Cash mob to descend on Royston

Chris Lee has organised Royston's first cash mob

Chris Lee has organised Royston's first cash mob - Credit: Archant

ROYSTON will host Hertfordshire’s first Cash Mob on Saturday when shoppers descend on a town centre store in a bid to boost the town’s economy.

The ‘mob’ will gather in the town centre and pledge to spend at least £5 in a shop which will be picked from a shortlist of three on the day. If successful the initiative could be repeated on a regular basis.

Chris Lee, of Mill Road, Royston, came up with the scheme following a discussion between members of the Streetlife section of the Crow website.

He said: “Cash mobbing originated in America, and friends of mine have organised similar things in Bedford and Bury St Edmunds, so they’ve been advising and helping me.

“There’s already been a lot of interest and we’re hoping to get as many people as possible involved. People will be asked to spend £5 in the shop initially, but then hopefully they will stay in town for a coffee or to do some other shopping and it will help more money stay in the town centre.”

Mr Lee, who was involved in setting up the Royston Timebank and the Royston Freecycle group, believes consumers must be pro-active if the High Street is to survive.

He said: “There has been a lot of discussion about the state of the town centre, with the council and retailers coming in for much of the criticism. People often blame parking charges too, but I thought it was time to stop blaming others and do something about it as a paying customer.”

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Royston town manager, Geraint Burnell, said: “In my job I’ve read up about ‘flash mobs’ and ‘crowd funding’, but Cash Mob is a new one on me.

“I first heard about this event from the most positive of sources - Royston retailers who want to be the target for the mob.

“Obviously I support any innovative ideas that bring the public to our town centre and utilise the resource that is our retailers.

“This sounds like a fun way to have a real impact and contribute to the local economy at the same time.

“I wish the project well and will watch the results with interest.”

The identities of the shops under consideration are being kept secret to avoid disappointment, with the chosen retailer to be revealed when the group meets at The Cross, at the end of the High Street, at midday on Saturday.

For more details on the event, log on to

Streetlife is the Crow’s own local social network. To join the debate follow the link on our website