Good start for new retail forum

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INDEPENDENT traders and representatives of Spalding’s chain stores have vowed to work together for the good of the town.

About 25 people attended the first meeting of a new Retailers’ Forum, where they started to talk about ways they can combine their efforts to bring more people into the town centre to shop.

Emily Holmes, South Holland District Council’s community development team leader, was the guest speaker and told traders about plans for the Olympic torch relay.

One of the first ideas to come out of the forum was a leaflet promoting traders’ special offers for the relay day in a bid to persuade people to stay in town after the relay.

The forum was the idea of Beales store director Michael Hopkins to address many traders’ frustrations with a lack of communication between them.

His efforts to get it off the ground have been supported by Spalding and District Area Chamber of Trade.

Mr Hopkins said: “I think everyone went away after the meeting feeling it will benefit not only themselves, but also the town as a whole.

“We want traders to use it as a communication tool and hopefully it will grow from here.

“Our message is that if you are not involved you are missing out on some key information which could help your business.”

The next meeting is on Wednesday, July 18, at Cafe Moda, inside Beales, at 7.15am for 7.30am.