Shaping the Hailsham of the future - your say

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More clothing retailers, tidier shop frontages and improved parking are just some of the things residents would like to see improved in Hailsham.

Responses from a questionnaire carried out by Hailsham Forward at their ‘pop-up shop’ and information centre last month showed people wanted a number of improvements in the town centre.

Surveys were received from 369 people, including 34 from young people under the age of 20.

According to the survey, there is a strong need for additional clothing retailers in the town with 75 per cent of respondents stating that the lack of clothes shops is a major contributory factor to people shopping outside of Hailsham.

People also said they wanted to see better traffic flow in and out of the town.

Of those who took part in the survey, 16 per cent emphasised the need for toy shops, sports shops and stores selling local produce in the town centre, while 60 per cent said that they would like to see more homeware and D.I.Y. shops available in the town’s retail parks.

Around 52 per cent of respondents rated the town centre below average in terms of cleanliness, with 56 per cent stating that there is a litter problem and 33 per cent emphasising the need for tidier shop frontages.

Last week the Express reported how Hailsham Forward had unveiled the first virtual shop front in Hailsham.

The display was designed to help target empty properties and reduce the negative impact of empty shops.

Thr display on the former Sovereign Meats premises in Vicarage Fields shows a vibrant, restaurant themed facade frontage which also gives information about how to sponsor other shop fronts.

There are currently 21 empty shops in Hailsham.

The group said it would look at other shop fronts in the High Street, George Street, and Vicarage Fields.

The survey also revealed that 49 per cent of people considered there to be difficulties in terms of traffic flow with frequent congestion forming in and out of the town centre.

Business Enterprise Manager Mickey Caira said he wanted to thank everyone who took part in the survey .

He also said that residents input was imperative for shaping the future of the town and would help get a better idea services needed.

He said: “It’s imperative that as much feedback as possible is obtained from the public in terms of Hailsham Forward’s long, medium and short term town revitalisation objectives, and to get a better idea of what services are needed in the town centre and what things can be done to improve Hailsham as a whole. I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the survey, as well as the volunteers and local businesses which supported us by helping out at the pop-up shop by providing information and answering questions from members of the public.”

If you would like to find out more about Hailsham Forward contact Mickey Caira on 01323 841702. You can also visit the website at hailshamforward.co.uk