Felixstowe: Action needed to help town centre amid fears for stores’ futures
- Credit: Archant
CAMPAIGNERS are calling for a blueprint to be drawn up with ideas to attract more people to shop in Felixstowe town centre – amid fears that important stores could be lost.
With applications before planners for three superstores around the town, it is feared Hamilton Road will lose out and people will be deterred from using its shops, putting more pressure on businesses suffering difficult trading times.
Mary Wyatt, chairman of Felixstowe Town Centre Residents’ Association and part of the Walton Felixstowe Community First action group, said there were very real fears for the future of the town centre whether one, two or even all three superstores were approved by Suffolk Coastal council.
She said: “If people were to stop coming into the town centre then the viability of the town centre would be at risk and I think there would be worries that we might lose some of our largest and important stores. That could leave some huge holes.
“There are only 14,000 households in Felixstowe and a number of people already shop at superstores out of town, so it is difficult to see how we can support up to three in the town.
“We have got to find ways of increasing the footfall in the town centre to keep our shops viable.”
Felixstowe Chamber of Trade, whose members have similar concerns, has been looking at various ideas to bring more people into the town – including car park charge changes, and more events throughout the year.