Uses sug­gested for empty shops

Pop-up stores, ad­ver­tis­ing pro­posed

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Lor­can Lovett lor­can.lovett@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

VIL­LAGERS hope a jum­ble of ideas will trans­form empty shops into tools for the com­mu­nity.

Chal­font St Peter Cham­ber of Com­merce is call­ing for pop-up shops to help fill the high street.

Peo­ple have also sug­gested filling the win­dows of va­cant prop­er­ties, such as Chal­font Home­ware Stores in Mar­ket Place, with com­mu­nity news and his­tory.

Cham­ber pres­i­dent An­drew Welch said: “Popup shops are some­thing we would like to en­cour­age.

“There must been all sorts of or­gan­i­sa­tions look­ing to pro­mote them­selves.

“As soon as a shop is empty, land­lords could say ‘go set up a stall and have it for six weeks un­til we find a ten­ant’.”

Sev­eral busi­nesses have closed in the vil­lage dur­ing the past year, in­clud­ing a book shop, flower shop and sweet shop.

How­ever, shops have sprung up in Mar­ket Place too, in­clud­ing new cafe Bread House, and a tat­too par­lour is set to open, although no date has been an­nounced.

Mr Welch added: “Change is al­ways go­ing to hap­pen and shops are clos­ing and open­ing on ev­ery high street in our coun­try.

“It does not mean trade is bad. It is not in the least bit doom and gloom.”

Mr Welch also sug­gested in­cor­po­rat­ing art from school­child­ren in the win­dows shops.

Ron Fox, 71, of Edith Bell House, says us­ing the shops as no­tice boards for com­mu­nity news and snip­pets of vil­lage his­tory would be good, par­tic­u­larly in the large Home­ware Stores.

He added: “I think that place is an eye­sore. At least somebody should come round and give it a lick of paint on the front to make it look more re­spectable for the vil­lage.

“If you get peo­ple who come to the vil­lage and see things like that, they are not go­ing to come back.”

How do you think Chal­font St Peter can make the most out of its empty shops? Do you think the vil­lage needs more trade? Con­tact us at buck­snews@ trin­i­tysouth.co.uk.

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(From left) Lot­tie Ross, Alexan­der Eio, Sophia Rat­nara­jan, Joseph Boundy and Sophia Dubb try French cheese at the Lit­tle Lan­guage Academy in Ger­rards Cross

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