Royston craft fair organiser speaks out after fears a ban on banners will ruin business

Laura Whitford and Anne Walls

Laura Whitford and Anne Walls - Credit: Archant

The organiser of a community craft fair event said she fears new regulations which mean she cannot hang up a banner advertising the event each month will lead to its eventual closure.

Previously, a banner was displayed outside Royston Town Hall on a monthly basis to let people know about Royston Craft Fair, but due to complaints from local people, it can now only be put up every three months.

Laura Whitford, who organises the craft fair, said the new policy will be toxic for her business. At last Saturday’s fair the footfall was ‘down massively’, which she thinks is largely due to the banner not being there to advertise it.

She said: “This effectively means that I can never have a banner up because during the months when it is not up, people will assume the fair is not on. I think I’m the only one with a regular banner, so I do feel very upset about it and it feels a bit like I’ve been singled out.

“I think it may be because I’m deemed a commercial venture, but although I make a little from the fairs, I run it for the community as well as all of the small local businesses I support each month.

“I have to pay to rent the town hall, which isn’t cheap and with other marketing on top, I spend a lot of my own money each month.

“The fact is that low footfall will eventually mean no craft fair, which will be a real shame for the town.”

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The town council said that regulations have changed due to complaints from people about the constant advertising outside the town hall/

A spokeswoman for Royston Town Council said: “The town council has to comply with advertising regulations set.

“The council needed to change its policy due to complaints from members of the public about banners on the front of the hall which was giving a sense of permanent advertising.

“I’m sure you can understand that the town hall is not a bill board for commercial advertising.”

The banner will be no longer be displayed at the front of the council building, but will be put up every three months on the side overlooking the A1O.