ADVERTISER COMMENT: What can be done?

THE selection of big name stores in our town centre will again be reduced with the announcement that Thorntons is to leave.

It adds its name to those of Primark, Holland and Barrett and Poundstretcher, who have all signalled their intention to depart.

A new town centre masterplan and the project to develop Forge Island are all well and good, but it will take a number of years for these schemes to come to fruition, so what is to be done in the meantime?

Yes, a cinema could well attract restaurants and boost the night-time economy, but what about the daytime economy?

In a couple of years time Rotherham could well be left without a functioning town centre and it is unlikely any of those who have moved away will be tempted back in.

It may well be that new shops and names will come into Rotherham — and we sincerely hope they do — but that will only happen if there is a general economic upturn.

The sad fact is that as one shop closes its doors it provides another reason for someone not to visit town and another shop suffers.

It’s an inevitable domino effect — let’s hope the whole centre doesn’t fall.