In the December 19 issue of The Gazette, Alan Cooper writes with concern about the number of shops that have closed in Hailsham, and states that ‘the future of the town is not a good one.’
There are certainly empty premises at Vicarage Field and the southwards section of the High Street; the quoted rents and rates appear unrealistically high, perhaps a re-assessment down to a more commercially acceptable level could see them trading again.
On a positive side, ‘Neptune,’ offering a range of goods for the home, will shortly be trading from the altered and extended ‘Terminus’ pub.
Also, I would point out that a number of new businesses have recently opened in the High Street north of Vicarage Field.
These include ‘Zippydodah’s’ (coffee and clothes), ‘The Vapour Trail’ (for smokers) which shares premises with ‘SellBuy.co.uk.’
One of the bigger properties, 44 High Street, originally ‘Apollo’ video rentals, is now open as ‘The Handyman,’ which has an amazing variety of goods catering for the DIY enthusiast, as well as stocking cookware, pet foods and accessories, garden plants and equipment, key cutting, plus housewares.
Peter Sparks, the owner, had enough belief in the re-vitalised future of Hailsham, that he not only bought No. 44, but also No 42, where, on placing a ‘To Let’ sign in the window, found a tenant within a few days, the first from a number of seriously interested parties.
Small businesses at this end of the High Street appear to be doing well, so it is not all doom and gloom for Hailsham.
ELIZABETH WRIGHT, Midhurst Close.