I am 50 years old and have two grown up children who live at home for some of the time. I have lived here for over 30 years (moving from Bakewell), and was very proud to say where I was from. Matlock had everything as opposed to Bakewell back then. It had a pictures, plenty of shops and a thriving market.
Now, I shop mostly in Alfreton or Chesterfield. The things that would keep me shopping here and I think a lot of people of all ages would be, an Argos, a larger Wilcos, bigger brand name shops like Dorothy Perkins, Next or Burton, along with a cheaper card shop. Matlock will never be like Alfreton, its much prettier, but should be able to have a mix of shops for the locals and not just visitors.
The site on Bakewell Road after Twiggs would be a prime area. I read in the paper once that someone said it was too far out of town, Matlock is a very tiny town. Buxton is split on two levels and people shop in both areas. It is no further out than Sainsbury’s for some people.
Older people who cannot drive will always shop locally in the long-standing shops like Farmers, Ladyfair and Geisha, etc., but we need more popular shops too. I know, when visiting other towns for the day that you like to browse around the smaller specialist shops, but you still want to look at the larger stores to.
As for the market, I think it should be outdoor, like Bakewell, as it used to be.
It could be sited on the tennis courts in the park, like it is when we have the Victorian Market. We could have stalls from around the world selling produce, like Bakewell and Chesterfield does. It would be no big upheaval once a week, and it would be on view when people drive past and maybe coax people in, rather than just drive through. If the surface was a problem, there are plenty of temporary surfaces that could be laid down once a week.
If not, then it could be situated on Firs Parade. Again, the shopkeepers may object, but I don’t know why. I don’t go along firs Parade very often but if the market was on them it would tempt people up there, and then to look in the shops.
The island really is the least of our worries. Most people I speak to seem to agree that it just wants finishing. The Crown putting back and may just raise it slightly and plant some seasonal plants around it instead of spending thousands on something that won’t fix the towns underlying problems.
There are always reasons not to do something if we want to remain in the dark ages but there are always solutions around these problems.
Please can we try?