By steve downes
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Shoppers are being urged to go to the “not far east” to sample a host of trading treats that are sometimes forgotten.
With economic times tough and footfall falling, a clutch of business owners have joined forces to set up The East Side Cromer, an organisation to promote what they have to offer.
They have sprung into action amid fears that the lack of a public car park at the east end of Cromer means the shops and other businesses are often missed by shoppers.
Having overheard people who have stopped at Bond Street and said “there’s nothing else down here”, they are determined to show off the range of services and goods on offer.
Marcus Hickling, who owns Artyfax, which occupies two shops at the east of Church Street, said: “This is something we’ve talked about doing for years.
“But, because you are so busy with your own business, there’s not necessarily the time or people to coordinate it.”
He said a meeting of 15 traders was held at Sticky Earth Cafe, and everybody agreed to “chip in” with a bit of money to fund some publicity, including a logo and signs.
That number has now increased to 21 as determination has grown to launch a high street fightback against internet trade and out-of-town stores.
An eight-page leaflet will be distributed to homes and businesses at Mundesley, North Walsham and Aylsham to raise the area’s profile.
The area included in The East Side Cromer comprises Bond Street, Brook Street, Mount Street and the eastern end of Church Street.
Mr Hickling said: “To be honest, some traders are in despair at the moment. I know that there are businesses that, if the current situation continues, will have to shut. Then we will end up with empty shops.
“It would be easier for some to close their shops and just trade from their websites. This is a pattern everywhere.”
He said the effort to raise the area’s profile was needed because “after nine years of trading here, I still get people coming in and saying ‘I didn’t know you were here’.
“The lack of parking at this end is also part of the problem. But it’s about doing what we can now, rather than moaning about there not being parking.”
He said the next meeting of the group was after Christmas, and added: “We are hoping to attract more people down to this end of Cromer. It’s about the shops, but also the beach, cliff walks and other attractions. It’s a lovely part of the town.”