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05 January 2018

There was a time when local shops stood on every street corner. Whenever you needed to buy something, you simply went out of your front door and within minutes could walk to a local shop or group of shops that stocked most of what you needed. How times - and our shopping habits - have changed. In the 21st century, most of us jump into the car and drive to the nearest out-of-centre retail park for more choice at vast superstores with acres of free parking.

New Ferry was once an important strategic centre sandwiched between Port Sunlight Village and the River Mersey. Its popular shops attracted customers from a wide area. But the march of time has been unkind to older, traditional shopping centres like New Ferry. Many of the larger stores have long since pulled out, and services including the Citizens Advice Bureau, Job Centre, even the banks have now all gone.

And then came the devastating explosion in March 2017 that took out 10 businesses including Griffiths the Butcher and Lan's House, one of the Wirral's most popular Chinese restaurants. The last ten months has seen footfall in New Ferry plummet even further. Although plans are being put together to regenerate the town centre, and the government has been asked to help, it will be at least another year until any new shops and buildings begin to rise from the ground.

The shops and businesses already in New Ferry need people to support them now. The surviving traders are fighting back and supporting their community by putting together their own new Business Directory, unique to New Ferry, that lists all their businesses and contact details. The New Ferry Business Directory is being published online on the community's own website, whilst the New Ferry Town Team has agreed to fund a printed version for local people to keep and refer to when they need local shops, suppliers and services.

Mark Anthony Craig, Chair of New Ferry Residents Association, who has researched the directory and runs the community website says: "New Ferry, like many older shopping centres across the country, is suffering from low levels of footfall. The explosion has made things here worse.

"But there are a surprising number of good quality businesses still here if you care to look. We have the award-winning Edge the Butcher, a traditional family run business whose customer-base extends well into Cheshire; we have several excellent hair and beauty salons, shops that repair your clothes and furniture, Risa Spice - a hugely popular and successful Indian Restaurant, family-friendly pubs, specialist motor shops including one who can do a custom paint job on your car amongst many others. We also have a number of competitively priced foodstores such as Heron Foods, Iceland and Aldi.

"We know that people like to go the larger shopping stores that surround us, but we urge everyone to help local businesses - many of them small local traders who live within our community - as it is very much a case of 'Use Them, or Lose Them'. And that last thing anyone wants to see is a completely derelict and boarded up centre in the heart of this community."

The Business Directory is already online at and the printed copies will hopefully be printed around the end of the month. Anyone who runs their business in New Ferry (including those without a physical shop but whose address is in New Ferry or Port Sunlight) is invited to submit their details to