Newport traders form group to fight city centre decline

South Wales Argus: TAKING ACTION: Paul Cotton, left, and Stephen Gerrish inside their coffee shop, Brew, in Station Street, where Newport traders met TAKING ACTION: Paul Cotton, left, and Stephen Gerrish inside their coffee shop, Brew, in Station Street, where Newport traders met

NEWPORT’S traders are looking to fight back against the decline of the city centre by setting up their own independent traders group.

The group met for the first time on Monday last week to discuss what they can do to counteract the steady exodus of shops from the city centre.

More than 20 independent traders met at Brew coffee shop in Station Street to discuss ideas, ranging from setting up a loyalty card scheme for shoppers to use in their stores, to creating a magazine or newsletter to publicise their businesses.

Temporary chairman of the group Paul Halliday said: “Newport city centre has continually been neglected over the past 20 years with almost no effort from the council to listen to the concerns of local traders.

“With no imagination or vision for the centre being put forward from the current administration, we decided we would have to take matters into our own hands.

“Newport will never compete with Cardiff or Bristol, but we do believe that the city can be a regional hub for independent traders.

“With the right publicity and development we know those from the surrounding areas will return to shopping in our great city. Newport already has a selection of great independent businesses that so many people don’t know about.

“Our traders are also some of, if not the, friendliest and most knowledgeable people you will meet. All we are asking for is local people to spend the time getting to know us and to support us as we try and change the fortunes of the centre.”

Paul Cotton, who co-owns Brew, said: “I know city- centre traders are feeling battered at the moment and perhaps they think this isn’t going to come to anything.

“But they are all passionate about their businesses, so if we bond together and try to do something ourselves maybe we can make a difference.

“What the council are or aren’t doing doesn’t matter, we need to do things for ourselves.”

The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 12, at 5.45pm at Brew.

For more information you can email Paul Halliday on phalliday82@gmail.com

Council urges all to join forces instead

A NEWPORT council spokeswoman said: “Newport City Council has tried for some time to encourage traders to be more proactive in attracting shoppers to their businesses.

“However, we understand that the Chamber of Trade are contacting all traders about marketing incentives for shoppers following their extensive discussions with the council about delivering such schemes. We would like to see all traders and retailers working together with the Chamber of Trade and feel it would be more beneficial if they joined forces rather than attempt smaller initiatives which could lead to some confusion for shoppers.

“The council has worked hard and continues to do so to attract shoppers into the city centre.”

Comments (13)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:27am Thu 24 Jan 13

ncfcr says...

Don't worry, as soon as Debenhams comes to town all problems will be solved. LOL.
Don't worry, as soon as Debenhams comes to town all problems will be solved. LOL. ncfcr
  • Score: 0

11:44am Thu 24 Jan 13

Bobevans says...

Smarten the shops and stalls up. Many look very sub standard

Why not look to at the buying if they bulk up all their orders they have much more clout to negotiate prices down. May not work for everything but things like greengrocery & meat are obvious ones
Smarten the shops and stalls up. Many look very sub standard Why not look to at the buying if they bulk up all their orders they have much more clout to negotiate prices down. May not work for everything but things like greengrocery & meat are obvious ones Bobevans
  • Score: 0

12:03pm Thu 24 Jan 13

PaulHalliday says...

As a group we are open to any ideas about ways to move things forward.
Saddened that the council go on about traders doing things themselves, and then as soon as the independent traders start getting together to move things forward they complain. Lots of cities have independent traders groups and a chamber of trade.
As a group we are open to any ideas about ways to move things forward. Saddened that the council go on about traders doing things themselves, and then as soon as the independent traders start getting together to move things forward they complain. Lots of cities have independent traders groups and a chamber of trade. PaulHalliday
  • Score: 0

12:08pm Thu 24 Jan 13

cannyfradock says...

