairing items," he said.

"Dave Miners and his team will be greatly missed by everyone in Liskeard. Something must be done now before Liskeard pulls down the barriers on the edge of town and becomes a ghost town."

Mayor Tony Powell said he believed the action being taken by the town council on markets, JD Wetherspoon, a new pannier market, toilets, Westbourne Gardens and car parking strategy – when combined with the proposals from the town team which secured the Portas funding – would ultimately make a very big difference.

"However, I don't believe there are any quick fixes to this," he said.

"We need to take a very measured approach to ensure we keep our proposals firmly on track and ensure they are sustainable in the long term."

Allison Livingstone, from Liskeard Town Team, said it was devastating to lose another shop in the town, a family owned business that was a fixture on the Liskeard town landscape.

"There are still massive challenges ahead," she said.

"Traders are fighting online shopping, large out of town retail parks and reduced footfall among other things, which is why the town team has made a point of working so closely with traders and business to find out what the issues are, and the best ways to tackle them."

Mrs Livingstone said the team was beginning the process of implementing the winning bid, which they were confident would pull people back into town and highlight the diversity of shops and products available.

"Most people understand, however, it's not something that will happen overnight," she said.

"We'll continue to look at new and creative ways of working to support our very hardworking traders. And we hope this doesn't have to happen to another valuable store in our town."

LISKEARD has been offered the chance to feature in a documentary charting its progress as one of 12 Portas Pilots.

Allison Livingstone said TV production company Optomen would like Liskeard to be one of those filmed for Mary Portas's new series.

"We're delighted they're so interested in our town, and that they too can see all the positive and interesting things already happening," she said.

The team is currently organising a meeting with Optomen and Channel 4 to hear more about what being filmed would entail so a decision can be made about whether to take part.

"If we believe filming will enhance and increase the impact of that process, of course we'd want to be part of what promises to be an exciting and unique opportunity," added Mrs Livingstone.

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