Public consultation launched on Hailsham’s future as pop-up shop opens

More than 100 people have voiced their opinions on how to improve Hailsham in the first three days of a pop up shop opening.

Around half of the 200 people who visited the shop last week completed surveys on how to better the town.

HAILSHAM - Launch of pop-up shop for residents to vent concerns.'Jo Bentley (mayor), Mickey Caira, Paul Soan (Waitrose branch manager) and cllr Paul Holbrook

HAILSHAM - Launch of pop-up shop for residents to vent concerns.'Jo Bentley (mayor), Mickey Caira, Paul Soan (Waitrose branch manager) and cllr Paul Holbrook

The shop aims to provide information on proposed town revitalisation initiatives and gauge opinion on future development. Mayor of Hailsham, Cllr Jo Bentley opened the shop on April 18.

It has been set up by Hailsham Town Team (known as Hailsham Forward) and aims to bring together key local stakeholders to review the best ways to revitalise the town centre and industrial and retail parks. The community partnership is conducting a survey covering the economic revitalisation of the business community.

The shop will be staffed by Town Team members including retailers, business representatives and town councillors until May 11.

Cllr Bentley said the pop-up shop was an excellent opportunity for people to learn more about the progress to date on a number of key projects proposed by the Town Team.

She said: “I would encourage people to come along and learn about Hailsham Forward’s objectives and priorities for the town and let us know about their views about the town centre, what services are needed in the high street and ways in which Hailsham as a whole can be improved and ultimately revitalised.

“I would like to thank all members of Hailsham Forward for the work they have put in to allow the public the opportunity to air their views.”

Wealden MP Charles Hendry said: “The pop-up shop is a great way to make use of an empty shop, and to use it in a way that helps make many people aware of the work that is being done. It gives local residents the chance to make their views heard and is a novel way to help the town, which shows the creative thinking going on.”

Hailsham Forward chairman Paul Soane said: “The pop up shop is designed with the purpose of engaging the residents of Hailsham and other stakeholders in the delivery of improvements to the town.

“The output from these discussions will be used to build a future town plan that we aim to publish in the summer. “By providing an opportunity for face-to-face discussion with a member of the town team, all interested parties are asked to come along and have their say on how the town can be improved to meet their needs.”

The shop at 26 Vicarage Field will be open from 10am to 3pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

For more information contact Mickey Caira on 01323 841702 or visit hailshamforward.co.uk

Mr Soane added: “There are some 20,000 people living in the Hailsham and it would be fantastic if we could hear the views of a good number of them. Hailsham’s future is certainly a challenging one, but I’m sure it will be worth the effort.”

The Town Team has organised a separate forum for all businesses operating out of industrial and retail parks in Hailsham providing them with an opportunity to have their say on matters relating to the revitalisation of the local business community. This will take place on Wednesday,May 8 from 6pm at the pop-up shop in Vicarage Field.

Town Teams are being established nationwide to bring viable local aspirations to bear on up-and-coming local policies and strategies relating to community, environmental and business development issues.

• Hailsham was selected by the Department for Communities and Local Government to receive a grant of £10,000 for the recently established Hailsham Forward (Town Team) to help drive forward its objectives to revitalise the town

centre and surrounding urban environment.

• As a result of being selected Hailsham Forward will be now be supported by the Association of Town & City Management, which has over 20 years of experience in helping town centres become prosperous locations for business and investment, which works with Town Team Partners to offer government support and a network of advisors to help improve local towns.