Ten minutes in Billingham town centre

Graham Soult

Retail consultant, writer, blogger; helping retailers via CannyInsights.com and CannySites.com. Say hello on Twitter at @soult!

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9 Responses

  1. steve says:

    I know this is 5 year old. Any chance of a update, I heard that this town centre has had a 4 million pound investment. B and M moved into the old Kwik Save, Aldi and possibly farm foods are investing in the area. Weatherspoons has opened a pub there. Greggs and Iceland has been refitted. There is a Brighthouse where superdrug used to be and poundland and fultons foods have taken up the woolworths area. It sounds as it has a lot more to look forward to in tearms of growth and development.

    • John says:

      I second this request, while still a lot of work needed to truly turn the town around,, Billingham town centre is vastly improved. As steve above mentioned a big investment in the town has meant new paving, seating and planting and a number of new stores opening. Since that post there is also now the new aldi store and even a costa coffee has opened! I do urge you to visit again if you get the oppurtunity, think you will be pleasantly surprised by the iimprovment.

  2. Simon Lott says:

    Sadly, I live in Billingham and try to avoid visiting the town centre as much as possible! It is an extremely depressing place to go unless you want to visit one of the many charity shops. With the addition of a brighthouse store it shows how the town is moving backwards! It is still stuck in the 1950’s and the best thing to do is demolish the whole place and start again.

  3. Annie says:

    I hope you do go back. Sadly Billingham Centre has fallen on hard times. ‘The Square’ as it is known locally did have it’s design heart in the right place originally. In the 50s when it was built, its pedestrian layout – passing through an arch into a broad open space, with underfloor heating, bird aviaries, fishponds, childrens’ playground and Pram Ramp to the shops on the upper level, were cutting edge. Not to mention the later Forum and Art Gallery. Kingsway, the covered two storey addition always was a mistake and remains a dim cavern. Unfortunately, when the ICI money left the town, so did the ability to renew. Please don’t condemn it. In my experience the people are really nice, and youths love to hang around and lurk in all towns, not just ours.

  4. Adam says:

    Sadly Billingham town centre is such a dire place, it will never attract the bigger brands but the entire concrete jungle atmosphere just makes it a million times worse. You noted the youth hanging around and add the fact that there are so many shady corners and dark tunnels and you have a really uninviting place.

    The problem is that with Middlesbrough, Stockton and Hartlepool all 10/15 minutes away and easily accessible by car, bus and train then it really doesn’t stand a chance. With Boyes open in the town centre there isn’t even room for an Alworth’s type store to open either.

    In response to the Whitley Bay comment, Billingham town centre makes Whitley Bay look like Bond Street.

  5. Jonny Rowntree says:

    I’ve always seen Billingham advertised either on the front of the bus destination screen, or in advertisements in newspapers but I’ve never seen what it is like around there. The photos featured in this post remind me Whitley Bay, before the nightlife lifestyle kicked off down there and Wallsend after hours. It looks deserted and a place that you don’t want to visit.

  1. August 20, 2010

    […] was finally able to pay a visit a few weeks ago – the same day that I went to Billingham – and felt fairly embarrassed to have missed it the first time, given that it conforms to all […]

  2. November 17, 2010

    […] of this blog will be pleased to hear that I went back to Billingham yesterday, following my earlier underwhelming visit, back in June. The homogeneity and datedness of Billingham town centre’s design mean that […]

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