Traders and retailers promise to make Wokingham town centre greatBy Laura Herbert
February 11, 2013
Traders and retailers have pledged to unite to make Wokingham town centre a great place to live and work.
Members of the newly-formed Town Team met for the second time on Thursday to set out key priorities to ensure the future of the town centre.
Mark Walton, businessman and president of Wokingham Chamber of Commerce, said: “Wokingham needs some help and I think that’s pretty obvious.
“A lot has happened since our first meeting and we are looking for people with ideas and energy to get things done.”
The team wants to focus on four key areas – visitor experience, events and markets, funding and partnership and media and promotion – and create sub-committees for each.
Georgina Hustler, owner of Antique Rose in Bush Walk, said: “We are best placed to start making things happen.
“We have got the Association of Town Centre Management and the town and borough councils behind us.
“We need to protect our high street and if we get more footfall we will get more money through our doors.”
During the meeting at Wokingham Town Hall, in Market Place, retailers, traders and business owners split into groups to brainstorm objectives for each focus area.
Ideas for themed events included an art and children’s markets, a charity fashion show, noticeboards to promote activities and a town crier.
Stan Hetherington, of Wokingham Festival, said: “We have got a good town, we have just got to get the word out about it.”
Salvatore Scalise, general manager of Nando’s and a member of the Town Team, said: “A year ago I got offered a job to open a business in Wokingham.
“I thought it was a little town and didn’t know how much business I would have but when I opened the doors I couldn’t believe how much enthusiasm there was in this town.
“I believe this is a special place and as someone coming from the outside, this is a very nice town.”
He added: “We are here to try to make the town better and come up with solutions in order to make it happen.
“There are going to be some quick wins, there are going to be projects which will take a little longer but as long as we have a positive attitude and help each other we can do it.”
Wokingham Town Team was created following a successful bid to receive £10,000 funding and become a Town Team Partner.
The Town Team is due to hold its next meeting at the end of March.
To find out more or to get involved with the Town Team email firstname.lastname@example.org.