I must confess to being a bit of a closet fan of Mary Portas, the self-styled Queen of Shops. I was therefore interested to hear her views on the state of the Nation’s High Streets, not least because I was expecting Ely to do quite well. Being based in our Ely office, which sits in a prominent position on Market Place, everyday I witness a vibrant small City, offering a good mix of independent shops and some national favourites. Add in the Thursday market and the Saturday Farmer’s market and there really is something for everyone. So, all-in-all no great surprise that there are not the scores of empty shop units reported in other parts of the country.
In light of the above imagine my great surprise when I read in The Times that Mary had actually listed Ely as the worst High Street. Unbelievable and it does rather beg one fundamental question ‘Mary, have you actually been to Ely?’