I read the story of Newtown Cinema’s latest national success in being nominated for a Welsh Hospitality Award.

Congratulations to David Thacker and his team for keeping what many would consider to be a vital service alive in a town that otherwise feels like it is slowly dying. 

Newtown town centre has, in recent years, become less and less populated by the businesses that once made the town a wonderful hub of local businesses, owned by local people, providing both retail and services for local people and tourists alike. 


Nowadays, a walk down the two main streets of Newtown will show just how many retail units are standing empty, unkempt and rather sad looking. 

It cheapens the image of the town and gives even less reason for tourists to stop on their way past. When the bypass was built, we were reassured that the town would still thrive. 

However, it seems the council have done very little in terms of providing incentive for tourists to stop here, or for local businesses to set up shop here. 

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Unless you’re a barbers or a cafe, it feels there is no longer a place here in Newtown to nurture new businesses. Is it really preferential to have empty units, generating no income or business rates at all, than to incentivise locals to give their business ideas a shot in a town that would greatly benefit from a wider diversity of retail shops and services. 

I hope that the cinemas latest success can demonstrate to the council and business owners that there is a local population here who are ready and waiting to support local services. 

Something desperately needs to be done before there is very little reason to come to Newtown at all, with the exception of the cinema itself.
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