‘More support from traders is needed if the I Love Hucknall group is to succeed with its mission’ claims the new chairman this week after a disappointing turnout at their latest meeting.
Only TWO of the town’s traders turned up for the group’s April meeting and they hold the position of chairman and treasurer on the committee.
The only other people at the meeting were representativers from other groups, councillors and special guests.
“It was an embarrassment and I was very disappointed,” said group chairman, Chris Williams, who co-owns The Dressing Room on High Street. “It was a very important meeting too as we had invited representatives from Nottinghamshire County Council who gave a presentation on the new inner relief road and pedestrianised scheme for the town centre which will undoubtedly have a major impact on many businesses.
“We have done our best to tell people about our objectives and set up schemes to help boost trade in the town but without the support and involvement of more people what is the point?”
Chris took over the helm earlier this year and the executive committee, which is made up of seven active members, has formulated a constitution, set up an account and instigated a loyalty scheme for shoppers, but it is feared that unless more traders get on-board the group will disband.
“We are trying to be as proactive as possible to promote the town,” added Chris. “But we need to be sure that other people love Hucknall as much as we do.”
The group’s mission statement is ‘to make Hucknall a better place to visit and shop in and to encourage businesses to set up in the town.’
They are also aiming ‘to improve the shopping and leisure experience of those who come to Hucknall and to create a sense of community’.
“I left last week’s meeting feeling very despondent,” added Chris. “I know there are plenty of opinions out there but it is no good moaning and not doing something about it.
“Change isn’t going to happen overnight as we have to make long term plans to secure our future but others need to be realistic about their expectations and come and work with us as together we are stronger.”
In a bid to boost their image, I Love Hucknall are planning to relaunch their website, make better use of facebook and distribute leaflets.
The Dispatch is also playing its part by running a voucher scheme which benefits both businesses and shoppers.
The group have also received the encouraging fillip of a £1,300 donation from the three Hucknall Labour members of Nottinghamshire County Council, Couns John Wilmott, John Wilkinson and Alice Grice.
Active supporters Ken and Sheila Robinson of Hucknall’s Tourism and Regeneration Group said the committee needed the support of more shop-keepers.
“Businesses need to get behind the group or the active committee will just walk away,” said Sheila. “The committee can’t do it on their own.”
I Love Hucknall’s next open meeting will be at the Broomhill Children’s Centre on Wednesday 11th June at 6pm,