'We need more and better everything' - Readers reveal what they want to see in South Shields town centre
Shoppers in South Shields are calling for free parking as an incentive to bring more footfall to the town centre.
Almost half of those who took part in an online poll on the Gazette website plumped for free parking as the best option to revitalise the town centre. The question came following the confirmation that Burton, in King Street, will be shutting its doors - sparking a debate about what can be done to transform the town.
Free parking was the answer for more than 400 of you (44%), while more than 250 (28%) of you called for new clothes shop to take up a pitch in South Shields.
But some argued that the shops need to come first to encourage people to shop locally in the first place. Then, people will be more willing to part with their pennies to park.
Primark continued to be a popular choice for South Shields residents, while others (19%) admitted they would like to see different kinds of shops take a chance in the town.
Here's how you reacted to the story on the Shields Gazette Facebook page:
Phillip Bewick: "South Shields town centre needs a flagship store, i.e. Primark, as this will attract more shoppers which will encourage more shops to open!"
Jean Dickinson: "What’s the point in having a car park if there are no shops to attract people it’s a no brainier really. I know we have a beautiful coastline but we need all round attractions."
Mandi Adams: "Better shops and King Street should be made like Eldon Square or The Bridges, covered. Need high street shops! And free parking."
Sarah Stidolph: "Reduce the rents to attract more diverse shops ... we are a seaside town where people come for holidays.
"Our coast is beautiful which brings people in but we need a range of small shops like gift shops, which will hopefully bring people along to have a look at shops.
"We have The Word and coast and shutters in between."
Elizabeth Smith: "Pull King Street down along with Fowler Street, they have had their day.
"People need to go out to hairdressers, nail shops and cafes. Build decent units for these sorts of things and give the rest over to housing."
Neil Innes: "Just do something. Anything. More bars/restaurants, better shops, whatever. Loads of effort been made with the sea front while the town centre has been left to go to ruin.
"And free parking makes no difference if there’s nothing there worth visiting! People will pay to park if there’s something decent down there."
Kelly Ibble Dibble Doyle: "We need more and better everything! Better quality shops and variety of them. We have lovely restaurants but our bars are absolutely dire!
"I NEVER shop in my own town because there's nothing here, unless you need a card, a phone or to donate to a charity shop."
Jeannette Welsh: "Primark seems very popular but I would like to see smaller independent retailers, make South Shields a bit different to everywhere else."
Pritam Singh: "Lower rates, lower rent and free parking. This will instantly rejuvenate the town centre."
Allison Bissett: "I'd say Primark would be a big success and save parents money on clothing and footwear."
Donna Watson: "More shops and free parking to entice more people here."
Helen Embleton McKerill: "Shopping and free parking - Jarrow is always buzzing."