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Spalding traders put forward ideas to put the sparkle back into the town

Traders have been giving their ideas of what they would like to see to put the "sparkle back into Spalding".

Shopkeepers have been putting forward what changes they feel should happen to attract more people to the town.

Emma Peake, who runs Daisies Flower Shop in The Crescent, would like to see free car parking and cars allowed back into the town centre on non-market days.

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She feels that bringing cars to Market Place would increase footfall to the town as people don't have the time to walk from the car parks.

Emma said: "We are a small market town and we need the footfall.

"Buying online is very quick but you don't get the shopping experience that you get in town. You can see and handle the product, you are served and you walk out of the shop with your purchases. We are going to lose the art of shopping.

"We need to embrace shopping again."

Owner of Bookmark and Charmed Interiors Darren Sutton, who is also the Chairman of Spalding Retailers Association, would like to see a shop local campaign with a possible reward scheme, such as free parking or a voucher for those who have supported stores.

He said: "If people want shops to stay in the town centre they really need to support them."

Free car parking is also echoed by Kate Robb, of Gibbs of Spalding, who would also like to see a series of events, such as specialist markets, put on in the town centre to attract people.

She said: "They also need to get people living in the town centre.

"Sometimes people need to have a conversation and that is a service they are getting by shopping in town.

"If shoppers only come in once a year they will find that the independent shops won't be there and then they will have to travel miles for a service they could have had in town."

Sue and Barry Stubley, of Occasions Jewellers in Bridge Sreet, say they have seen trade dip in the past few years, particularly after an increase in parking charges.

Sue, who will be handing a petition to the council against the charges, said: "They should allow free parking. People are shopping online, maybe free parking would bring more people into town. We have to make Spalding pleasant for people to come to."

  • What do you think the answer is? Send in your suggestions to victoria.fear@iliffepublishing.co.uk

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