New Wells business forum could be established

Peter Lynn, who will chair Monday's meeting.

Peter Lynn, who will chair Monday's meeting. - Credit: Matthew Usher

The forthcoming opening of a new supermarket and changes to the way north Norfolk's tourism industry is being promoted have prompted traders in Wells to consider starting a new business forum.

A public meeting being held at The Maltings, on Staithe Street on Monday could lead to the establishment of Wells' first business forum for several years.

Robert Simmons, company secretary and director of Visit North Norfolk (VNN), is due to attend the meeting and Andy Bullen, secretary of the Sheringham Chamber of Trade and Commerce, will speak about the benefits such a body could bring to Wells.

Peter Lynn, from the Wells Maltings Trust, who will chair the meeting, said: 'We will be looking at opportunities to improve trade in the town and ways to keep people in Staithe Street and other parts of the town when the Co-op supermarket opens.

'Wells had a business forum which folded six or seven years ago.

'I don't think enough was done at the time to keep people interested but now there are many new business in Wells and I believe there is a fresh enthusiasm for the traders to work together to overcome the challenges the town faces.'

The idea of re-establishing a business forum was initially sparked by concerns discussed at Wells Town Council over changes to the way tourism is being managed and promoted in north Norfolk.

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Tourism bosses suggested that Wells's tourist industry needed to do more to help itself to mitigate cuts in local authority funding.

It has been reported in recent days that VNN's grant support from councils in north and west Norfolk is due to fall from £40,000 to £12,000 by 2016.

VNN is slimming down its staff from three to one to cut costs and aiming to increase its membership to compensate.

Monday's meeting starts at 6pm and is open to all.

People can also find out more about the Wells business forum plans by contacting Mr Lynn on 01328 711033.