Dartmouth is the fifth hardest hit town in the UK for retail sales

A recent article on Tortoise media has shown that Dartmouth and Kingsbridge are amongst the top ten town centers worst hit by the Coronavirus crisis in terms of retail sales. The data has been supplied by the banks who have measured credit/debit card activity over this period. Dartmouth and Kingsbridge are the 5th worst effected town in the UK!!!

To read the article click below, you may need to subscribe with your email to see the article.:

Read Tortoise Media article

If you can’t read it then here is the chart which shows the worst hit towns in the UK.

The three columns are   Total drop - Food only drop - Nonfood drop

So we need to be asking those that can respond to this challenge what their plans are to counter this disastrous drop in economic activity. The Town Council needs to work with the District and County councils now to devise a plan for the post lockdown period.

We need to lobby Anthony Mangnall MP to help us recover from this shock to our economy and hopefully we can support this with a planned survey on how the crisis has effected your own business in Dartmouth.




  1. I know may got the £10K grant and have Furlonged their staff. Still not good though.

    At the end of this Dartmouth will not be the same.

  2. I hope that the approach is balanced as it is essential that travel and tourism is rebooted as soon as sensibly possible. The report is deeply worrying for business. The accommodation providers aren’t going to go bust in the space of three months, but all the other businesses might. And that requires visitors. I would be aiming for mid-June for UK internal travel to be confirmed over the coming weeks based on the necessary confirmatory data.

    I would hope that travel in the Uk is rebooted from Mid June for holidays. Why ? Because it is no different from going to work and the social distancing measures apply wherever you are in the Uk in order to manage risk. Don’t travel is you have symptoms. Don’t travel if you are self isolating. Otherwise travel in the Uk. Why wouldn’t you ?

    If travel abroad is slower to reboot which one would expect, then how does the South Devon area achieve a good share of voice in marketing when all other areas in the UK will be shouting about the benefits of their area ?

    The virus doesn’t live outside for very long at all - so outside activities such as those available in South Devon are the ones to promote surely ? Promote the walking, coastline, beaches, rivers, outdoor sports etc and make a huge noise about it otherwise the message won’t be heard !

    • Sadly Colin the Dartmouth BID was wound up by the then Board of Directors. This means we do not qualify for a share of the 6.1 million pounds support for BID towns just announced. Sad for the town.

  3. As somebody has already said Dartmouth has all its eggs in one basket - tourism. A long term strategy would be to look at other employment models. This will be especially important with the coming of the housing development at the top of town. However, I have little faith in anyone or any group being able to develop a diverse employment and sustainable strategy for Dartmouth. All talk and negative action. An interesting observation is that those attempting to develop a strategy for Dartmouth are largely in the tourism sector so it would be no surprise to find the proposals that come forward are somewhat biased.

    • You may not remember but one of the objectives of the ill fated Dartmouth BID was to encourage businesses to invest in Dartmouth to reduce our dependence on Tourism. We have a great location for service companies such as software developers, who would love the environment we have here, but theere is no organisation thinking this way now and our local authorities have no apparent plans to encourage this.

      • But the BID was 90%+ tourism based by a bunch of people not that well qualified to do that. That’s one of the many reasons it failed.

        • As I said above Dave, Tourism is by far our biggest market at the moment so it was logical to build on that. However as stated above one of the projects for the BID was to encourage non-tourism businesses to the town to reduce our dependence on that sector. I accept that the Board turned out to lack both the skills and the commitment to deliver the business plan but that is another debate. Perhaps if you had supported it in the first place that might have helped. Had we continued with the BID then we would have benefited from the Governments, just announced, £6.1 million support package for BID towns. Missed opportunity I’m afraid.

  4. The BID not not have a clear and workable strategy from day one. One of their first moves was to employ people outside of Dartmouth instead of Dartmouth people. That’s just one of the many reasons why I and the majority of businesses did not support the BID.
    Later, and this is in the press, I offered to bring the dissenters into the fold, but we were rejected, as I believe you were too Paul ? YMMV

  5. The BID had a business plan approved by 64% of those businesses who voted and under those circumstances you use the best resources you can find to implement it. You voted against it in Council before it was even implemented. The reason it failed is because the Board lost sight of what the businesses asked for and instead implemented what they thought was needed. They lost the support of the businesses as soon as they did that. If you look at the results of the survey I have just carried out one of the requests is for strong marketing of the town and area, exactly what the objectives of the BID should have been. History now Dave but I just wanted to correct your version of events which is well wide of the mark.

  6. Only 18% of Dartmouth businesses voted for the BID. My version of events is 100% accurate and can be checked against reports in the Dartmouth Chronicle newspaper archives.
    As I said, it was clear from day 1, before the vote, what was going to happen. Even the Mayor of the time voted against. I believe far from “lost sight” the Board never ever had the sight.
    All in all, it was a great shame and missed opportunity and I think we both agree on that !
    BTW I think the results of the survey in regards to tourism is good.

  7. Actually the mayor at the time voted in favour of the BID. I was there. But whether it was good or bad or indifferent, the BID is history. One of the problems with this country is continually arguing about the past. You can’t change it. Why not put your energies into doing something now?

    • We are not argueing David and I believe it is vital to learn from our past mistakes. My energies are now going in to the Neighbourhood Plan and enjoying my leisure time. Hope that satisfies you.

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