Cinema move not to blame for Bournemouth high street decline

The relocation of a new Odeon cinema is not to blame for the decline in shops’ fortunes, says shopkeeper and former neighbour.

Shutting of shops is due to the councils refusal to adapt, not the loss of the Odeon cinema from Westover Road says John Keppie, director of Sweet Thoughts.

“They charge a hell of a lot of money and you don’t get a lot for it […] Other shops elsewhere, the councils there want to see them open, but they’re not worried here,” said Mr Keppie.

The Odeon cinema opened in the new BH2 leisure complex on February 10th and will be followed by restaurants such as Pizza Express, Prezzo and Five Guys. While the influx of business will be seen as a positive for Bournemouth, the change of location will potentially drive business away from the old site on Westover Road.

Mr Keppie disagreed, arguing “the cinema move was always going to happen, it was inevitable”.

The graph highlights that visitors to Bournemouth Town Centre in 2016 were generally up on 2015, suggesting it’s not all negative for Bournemouth

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