‘I’d rather shop online as there’s not much here’

Belper.
Belper.

Young people in Belper want more shops to cater for them, that’s the message picked up by the Belper News this week.

We asked young residents and shoppers their views on how the town appeals to the needs for their particular age group.

The results show that the town is lacking enough shops to fulfil young people’s needs - and that the majority are either shopping online or venturing elsewhere for their needs.

Lizzy Webster, 24, sa id there is very little choice for younger shoppers when it comes to clothing.

She said: “Apart from New Look there’s not a great deal to cater for my age group.”

Andrea Fox says that the same needs apply for 12 to 18 year olds in the town.

Andrea is founder and senior manager of Drop Inn, an independent youth organisation who engage with young teens in the area.

“A lot of the youngsters we deal with are always talking about the lack of shops that really cater for them,” said Andrea.

“They go on about having a Primark or something that is teen affordable.”

Ironically, when the Belper News conducted this survey one of the few shops to cater specifically for young men, George Fox Clothing on King Street, was closed “due to unforeseen circumstances”.

It is unknown whether the closure is merely temporary or whether it is curtains for another high street shop in the town.

Another issue close to the hearts of young people is nightlife.

Lizzy added: “When I go out, I tend to go elsewhere. It’s just pubs here really. For proper nightlife you have to go to cities and bigger towns which is a pain really but that’s the only option.”

Danny, who is studying his A-Levels, also opts to branch out elsewhere when it comes to socialising.

He said: “You can’t have a night out here! It just wouldn’t happen so I go out in Derby instead.”

There is also the issue of keeping the town’s young teens occupied to contend with - something many areas struggle with.

Andrea says groups like Drop Inn, founded back in 2000, provides a crucial role in preventing anti-social behaviour in the area as well as giving young people the skills and confidence to progress.

She added: “We have around 60 youngsters attend each night. There’s a variety of events that take place but it’s mostly music and media-based.

“We like to think we give youngsters the platform to improve their skills and we make them feel part of the community, not alienated.”