Two days ago SGM published an article detailing the history of Blandford Street. The article explored how the street was once a thriving hub of retail, but fell into decline from the 1980s onwards due to economic changes which hurt smaller retailers, i.e the rise of mass retail chains.
The article was met with an ugly tidal wave of negativity, with many people deriding the street and Sunderland City Centre in general. Although it was a history piece, it encouraged people to put the city down.
While it is true that Blandford Street needs new investment and regeneration, it was pointed out that we should not be negative towards the businesses and smaller traders who still operate out of there, but instead do our best to support them and make a commitment to put our money into Sunderland City Centre.
Sunderland’s fortunes and prospects demand on our attitude. In life, negativity leads to negative outcomes and positivity leads to success and positive outcomes. Thus, if we have decided that Sunderland has already failed, that it has no hope and that there is no progress, we seal its fate through our negativity.
We must support Blandford Street and stop scorning it. Things may have been better in the past, but that should not diminish our hopes of the future. Do we care about this place? Do we care about the shops that still operate there, or do we condemn it to permanent decline through our disdain and avoidance of it?