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Town centre shops praise council for initiatives

Posted on in Business News

Businesses in the Devon town of Ottery St Mary have praised their local council for initiatives designed to help support them and boost trade.



 Ottery St Mary Town Council introduced a grants scheme offering up to £500 to repaint and update shop fronts, along with late night shopping, Christmas events, and a Visit Ottery campaign project.

 Speaking to the BBC, businesses in the town said the shop fronts project had helped boost footfall.

 Earlier this year, the South West Business Council said one in five shops were empty across the region and 1,800 premises closed in 2022.

 The town centre has had five shops open in recent months, the town council said.

 Nicholas Scott, from grocers Rabbit and Co, said the town council had been very supportive.

 He said: "Primarily one of the biggest things for us was when we expanded into this shop here, they contributed to the exterior decoration, helping us make the shop front look nice."

 He said he also hoped nearby housing developments would increase footfall further.

 Grace Mangeng, who opened her hair salon in December, also said the shop fronts project had helped.

 "The shops are looking really, really good which is also bringing people into town and bringing more custom in as well," Ms Mangeng said.

 The town council said: "The council recognises the value of a thriving High Street to help generate a thriving local economy and have already launched a number of initiatives to support our wonderful businesses."

 Ottery St Mary's deputy mayor Dean Stewart said it was great to see shops coming to the town and the council was doing "everything it can" to help.



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