READERS say shopping in town centre is a ‘depressing experience’.

Marks and Spencer and Debenhams both left Barrow in 2020 and 2021 respectively having become town centre institutions.

But with no sign of the shops being filled, concerns are being raised over the major units.

Blanche Turner said: “Perhaps the council could reduce the rates a bit so the shops will stay open.”

Stuart Metcalfe said: “They might as well shut Portland Walk and Dalton Road, too easy to order things on the internet.”

Brand new said: “Move the market hall into Debenhams, a much more modern building with several access points. Marks and Spencer would make a great leisure facility like a bowling alley. Retail sales have been driven out of town by the higher rates and rents in town and city centres. Or perhaps in a few years time, Marks and Spencer could make a good parcel sorting office for all the Amazon and eBay parcels coming into town.”

Sidney Bouvier said: “We’re all responsible. We all shop on line we all use the supermarkets. Granted the council haven’t helped with traffic wardens and expensive parking.

“It’s not going to get better unless the property owners can give businesses a reason to invest in the town and I don’t see that happening.

“So they’ll remain empty. Sad.”

Park Ave said: “The actual town centre is just awful. Yes, there are shops that have closed down however, this is due to a lack of business caused by the lack of shoppers that visit the town centre.

“Why are there hardly any shoppers ?

“Because it is a truly depressing experience shopping in Barrow town centre.

“Crumbling decaying buildings, weeds growing out of every orifice, badly repaired and maintained pavements, a carpet of chewing gum welded to the pavements, rusty bins, chuggers annoying the shoppers, no nice outside seated areas, litter, dog mess, etc.”