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A Case Study of Merry Hill Shopping Centre

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A Case Study of Merry Mill Shopping Centre Merry Hill is a large out of town shopping centre, built in Brierly Hill, Dudley, West Midlands. Opened in 1985, Merry Hill has expanded considerately since then, to become a very popular shopping centre. However, this has come at a cost to parts of the local area. Merry Hill shopping centre was built on the site of Merry Hill Farm, and the disused Round Oak steelworks. There was much hostility when building of the first phase of the shopping centre commenced on the green space, rather than on the former steelworks site. Despite protests from local citizens the site was destroyed. The steelworks site was not built on till later stages of the Merry Hill/Waterfront Project. Regardless of original complaints, Merry Hill has been popular for over 20 years, and is still expanding today; a new Toys R Us has recently opened, and in 2010, a new line of the Midland Metro Tram system will reach the site. Merry Hill is so popular because of the ease of shopping there. ...read more.


Parking is also an important reason as to why Merry Hill is so popular. As opposed to times before supermarkets, when people walked to their local parade of shops and bought everyday items, from a range of shops, more than once a week, most people have cars. Times and lifestyles have changed so that shopping is something to be done as little as possible, and convenience is paramount. The ease of getting to Merry Hill, via well connected motorways because it's out of town, the amount of parking and the ease and convenience of shopping, means that Merry Hill is usually packed with shoppers, and will be for years to come. The popularity of Merry Hill means that many shoppers come to the shopping centre from all around Dudley. Being well connected by motorways, and in the Midlands, means it can attract visitors from a large area, including Coventry, Birmingham and Wolverhampton. This has meant it has created a large number of jobs. Around 4000 people work in Merry Hill, serving in shops, restaurants or cleaning the centre, providing services, or working as a security guard. ...read more.


Basically, Dudley town centre is dying and could be in fear of turning into a ghost town. The local authorities are trying to combat this decline in the town's fortunes, by not trying to compete with Merry Hill, but contrast with it, by concentrating on tourism in the area, in particular the zoo and castle. However, is this really enough to attract a wide and regular amount of visitors? There are, of course, arguments claiming Merry Hill has had a positive effect on Dudley. Some people say it's not necessarily a bad thing that people don't shop in Dudley - there is more to the town than just shopping. Others claim that Dudley was deteriorating before Merry Hill was built. The strongest argument, is, however, that Merry Hill has attracted a lot more visitors to Dudley as a whole and created a lot more jobs than were at the steelworks before. (4000 as opposed to 1200.) Regardless of how beneficial Merry Hill has, or has not, been to Dudley, and how ever much of a success it has been, even though 30% of retail trade happens in out of town shopping places, the government policy is now against out of town shopping centers. ...read more.

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