PENARTH’S business group chair has hit back at what he describes as negative coverage of the town’s high street and says the people of Penarth should be proud of how resilient their local businesses are.

‘Perfect Penarth’s’ high street was recently rocked after Weatherspoon’s confirmed with Penarth Times they are going to close the Bears Head pub on Windsor Road.

As that was being announced, next door, the independent traders of Penarth’s popular flea market were packing up, with the landlord about to renovate the building.

In the last 12 months, Penarth’s high street has seen huge change across the board.

Shaws has gone, café I Love Penarth closed, M&Co closed, Funky Monkey moved out to Barry, Holm Hotel and Spa has shut, and Salvation Army’s store on Cornerswell Road also closed their doors in October.

However, businesses have also moved into town.

One of the most striking is the uber cool wine bar Touring Club on Stanwell Road, Peacocks took over the M&Co site, new skin care surgery Aesthetics 64 opened near the train station, and Italian restaurant Amicis opened on the Esplanade to rave reviews.

There’s also exciting developments on-going for a new restaurant on the corner of Hickman Road and most recently Boots confirmed they’re not going anywhere.

Penarth Times: Bears Head, on its way outBears Head, on its way out (Image: Newsquest)

Penarth Times: Boots, staying putBoots, staying put (Image: Google Maps)

It’s all led Mr Davies to say Penarth’s high street is pretty buoyant compared to most.

“There are positives here,” said Mr Davies. “There are hundreds of local businesses that are resilient and there are stories of businesses coming in and expanding and moving to bigger premises.

“It is a mark for Penarth that businesses like the town and are still willing to move in.”

On Bears Heads’ announcement and the flea market going, Mr Davies said: “It is always a shame to see a business close, especially one as popular as the Bears Head which adds another dimension to the High Street.

“On the flea market, it was always a temporary solution to add some vitality to the high street in the interim. The landlord has some very exciting plans with businesses lined up.

“That side of the street is going to look pretty empty for six months or so, but it will bounce back.”

Penarth Times: John Davies, business group chairJohn Davies, business group chair (Image: Supplied)

Mr Davies didn’t deny times are tough for businesses.

He added: “Everyone knows footfall is down. People’s spending is down, business rates relief compared to what is on offer is lower in Wales so the margins in which businesses have to make a profit, that is just getting squeezed and squeezed.”

Penarth Times: Success stories such as the Touring ClubSuccess stories such as the Touring Club (Image: Newsquest)

Penarth Times: M&Co moved out, but Peacocks took their placeM&Co moved out, but Peacocks took their place (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Davies refers to the business rates relief, brought in during Covid, being cut in Wales, however the Welsh Government insist they have a strong system of support for high street businesses in the country.

A spokesperson for the Welsh Labour government previously told Penarth Times: “We are providing a package of rates support worth £134 million on top of our permanent relief schemes, which are worth £250 million a year.

“Thanks to our generous system of full reliefs, almost half of ratepayers, including thousands of small businesses across Wales, do not pay rates at all."

It all leads Mr Davies to sum up Penarth’s high street by saying: “People are proud to live in Penarth and proud to have a high street in walking distance to them.

“We are lucky and we should celebrate that.”

Are you a business owner in Penarth? How are you getting on? Struggling? Flourishing? Love Penarth? Let us know your thoughts on Penarth’s high street, emailing

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