Littlehampton Traders’ Partnership unveils vision for the town’s future
A group of Littlehampton’s independent traders have unveiled their plans for the future of the town.
The Littlehampton Traders’ Partnership is formed of seven local business owners who work on a voluntary basis to support the town centre and provide a unified voice for its businesses.
In March this year the group appointed a new chairman, Celia Thomson-Hitchcock, who has owned Ahead to Toe salon in East Street for over 30 years.
Celia said she plans to make the partnership ‘much more retailer friendly’ under her stewardship.
“I want to get us all working together for an improved business environment, support economic health, infrastructure, tourism and greener business practices, along with increased safety and beautification,” she said.
“Local people do support the town centre but we would like them to stay longer and have some variety and a choice of where to spend their hard-earned cash. That means fewer empty shops and more opportunities for expression of growth for traders.”
Celia is supported by vice-chairman Paul Wakeman, who has owned Bah-Humbug Sweets in Anchor Springs for nine years, and accountant Les Drew who handles the treasury and finances.
The rest of the partnership includes Sophie Guess, whose family has owned L. Guess Jewellers since the 1980s; Stacey Mendoza, owner of Way Out There and Back in Arcade Road; Deborah Thomson, who runs Totally Wicked and Janice Gordon, owner of Crafters Corner.
A new Facebook page – Experience Littlehampton – is set to be launched allowing retailers ‘access all areas’ communication with the partnership, on subjects such as securing grants or the vision for the town’s future.
A Business One Stop Shop (BOSS) will also be launched in the High Street offering guidance to traders looking to evolve and market pop-ups will offer new businesses the chance to exhibit their new products.
Technological innovations could also transform the town centre.
Solar operated ‘daisy-style’ umbrellas are planned, which would automatically open during sunny weather and close when overcast.
Celia said installation would not require ‘digging up the high street’, would fit in with the regeneration plans and add a unique feature to the town centre.
Recycle bins will also be installed in the town and the partnership is working on improving an alleyway behind the main high street car park.
“The underlining truth is that everything takes time,” said Celia.
“We know this can be very frustrating and sometimes it looks like nothing is happening but we all are here working hard and won’t give up, pushing our town forward for the future.”