ACCRINGTON is in danger of having a cut-price town centre, according to Peel ward councillor Graham Jones.
The imminent opening of the newly-built Poundland and Supercuts stores on the Market Square development has attracted criticism from Councillor Jones, who thinks the town needs more exclusive shops.
He said: "I'm concerned about the number of cut-price superstores that are opening here. I think the balance has swung too much towards cut-price shops, and it's not an uplifting experience.
"There is definitely a need to uplift the town centre. We need to shift the balance to quality and not just quantity to meet future retail trends."
When the issue was raised at a meeting of Accrington Area Council, Councillor Tony Dobson said he fully agreed. And he claimed the situation would not improve because Hyndburn's high proportion of low-income families put fashionable retail chains off.
He said: "We would all like to be able to attract the better quality shops, but stores like Next have a look at the demography of Accrington and say: 'There won't be enough trade for us."
But Nigel Rix, director of the council's regeneration arm Hyndburn FIRST, said budget stores were just part of the development, and Accrington had done well to attract investment at a time when other town centres were failing.
He said the opening of 10 shops and two big stores would bring 200 new jobs to the town, adding: "This will meet the demands of a wide range of people.
"Research done last year identified the fact that around the periphery of the town centre there are large numbers of people who are on low incomes. Therefore it's reasonable for those people to enjoy affordable shopping in the town centre."