October 26 2014 Latest news:
Monday, February 18, 2013
A meeting is to be held today with a view to re-establishing a chamber of trade in Walsingham.
Traders want to work together to promote the two villages of Little Walsingham and Great Walsingham.
They are to discuss the project at The Black Lion Hotel in Little Walsingham today at 5.30pm.
Fr Paul Kinsey, who owns The Curiosity Shop in Little Walsingham, has talked about the idea with John Downing, from the Walsingham Estate, and letters have been sent to businesses throughout the villages.
North Norfolk District Council leader and councillor for the Walsingham ward, Tom FitzPatrick, is also supporting the project.
Mr FitzPatrick said: “There was a chamber of trade in Walsingham in the past but it died out a few years ago when some of the traders moved away.
“There has been talk about getting the chamber going again for some time but now things are starting to happen.”
He added: “Walsingham gets a good number of visitors throughout the year, it just needs people working together to promote the place.
“We’ve had a new gallery and an antique shop opened here in the last year and I have heard a new book shop will open in Walsingham soon which is all good news.”
Mr Kinsey said: “There is some new blood in Walsingham and we’ve had a bit of interest in re-establishing the chamber of trade.
“At this meeting we will decide together what things the chamber will do and hopefully gather more interest as things move forward.
“I just think we need a consolidated approach to raising the profile of Walsingham and to give some stability to businesses trading here.”
He added: “It can be very quiet here sometimes but there are some positive things going on. Some of the empty buildings are being filled and there are now three antique shops in Walsingham.
“It shows that antiques businesses are doing okay around here, despite the financial climate.
“The Walsingham Estate has also done a fantastic job in smartening Walsingham up and there is a lot to be positive about.”
A £2m plan to transform Palmers department store in Dereham and a neighbouring eyesore into an upmarket supermarket and clothing shop has been confirmed.