IT IS a tale of two centres. Coney Street, for so long York’s unofficial ‘high street’ (so much so that it was once dubbed the city’s ‘Golden half mile’) has seen yet another shop close.

This time it was budget retailer Poundworld. Not exactly the kind of glamorous fashion or department store that once brought crowds flocking to the street, true, but its departure leaves yet another empty shopfront as a reminder of glories past.

Contrast that with Acomb, where the little shopping centre based around Front Street is positively thriving. There’s the regular Acomb Alive market; Jojo’s Afro-Caribbean convenience store to bring a bit of calypso colour; the Chill in the Community café; and the recently-opened greengrocer (pictured below) which, as well as serving fruit and veg, also stocks fresh-baked bread from the Bluebird bakery.

York Press:

Now another new independent has opened in Acomb: Hop & Glory, a brand-new beer shop run by husband-and-wife Mike and Lois Reid which sells 300 different tipples from all around the world.

York Press:

Yes, there are still a fair number of charity shops in Front Street: but they have their place too. And few would deny that in the last couple of years, Acomb has very much come alive.

There must be a message there for York city centre. In these days when the bland high street giants that once dominated shopping centres are struggling because of internet sales and out-of-town shopping, it is the smaller, quirkier, more personal shops that continue to survive and thrive.

That is why Stonegate is doing better than Coney Street. And it is why a revived Acomb is humming...