Change in city centres...

This story is something which I've been discussing recently.

There are 9000 betting shops in the UK, and the number has increased dramatically over the last five years, although competition has meant some have closed quite recently...

Until 2008, planning regulations meant that a new betting shop couldn't open in certain areas if there was already another one in the area - now they are sometimes found directly next to each other.

40000 people are employed in these shops, and around 3% of the population are 'regular' visitors to them.

A clustering of these shops was noticed by the delegates at my two recent GA courses, both of which were located in areas of cities just outside the CBD. They also noted that often the 'cash for gold' / 'cash converter' / pawn shop style premises are often found close to those... and considered the reasons for that
This could form the basis for an interesting fieldwork investigation in a local CBD, and also comparisons between cities. How does this reflect the changing nature of the city ?

A final comment is the growth of e-Cigarette stores - another new retail phenomenon which probably doesn't appear on the old RICEPOTS lists...
What with this and the disappearance of car tax discs the old order is being swept away.... :)

Image shared on Flickr by Flickr user Alan Stanton under Creative Commons license.
Many thanks for sharing :)