BUSINESS leaders in a coastal town have turned out in force for a “high street summit” to discuss ways to boost trade and attract more visitors.

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Some 45 shopkeepers, restaurateurs and retailers attended the meeting, which was held earlier this week at the White Lion Hotel in Aldeburgh.

It was organised by the town’s business association with the aim of getting people together to discuss how to make the High Street even more attractive to shoppers.

Chairman Naomi Tarry said: “Twice as many businesses came as we were expecting which was fantastic,” she said. “They included some businesses that haven’t previously been involved in the business association, giving us a record breaking turnout and a strong forum for discussion.

“We had a very positive and wide ranging discussion about why people do and don’t shop on Aldeburgh High Street before exploring what we can collectively do to work more closely together.”

Mrs Tarry said a number of events were planned for later in the year to encourage people to visit the town, including a second “Independents” Day on July 4 - to promote the resort’s independent retailers - and an outdoor Sixties by the Sea concert on July 6. “We will also be arranging a meeting with Suffolk Coastal District Council to talk about practical things that they can do to help us, such as changes to parking and road signs,” she said. “We know that people enjoy shopping in Aldeburgh because it has such an interesting blend of shops by the sea.

“It’s quite a unique place to shop, it’s the only high street in Suffolk that I can think of that runs parallel to the beautiful shingle beach, just moments away.”

They were now aiming to keep the momentum going and would be reporting back at the next Aldeburgh Business Association meeting on March 6, she added.

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