Town team target to revive local economy

HAILSHAM is hoping to rejuvenate its local economy by following in the footsteps of TV shopping guru Mary Portas.

The local council has helped launched a town team to head up efforts to stimulate business and trade in the area after being inspired by similar schemes elsewhere.

The idea started with Mary Portas, who has become known as the Queen of Shops after lending her expertise to a string of struggling high streets across the country.

Much of her work has been followed up by locals organised in a town team who work together to try and get the best out of shops and businesses.

Eastbourne has its own thriving town team, which is helping the town keep its high level of shop occupancy and is behind a string of events, including days where residents are encouraged to ‘take a tenner’ to a certain part of town to help the shops.

And as of this week, Hailsham has its own version.

Members of Hailsham Town Council were joined by local business figures and the Wealden MP Charles Hendry at a meeting of the fledgling project earlier this week and a host of issues were discussed.

On the agenda were concerns about business rates, town centre parking and signage and delegates were invited to put forward their views on what areas should be prioritised for improvement.

Councillor Nick Collinson, chairman of the town’s Business Development Committee, said, “The Hailsham town team project aims to build on the enthusiasm generated by the town council’s Business Development Committee and create a vibrant and viable town centre in Hailsham of which all can be proud.

“We will continue to listen to the views of stakeholders as we refine the development proposals and will keep the local community informed as the plans move forward.”

A number of people have expressed an interested in becoming members of the town team and the council is already planning a follow up meeting to further push the plan forward.

Pictured: Launch of Hailsham Town Team. E38001N