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Business is booming in Hadleigh town centre
7:00pm Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in News
BUSINESS is officially booming in Hadleigh.
Scores of new shops have flocked to the town centre since the promise of a £60million revamp was unveiled.
While some high streets are struggling, Hadleigh appears to be weathering the economic storm as more than ten new shops have opened along London Road since 2011.
In the last two years, the shopping parade has seen numerous new additions, the majority being independent fledgling businesses, including the Genuine Gem Store jewellers, Angela’s Kids Boutique, Gadget Care, Munch Box sandwich shop, Velo Virtuoso bike shop, Lovely Home and Garden, Rachel’s Grooming and Pet Supplies, and Tickled Pink clothes shop.
Two more stores are also set to open their doors soon, including the Knitting Emporium and Savers Health and Beauty.
Lisa Parker, owner of Tickled Pink, said: “We moved from Benfleet to Hadleigh because the town is so much busier and there’s better parking facilities here, which is really important.
“More people are definitely coming to the town since Morrisons opened, which is really good, and there are certainly fewer empty shops so things seem to be getting better.”
The good news comes despite the multimillionpound masterplan not leaving the drawing board yet as councillors continue to debate the future of the town’s road layout.
Serdar Gulekoglu, who opened Cafe Yemek, in Rectory Road, last August, said: “My wife and I always dreamed of having a cafe and bistro. There is a real sense of community here which is why we thought we would give it a try in the town.
“It has been hard, but it takes time for people to get to know you’re here. It is good to see fewer empty shops in the town, and hopefully if the regeneration does happen it will attract more people here.
The way I see it is if there are just 100 more people walking past because of it and only ten per cent come into my cafe, that will still be a step in the right direction.”
Many traders say they were encouraged to move into the area following the announcement of the regeneration plans, which aims to revitalise shop fronts by making them more attractive, create better access routes for shoppers between London Road and High Road, and build a new town square.
Keeley Reynolds, who set up Lovely Home and Garden last June, said: “It was Morrisons coming that really made me think Hadleigh was improving and it would be a good place to open up a shop.
“We’re doing really well and we seem to be getting busier and busier now people know we are here.”
Traders hope more new businesses will encourage residents to shop locally.
Cheryl Whiskin, who opened the Genuine Gem Store in London Road a year ago last Saturday, added: “High Streets are struggling and I think the way to cope with that is to offer something different and something for everybody’s purse string.
“People need to support their local businesses because they will be upset if they are gone.”
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