TRADERS in West Street have joined forces to bring new life to their town’s main shopping street.
Business owners in West Street, Fareham, met with council leader, Councillor Sean Woodward and director of planning and regulation Richard Jolley to discuss ideas to increase footfall and put on more events.
Shane Davies from The Crafty Makery is spearheading the campaign, along with The News, and wants as many businesses involved as possible.
He said: ‘We all need to work together because as individuals it won’t work but if everyone is working together and we have a plan then we can succeed.
‘We started with a few of us in the Fareham Traders’ Committee so to have so many people come along is great but also scary. Scary because this has so much potential.’
The traders now plan to meet weekly to put an annual events diary in place with themed days running monthly starting at Christmas.
Andy Moore from The 157 Store was involved with previous West Street business owners who tried to put on events a few years ago.
He said: ‘I think the problem was there was no structure and they would do one event and it would not make an immediate difference so loads of people stopped doing it.
‘So for this to work we all need to keep it going and make sure it does not fall away so it does make a difference.’
Ward councillors Pam Bryant and Louise Clubley also came along to the meeting held at CrumbleJack and showed support for the traders, which included Martin Munns from The Fareham, Rovers Fishing Tackle, Sea of Spice India and Simon Dampier from Heathen Chemistry Records.
Cllr Woodward said: ‘We are not ruling anything out and we are not ruling anything in but we definitely want to help.
‘The council is hosting a Victorian Christmas for the light switch on so we will ensure you are a part of it and the dressed characters come down this end of town.’
He also suggested the business owners take advantage of the streetlights which have poster holders attached.
Rebecca Tryn from Traditional Fish & Chips also talked about reviving the tradition of every shop having a small Christmas tree attached outside to attract customers.
Amanda Barnes from Mugshot Coffee shop added: ‘One of the problems is the parking fees which does stop people from looking round shops and having a cup of coffee.
‘I think it would be good if on the days when we want to have events, parking fees should be suspended for a time or have a few hours free so people would come down with their families.’
The committee also have future plans to become a community interest group in order to attract funding to help with their plans.