Diss traders quizzed on town’s future

A new survey has been launched asking Diss traders how they think footfall could be increased in the town.

Spearheaded by South Norfolk Council's market towns task group, the questionnaire has been distributed to 130 businesses.

It hopes to use their responses to shape future projects aimed at delivering long term economic benefits to Diss.

The 16-point survey asks traders to highlight what unique selling points Diss has and what could be done to promote these to the public.

It urges them in particular to suggest ways of advertising the historic elements of the town, such as its quaint shopping yards and listed buildings, and how they could capitalise on the increasing number of visitors using the Corn Hall in St Nicholas Street – an area which is currently suffering from a decline in business footfall and a number of large vacant premises.

No deadline has been set by the district council but it is appealing for swift responses from as many businesses as possible.

District councillor Glyn Walden, who represents Diss, said: 'I do welcome any fact finding initiative like this because it's important we work from what we know and find out about people's wishes for the town rather than assume that what we (councillors) believe personally is really what people want.'

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He added that visitors do travel to Diss but encouraging them to explore its hidden gems was key.

'This morning I saw six coaches on the bus station. It gives you an idea of how many people are coming into the town.

'Sometimes they are just changing to another bus but some walk through the town to Mere Street and the northern part of the town. We want to offer something for those tourists in the town,' he said.