KEEPING your city centre retail sector healthy is key to a vibrant town and constant redevelopment is required to maintain an attractive feel.

The challenge of congestion and expensive parking can drive shoppers out of town and onto the internet. So it’s very welcome to see the Bridge Street project shaping up.

Retail has been a key employer and is of course critical in procuring services from the logistics industry, one of Warrington’s strengths.

However, the high street retail sector in current form, remains under threat. The establishment of Amazon at Omega and the requirement for thousands of employees show just how powerful this shopping option has become.

Even for us still wanting to go to a shop, then shops without staff are now developing. Let yourself in with your smartphone id, scan the item, pay online and take it away.

All under CCTV.

Shopping therefore needs to be more than just shops. It needs to be entertainment, leisure and refreshments.

Pleasant, relaxing and satisfying as an experience. So bars, restaurants, cinema and transport, parking and putting a show on are all essential ingredients.

Getting the mix right is a challenge, keeping it current even harder.

LAWRENCE Bellamy is deputy provost at the University of Chester’s Padgate campus