- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Category: Uncategorized
Woodfield Street Morriston
Morriston is a suburb of Swansea but exhibits a lot of the characteristics of a small town servicing a population of over 20,000 people. Woodfield Street is the main shopping centre for the Morriston area with three other streets, Clase Road, Sway Road and Pentrepoeth Road, also providing retail outlets.
What Morriston is most famous for is Tabernacle chapel, which has been variously described as the cathedral of non conformity and the largest non conformist chapel in Wales. It is a landmark building and its clock tower can be seen from miles away and helps give the town its identity.
The town centre has gone through the same changes as many others with the loss of a number of retailers such as Woolworth and Hodges whilst some other local retailers did not survive the proprietor’s retirement.
Morriston also had a large number of banks and building societies but despite bank and building society branch closures there are still branches of the following –Lloyds, HSBC, Halifax and the Principality building society in the main street. I remember when people complained about too many banks and building societies on the main street, an example of the need to be careful what you wish for.
The strengths of Morriston as a shopping area is the mix of national and local retailers. It has well known national companies such as Wilkinson, Iceland , Peacocks and a Crown post office that bring customers into the town centre. It also has two long standing butchers both having taken over from their fathers and with loyal clientele.
Whilst Morriston has like many town centres large numbers of hair dressers, take-aways and restaurants it also has a number of new local retailers. There has also been opened a number of local shops such as Shabby that sells shabby chic furniture, Plush that sells scented candles alongside other goods and “simply lush” that provides high quality cakes.
A farmer’s street market for Saturdays starting this summer has been brought in to increase footfall in the area, generate consumer interest and benefit the current retailers.
If the number of empty buildings is the criteria on whether a town centre is successful Morriston with only a few empty buildings most of which are currently being refurbished must rank as a success. With the opening of a number of niche retailers and the farmer’s market the future looks good.