By Kevin Rushby in The Guardian.
Thousands of high street outlets have closed in the last decade, leaving behind a wasteland of betting shops. But one community in York has found a simple way to reverse the decline. Could their model be used nationwide?
It’s the stuff of nightmares. You wander down a road where most of the shops are boarded up. The bookmakers is open, but reeks of desperation, with gamblers hunched over fixed-odds machines. Next door, the payday loans place looks quiet, as does the pawnbroker. Moving on swiftly through a rising tide of discarded takeaway food containers, you reach the only entertainment in town: the tanning parlour. You start running now. Even the charity shops have closed down. The pound shop has a sale. You wake in a mucksweat, praying that this is not a vision of the future for the British high street.
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