High Street Heroes in...Halstead
PUBLISHED: 11:42 07 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:43 07 April 2014
This historic market town with a variety of independent outlets has had some contemporary help through the Portas Pilot Scheme. Lilly Flloyd finds out more
Halstead is a small town located seven miles north of Braintree. It is an attractive and historic market town with a wide variety of independent shops, restaurants, clubs and interesting walks to suit everyone’s tastes.
In 2011 the town was funded grant money from the Portas Pilot Scheme, to help plan and develop the High Street. Richard Cook, chairman at the Halstead Town Team, is a true believer in shopping locally and has been behind this campaign to help rebuild the High Street. He says: ‘We were very lucky to be given £8,000 from Mary Portas, which has enabled us to do a whole programme of advertising. We have done many campaigns, which has proven a huge benefit to us, as it has helped to highlight what Halstead High Street already had. We have also created a Visit Halstead website, which launched in December and has given the town centre retailers the opportunity to include all their contact details. We want to get everyone involved, not just businesses, and I’m hoping it becomes an everyday thing so it can benefit everybody.’
Richard also explains how this campaign has helped to build the confidence in the High Street again and hopes this makes people feel very welcome when visiting the town.
‘People talk about high streets having a hard time, which is true, but its about giving the customer what they want and that’s the retailer’s secret. We have a really good scheme with the empty shops in Halstead, as they are used for different functions. For example The Halstead Arts Society recently put a display on, which makes a huge difference and gives a different impression when people walk past. We are very lucky our level of empty shops is below the national average.’
Richard adds: ‘Even though Halstead is not a large town centre, it provides a very good local service and offers a great variety of shops. We serve our High Street in an attractive way and we want to also encourage local villagers to visit us instead of the big, major towns.’
You can find out more about Halstead at www.visithalstead.co.uk while here Essex Life introduces you to some of the faces you might meet on a visit to the town.