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Council to act on empty shops thanks to regional daily probe

A regional daily’s probe into the state of a town centre has sparked council action.

The Bournemouth Echo investigation found there are currently more than 40 empty shop units in central Bournemouth, prompting calls for change from readers.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council has now launched a survey for people in the town after the series of nine stories were published by the Echo about the issue.

Residents have been urged to come forward with their ideas for how to regenerate the area.

Bournemouth town

Echo head of news Tom Orde told HTFP: “Our reporters spoke to residents, shopkeepers, councillors and more to get their views.

Scores of shops have closed for good, meanwhile, big-name retailers have moved elsewhere.

“Readers and residents have been discussing the situation for months and often send us letters voicing their concerns.

“Bournemouth has been described as the jewel of the south coast and we wanted to see what the future holds.

“By highlighting the issues that matter to readers, our reporters triggered fierce debate with their articles that received hundreds of comments and thousands of views.

“Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council has now launched a public survey to collate ideas to help turn the town centre around.”

Echo editor James Johnson added: “We are delighted that people in Bournemouth are working to modernise and improve the town centre following our series.

“Bournemouth is a beautiful and vibrant area with huge potential and there is a lot to be positive about. I hope the BCP Council survey is able to spark a better future.”