The site comprises a total of 40 units, with contracts signed for nine and advanced negotiations taking place over a further three.
This comes despite Hereford Futures’ best efforts to lure city centre shops away from their existing premises.
It looks increasing like both the new site and the old High Town area will both be under-occupied.
This week’s revelation of further cuts and a 30% cut to the council’s workforce shows that the ESG project has been a catastrophic waste of public money.
Millions of pounds have been ploughed into the scheme, even after the 2008 financial crash, double-dip recession and increasing popularity of internet shopping. All of which should’ve sounded serious alarm bells for the council—as it was for economists and financial analysts across the world.
Anyone with half a brain cell high up within Herefordshire Council should’ve predicted the cuts they were going to have to impose due to recession.
The choice would’ve been clear: save money for the coming troubles to help support vital public services or blow it all on a consumerist, political point-scoring, vanity project!
Yet again the council have fucked up—and it’s us that’s suffering the consequences.
The Old Market website—with no hint of irony—proudly boasts the development is “the only new shopping centre opening in 2014 in the UK”. There’s a reason for that.
So now as the council decides it can’t afford anything apart from Alistair Neill’s fat salary and the paper to print its council tax bills on, it will soon be dangling its shiny new plaything in front of our eyes, in what must be the biggest ever ‘fuck you’ seen in the history of modern Hereford.