Listening and understanding at the sharp end…

Charlie Parker and Jim McMahon

Well, we’ve got to hand it to Jim McMahon (OMBC Leader) and Charlie Parker (Chief Executive) – they’ve just paid us a visit and listened without interruption to what we had to say. And to give credit where credit is due, the message has definitely been understood and there might be light at the end of the tunnel for other similar businesses feeling the stress we’ve had.

They are appreciative of differentiating Oldham’s offering from towns and were anxious to retain us or at least attract us back after the Metro is established. There have been problems that have caused the development work to be more complex than envisaged and it has taken some courage to admit that mistakes have been made. It sounds like the situation of access into town will improve substantially in the next couple of weeks and we are hopeful that this plus the free Saturday parking around the town centre will raise the number of visitors to Oldham’s shops.

They put the case for the Metrolink very well from their perspective – I truly hope it does bring investment and a raised level of prosperity to the town. I very much want to be positive now and use our position of some visibility to help the Borough where we’ve been located for 36 years.

It’s just a shame that this level of interest and assistance wasn’t shown earlier before our decision to leave Oldham was reached. Our plans for relocation will not alter but we will monitor with interest the progress of the Metrolink and other town centre development – who knows, there could be a Mountainfeet shop back in the Borough one day…