Hardshaw Centre’s u-turn over seating row

The Hardshaw Centre
The Hardshaw Centre
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  • Hardshaw Centre to reinstate seating
  • Bosses sparked controversy by removing benches in April
  • Reporter has been at forefront of campaign to force re-think

The owners of the Hardshaw Centre have performed a major u-turn over its seating arrangement in a stunning victory for people power and the St Helens Reporter.

Retail bosses provoked outrage among shoppers when they removed benching from the town centre arcade in April - citing new research which they claimed showed shoppers preferred wide open shopping spaces.

We have put some seating in areas for people to rest and recuperate

Rob Heald, asset manager of London and Cambridge Properties

But the move proved unpopular with elderly and disabled shoppers, who insisted the decision sidelined them.

Since then the Reporter has led the way campaigning for their reinstatement and highlighting the protests of OAPs.

Now London and Cambridge Properties, have reversed their ‘no seating’ policy by providing plastic seating outside the former TJ Hughes site.

Rob Heald, asset manager of the company, said: “We have put some seating in areas for people to rest and recuperate.

“We had people ringing up saying we just need somewhere to rest so we took the decision.”

However, he insisted the company remained committed to wide open mall areas.