Pensioners feel alienated in town centre, according to survey

Belper Town Centre - Strutt Street.
Belper Town Centre - Strutt Street.

Not enough is being done to cater for the older generation of Belper when it comes to shopping in the town centre.

That was the overwhelming outcome of a survey undertaken by the Belper News.

Belper Town Centre - Strutt Street.

Belper Town Centre - Strutt Street.

Last week we hit the streets of the town centre to ask elderly resident their views on the town centre and what is on offer to them.

Many said that while there are plenty of places to eat and drink, there isn’t enough choice when it comes to fashion for the elder generation.

Gwen Harper, aged 74, believes that on the whole the town offers a good variety of shops but that it is in danger of alienating the elder generation with its lack of pensioner-specific outlets.

She said: “I think Belper’s a good place for shops.

“The only problem is that I think we’re getting too many coffee bars and betting shops.

“But, I generally think that’s it’s still a good place to shop.

“It doesn’t cater for my age group for clothes really - which bothers a lot of people.

“For stuff like that you have to go to Derby really.

“Even in Derby there was a certain store that just catered for older people, and that’s gone now.

“I think we ought to have somewhere in Belper that caters for older fashion.”

Her views were shared by another elderly resident who was out on what she admitted was a rare foray into Belper centre.

She says that when it comes to food and clothes shopping, she prefers other neighbouring towns due to the prices.

She said: “I think there’s too many hairdressers and too many cafes coming in now.

“There are also more charity shops.

“Personally, I’d rather go to Heanor and visit Aldi as it’s much cheaper than the supermarkets in Belper.

“Me and my husband are both pensioners so we have to cut down.

“If it’s clothes shopping we need then I would rather go to Asda at Sinfin because it’s a lot cheaper than coming here.”

People diverting to other towns is a problem that was also experienced by a 76-year-old shopper we spoke to.

He said that he prefers making the trip across the county to places such as Derby and Ripley rather than make the short journey into Belper town centre.

“I’d rather go to Ripley or Derby to be honest.

“There’s just nowhere that suits elderly people when it comes to buying clothes.”

l What do you think? Are there enough shops that cater for the older generation in Belper? Email us at