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Norfolk Business Awards 2018

Town business owners hit back at claims bank closure will kill the high street

PUBLISHED: 13:18 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:18 30 August 2018

Halesworth Thoroughfare. Picture: Nick Butcher

Halesworth Thoroughfare. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Businesses in a town which is due to lose its last bank later this year have hit back at suggestions the town is dying.

Owners of independent shops and restaurants on Halesworth’s Thoroughfare have said the claims the town will suffer from the loss of Barclays, which is due to close in November, are wrong and the town is still a “vibrant” place for visitors and shops.

Jane Dekker, who owns Huus, a home lifestyle business on the Thoroughfare, said Halesworth will remain an attractive place for shoppers and day trippers looking for an atmosphere around independently run businesses.

Mrs Dekker, who opened her shop last year, said: “We need to keep encouraging people to come to Halesworth because there is lots of things to do here.

“It is not that the town is dying and if we give that image you will end up having 100 businesses dying rather than just one.

“We are alive and kicking.”

She added: “We are a resilient and fighting town and what we need is to be positive.

“It is tough to keep a high street vibrant because they are all fighting against the online retail and services to keep their businesses open.

“We should look at this [the bank closing] positively. Halesworth attracts those looking for an independent atmosphere and I think the shops in the Thoroughfare are very vibrant.

“People actually come to Halesworth to come for a total experience which is a morning out and not just for shopping.”

Karen Prime, who runs Edwards restaurant and sits on the town council, said: “The semi-pedestrianised Thoroughfare has always been popular to visit with its historical buildings, paved street, and attractive floral decorations. This traditional Suffolk market town has an abundance of independent businesses offering unique eating and shopping experiences now difficult to find in many towns across the country.”

She added: “Although the closure of the banks will possibly have an impact on the footfall in the town, businesses are confident that Halesworth offers an unique experience and will continue to thrive. Fortunately the future of a town businesses do not have to be fully reliant on the banking industry to survive or for it to be an asset for their community.”

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