By Matthew Gooding
Thursday, November 29, 2012
TRADERS hoping to rejuvinate Royston High Street have formed a new group to help bring more shoppers to the town.
Royston Means Business has been formed by shopkeepers who want to breathe new life into the High Street following the closure of high profile shops such as Peacocks and Stead and Simpson in the last 12 months.
Lisa Thompson, from Stationery Cupboard, is one of those behind the working group.
She said: “A few of us got together after some of the shops closed down to try and come up with some ways of turning things around.
“We’ve been over to Hitchin to get some ideas of things we can do in terms of getting different markets and events happening in the High Street. It’s also about raising awareness of what we have. A lot of people I’ve spoken to don’t even know that some of the shops are there.”
The group has organised a Christmas fayre which will run from 1pm-5pm in the High Street on Saturday, December 1. There will be stalls, food and drink, live music, and a Santa’s grotto, while the Mayor of Royston, Cllr Lindsay Davidson, will be switching on the town’s Christmas lights at about 4.30pm.
Royston town centre manager Geraint Burnell has been working alongside the new group as part of his role with Royston First, the town’s Business Improvement District company.
He said: “As I said at an initial meeting with Royston Means Business, it is very useful to me in my job as town manager and front person for Royston First to have a group representing Royston’s retailers.
“Over the years it has been difficult to identify projects which benefit such a diverse collection of businesses. The prospect of them speaking with a single voice is an attractive proposition and has already resulted in Royston First staging a medieval festival at the end of the summer and now supporting the expansion of Christmas activities over the first weekend in December.”
It promises to be a festive weekend in the town, with the traditional Christmas carnival taking place on Sunday, December 2, from 10am-3pm.
There will be a gift fair in the market square and the Old Bull Inn, with charity stalls in Angel Pavement and a mini funfair. Father Christmas will be present at Fish Hill Square along with a small herd of reindeer.
Mr Burnell said: “The reindeer attending this year’s event being licensed for human contact means the children will be allowed to stroke and pet them. We hope this minor adjustment will contribute to what is always a really good day in Royston.”
For more information on getting involved with Royston Means Business, visit its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/RoystonMeansBusiness