Has ‘Sunny Hunny’ been forgotten?
- Credit: Archant
Business leaders have hit back at claims that Hunstanton was a 'forgotten' town and said it was a vibrant and thriving place.
Paul Beal, who owns the World of Fun joke shop and Horizon giftshop in the town, and Michael Ruston, secretary of Hunstanton Chamber of Trade, said thousands of tourists still visited the town, and it was in line for a makeover and more investment.
Their comments came after town councillor Richard Bird said that some young people in the town were part of a 'forgotten society', and Debbie Harrington announced she was closing her shop on the High Street, Norfolk Home and Garden, because she could not make a profit.
Mr Bird also called for more emphasis to be given to the care sector to provide for an elderly population and create jobs for young people in a town he said was full of cafés and charity shops.
Mr Beal and Mr Ruston, however, believe the town's economy should remain focused on tourism.
Mr Beal said: 'Every year our trade has increased. The future's extremely bright for trading in this town, for those that work hard.
'We stay open all year round. We stick rigorously to our opening times, are open seven days a week, and sustain 10 staff.
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'Our community is very vibrant. If people work hard they can make a go of their business.'
His long-term vision for the town is to create a marine lake, to draw in tourists from across the country, and to secure the resort's future.
He said: 'It would be like the one in West Kirby on Merseyside, and be a water sports mecca.'
Mr Ruston said: 'Nobody has forgotten us - not the government, county council, town council, or borough council. Forward-thinking business people are working their backsides off in the town, and we are building up the visitor economy.'
Their views were echoed by other town businesses including Richard Atkinson, who owns You Cook, who said: 'We're busy in general here, and pleased with how trade has been,'
And Katie Hearth, who owns the Heroes' clothes shop, who added: 'You've got to be open all day to be successful. I'm very positive for the summer season.'