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‘Vibrant centre is lifeblood of the town’

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‘Vibrant centre is lifeblood of the town’

By timesecholife on in All News, Uttoxeter news

Businesses appeal for support to continue into 2022. Traders thank residents for pandemic support.

CIVIC leaders and traders in Uttoxeter are urging people across the area to continue their support for local businesses as impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic carry on into 2022.

The rallying cry comes after news reports of falling footfall in the run-up to Christmas and fears that up to 25% of the workforce may have to isolate in the coming weeks due to the Omicron variant.

Businesses in Uttoxeter thanked residents for their support during the pandemic and urged customers to further support the town centre in 2022.

Uttoxeter Town Mayor and local businessman, Cllr Chris Sylvester, said: “As we start 2022, we know this will be another year badly affected by Covid 19 and small local shops and businesses will need all the support they can get from both the Government and the local people.

“We can all help our local businesses, through these unprecedented times, by buying goods and services from these businesses (in person or online).

“Whenever possible shop locally. Come into town, have a coffee, drink or snack at one of the many establishments and take a look around the local butchers, bakers, greengrocers, clothes and other shops.

“One of the key recommendations from the consultation on the Uttoxeter Masterplan confirmed what we all knew, that a vibrant town centre with thriving small shops and businesses is the lifeblood of the town and vital to its future.

“But it is more than that, small businesses in other parts of the town and surrounding areas also provide invaluable local employment.

“As an owner, with my wife and daughters, of two small businesses in the town, The Big Top Fun Centre and Uttoxeter Gymnastics Club, I know how difficult it has been over the last 18 months for small businesses.

“The Government’s furlough and grants etc. plus bounce back loans have helped us and many other small businesses to survive.

“However, the future is uncertain, and the loans have to be repaid.”

The report issued following further consultation on the Uttoxeter Masterplan, highlights the importance of a thriving town centre: “Like many similarly sized settlements across the UK, the town centre is struggling to compete with retail parks, supermarkets, online shopping and the wider range of shops in larger nearby settlements.
“However, Uttoxeter’s High Street is actually faring far better than many – and there are several independent businesses which are thriving, along with a bustling Maker’s Market, lively family events such as Lark in the Park, and great community assets such as the Heath Community Centre, Redfern Museum and several community gardens.

“Local people would like to see more independent shops and restaurants in town.”

And businesses in the town centre have thanked their customers for showing support throughout the various pandemic lockdowns and restrictions which have been in place since March 2020.

Fashion Parade’s Elaine Croft (pictured with Susan Harris), said: “Although 2021 proved to be challenging, The Fashion Parade would like to thank all our customers and the people of Uttoxeter for their ongoing support and encouragement.”

Andy Ockleton at Uttoxeter Brewing Company added: “2021 was a challenging year again but it was great to have pubs and particularly our own bar Night Inn Uttoxeter open through the festive period.

“As ever the support we have received locally for our business has been simply amazing.

“Hopefully this will continue into 2022 when we can all settle back with confidence into normality.”

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