Today the long awaited Drake Circus shopping centre opened its doors to the paying public.
After 15 years of waiting, I went down town to see for myself the centre which has split the people of Plymouth. Many have criticised the external architecture as a mish-mash of styles and blank walls. Well, I for one like it, and unfortunately, unlike other cities where centres are built behind the existing shop frontages, Plymouth wasn’t designed like that, so the shop’s rear walls had to go somewhere.
Inside, you get the feeling that you aren’t in Plymouth at all – maybe because this indoor shopping experience is so alien to the city. And whilst the mix of shops is decidedly weighted towards women, I was very impressed.
There are still units left to be let and hopefully they will be to new stores not already present in Plymouth. Walking around the rest of the city, it was decidedly empty compared to the top end where the centre is (let’s hope that predictions that the centre will suck the life out of the rest of the shopping area will prove unfounded) and the vacant units of the newly located businesses were noticeable. Here’s longing for a greater presence for Argyle in the city centre in the form of a dedicated superstore!