Peel 2011 – ten years on

Peel was the first town on the Island to be revisited to examine changes over the last decade.

We are grateful to Culture Vannin and Peel Town Commissioners for financing the project, along with two further sponsors from the local Peel community: Peel Heritage Trust and Corlett Bolton & Co.

We visited and photographed 153 Peel businesses and organisations with a shop front during the week beginning 25 October 2021. 44 of them are new to Peel since 2011. Photographs are displayed on this website alongside their 2011 counterparts.

The  results are summarised below, and the full portfolio with ten year comparisons can be found in the main menu. Select an area of town from the menu, or find a specific business using the search box at the top of the page.

New Businesses…


More than 1/4 of photographed businesses are new in the last ten years

There’s a common misconception that nothing changes in Peel… Ever! But of all the businesses we photographed more than a quarter were new, and if we discount the civic organisations like police, Commissioners, swimming pool etc which are not likely to change, then the percentage is even higher.

There is a clear shift towards the service sector. Of the 44 new businesses, many were in the health & leisure sector. There are two new bicycle repair shops, two gyms and a Pilates space and four new beauty salons. Three art gallery/studio/workshops and two tattoo artists. There are many new restaurants/cafes and a micro pub makes its first presence on the high street. Read more about about my experience of photographing Peel and discovery of some green shoots of change.

The Lily Retreat Beauty Room2021-12-15T10:10:37+00:00
The Lily Retreat

New Location…


Musical chairs on Michael Street

No less than 10 businesses had moved premises in the ten year gap, mostly in and around Michael Street, but also in the Industrial area.

New owner…


Changing hands…

There was a significant number of businesses that had the same name or sold the same goods and services, but were under new ownership since 2011. These include EVF in place of Total, and a re-juvenated Kiosk cafe on the Promenade, which, with the help of a covered area, now stays open longer and in (not quite) all weathers!

Same Portraits…


The brave one in ten

In most cases I photographed different people to represent the businesses to those in 2011. But for 10% of all organisations I had the privilege to photograph the same people. Special thanks go to those brave people who agreed to be photographed for a second time.

Annabela’s Alteration Studio2021-12-11T17:45:05+00:00

Vacant premises


Gone but not forgotten…

We can’t have new businesses without losing old ones, although there has been a little expansion. Many of the businesses that have closed now have new activity in place, but others have left behind vacant premises for the moment. Isle of Man Bank is a big loss of amenity and employment in the town and its prominent building on Athol Place is vacant and sad looking (except for being lit up for Christmas this year!). Lloyds Bank has gone too (though not photographed as it has been replaced by residential dwellings). Although more hidden away from view, the loss of the Corrin Home is also widely felt in the town, having been an important feature in the lives of many since 1956. In other cases business activity has been replaced rather than lost, for example a new independent butcher’s on Michael Street replacing City Butchers on Douglas Street.

The photos below are only the ones remaining vacant at the time of the survey.

Same businesses


Business as Usual…

For the majority of businesses and organisations, it was the same business in the same location, with the same or similar business activity over the ten year period, although in most cases new people were photographed. Some have been in situ a very long time, The Central, one of the first pubs on the Island from the 17th Century is by far the oldest. Move forward more than 200 years for the opening of Moore’s Kipper Yard (1882) and the Ward Library (1907). Other businesses with real longevity include: Muffins bakery on Michael Street (1979), Paradise and Gell furniture shop also Michael Street (1972).