Leiston: Business bosses urge people to have pride in their town

BUSINESS chiefs have joined forces to launch a campaign to help rejuvenate a town centre.

Leiston Business Association is spearheading a bid to encourage more people to visit its shops and attractions.

As well as asking bosses to revamp tired looking store fronts the campaign, which is called Leiston Pride, will see further improvements throughout the town.

Already the business association has raised �8,000 to buy new Christmas lights for the High Street. Contributions have also been received from the town council, East of England Co-op, Magnox and EDF Energy.

Last year the town did not have any Christmas lights - to the concern of a number of residents.

They will now be hung in time for December 3, when Leiston will hold a traditional festive fair.

Paul Rosher, vice chairman of the LBA, said: “As you wander through the streets in Leiston it is obvious that businesses are investing in their premises despite tough trading, with many shop fronts and buildings newly decorated. The planned introduction of CCTV will help keep the levels of petty damage and vandalism in the town low, or even reduce them further.

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“The enhancement of the Long Shop visitor attraction will promote Leiston’s industrial heritage, which makes it unique in the area, and bring even more people to the town. The Christmas lights are truly the ‘icing on the cake’.”

Jim Crawford, station director at Sizewell B, said they were delighted to be able to help out. “Sizewell B prides itself of being in-bedded in the local community and we know local people wanted new Christmas lights so we were only too happy to help.”

The campaign also includes the launch for the very first Leiston Town Guide, which provides information on local services, places to stay, shops, restaurants, leisure and entertainment, and has been managed by Wayne Burns, who runs Leiston Film Theatre.

“The enthusiasm has been amazing,” he said. “I know that we will all reap the benefits.”

Tony Cooper, chairman of the town council, said they were hugely supportive of the campaign and were happy to be involved. “The more we can do to encourage people to visit the better,” he said.