In a bid to revive their high street, a group of businesses are leading from the front.
Traders in West Street in Fareham have joined up with The News to support local and independent businesses.
Owner of Heathen Chemistry Records, Simon Dampier, said: ‘Fareham town centre has so much untapped potential and I think there is so much we have to offer.
‘We aren’t like Gunwharf or Southampton or Whiteley so we should not compete in the same way.
‘We need to celebrate what makes us different and highlight all our local businesses.’
The group is determined to turn round the fate of their high street and have a plan including new signage, street events and a committee.
Tyler Adams from menswear shop The 157 Store, said: ‘There are obviously some issues with West Street like any high street for example parking and while we will acknowledge those, we want to shout about the positive things.’
Simon and Tyler are joined by Amanda Barnes, who runs community coffee shop, Mug Shot, Shane Davies from The Crafty Makery and owner of The Fareham pub Martin Munns which make up the first members of the Fareham Traders’ Committee.
Tyler said: ‘Anything we do we are stronger if we do it together and a committee of all the businesses show the council and residents we are serious about what we want to do.’
Fareham Borough Council released ‘A Vision For The Future’ document last year after consulting residents and local businesses which include many of the same ideas as the business owners.
Pub owner Martin said: ‘We need the council to help us achieve what we want to achieve but I think what we want to do as well is encourage other businesses that we don’t have to the street.
‘People love the markets we have had in the past so we think a butchers and greengrocers would be popular.’
Simon added: ‘Fareham is a market town and as a boy growing up here I remember going to the market and there was pigs and sheep.
‘Markets are obviously different nowadays but I think we need to keep that idea in mind and have more outside events.’
The group plan to hold street events to encourage more people in to the centre.
Coffee shop owner Amanda said: ‘I think we should have a food festival as those are so popular nowadays.
‘Events like that bring people in because you can’t get that online and mean people will go in to the shops to buy items and go in to the restaurants and coffee shops and see what is there.’
Amanda recently hosted Fareham Vegan Festival at Ferneham Hall.
She added: ‘Lots of people came along to it and it shows that is something Fareham people want to do at the weekends.’
Along with more events, the group want signage in the town.
Tyler said: ‘The 157 Store has been in West Street for over ten years and we still have people coming in and saying they didn’t know we were here.’
Simon added: ‘Most people don’t walk past the precinct and so don’t see shops further down.
‘With this we hope to raise awareness of the shops that are here and show people Fareham has something unique to offer.’
Any businesses in Fareham town centre that would like to be involved should email firstname.lastname@example.org