I wish Paul Halliday and the group all the best with any new idea's they come up with to attract people back to Newport City Center.
I think the statement by the Newport City spokeswoman at the foot of the above report is simply a statement posted purely to justify her getting good wages for little output. The last comment... “The council has worked hard and continues to do so to attract shoppers into the city centre.” ......is ****.
I wish Paul Halliday and the group all the best with any new idea's they come up with to attract people back to Newport City Center. I think the statement by the Newport City spokeswoman at the foot of the above report is simply a statement posted purely to justify her getting good wages for little output. The last comment... “The council has worked hard and continues to do so to attract shoppers into the city centre.” ......is ****. cannyfradock
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Thu 24 Jan 13

47alan47 says...

Good luck to Paul Halliday, nice to see someone pulling their finger out and thinking for themselves, being proactive and positive.
Good luck to Paul Halliday, nice to see someone pulling their finger out and thinking for themselves, being proactive and positive. 47alan47
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Thu 24 Jan 13

47alan47 says...

Bobevans wrote:
Smarten the shops and stalls up. Many look very sub standard

Why not look to at the buying if they bulk up all their orders they have much more clout to negotiate prices down. May not work for everything but things like greengrocery & meat are obvious ones
I trust you don't run a retail business Bob.
[quote][p][bold]Bobevans[/bold] wrote: Smarten the shops and stalls up. Many look very sub standard Why not look to at the buying if they bulk up all their orders they have much more clout to negotiate prices down. May not work for everything but things like greengrocery & meat are obvious ones[/p][/quote]I trust you don't run a retail business Bob. 47alan47
  • Score: 0

2:51pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Howie' says...

A NEWPORT council spokeswoman said: “The council has worked hard and continues to do so to attract shoppers into the city centre.”

Well that's really good news but it would be good to know what exactly the Council is doing and what they have to show for their efforts.
A NEWPORT council spokeswoman said: “The council has worked hard and continues to do so to attract shoppers into the city centre.” Well that's really good news but it would be good to know what exactly the Council is doing and what they have to show for their efforts. Howie'
  • Score: 0

12:09am Fri 25 Jan 13

portman says...

All the best to the group...... be proactive vist shops ,businesses etc and ask them to send a representive to these meetings,more people on board the better.
All the best to the group...... be proactive vist shops ,businesses etc and ask them to send a representive to these meetings,more people on board the better. portman
  • Score: 0

9:37am Fri 25 Jan 13

coalpicker says...

The real reason is that Newport is becoming the Boston of South Wales,
The city fathers,the media or the local news papers will not change the situation by keeping their heads submerged in the river Usk ,screaming racist at those who indicate the foundation of the problem .
The real reason is that Newport is becoming the Boston of South Wales, The city fathers,the media or the local news papers will not change the situation by keeping their heads submerged in the river Usk ,screaming racist at those who indicate the foundation of the problem . coalpicker
  • Score: 0

10:54am Fri 25 Jan 13

Bobevans says...

The Co-Op has announced that it will be closing its the Britannia Building Society Branch in Newport
The Co-Op has announced that it will be closing its the Britannia Building Society Branch in Newport Bobevans
  • Score: 0

10:59am Fri 25 Jan 13

Bobevans says...

THe Co-Op will also be closing the Cheltenham & Gloucester branch in Newport ones the aquisition from Llyods TSB is completed.
THe Co-Op will also be closing the Cheltenham & Gloucester branch in Newport ones the aquisition from Llyods TSB is completed. Bobevans
  • Score: 0

12:56pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Independentvoter says...

Why are you forming a group ? This council won't listen to you.

Why not form a Newport Independent Group and fight these mainstream parties and this council at the next local government elections only then will you have a voice to actually change things and bring businesses back to 'town'.

It's free to contest a By-election.

Contact The Home Office and they will help you form a new political Group.

Finally,

GOOD LUCK - I'D VOTE FOR YOU !
Why are you forming a group ? This council won't listen to you. Why not form a Newport Independent Group and fight these mainstream parties and this council at the next local government elections only then will you have a voice to actually change things and bring businesses back to 'town'. It's free to contest a By-election. Contact The Home Office and they will help you form a new political Group. Finally, GOOD LUCK - I'D VOTE FOR YOU ! Independentvoter
  • Score: 0

9:02pm Fri 25 Jan 13

maindeegirl says...

Why would Co-op close a C&G branch that has just had a refurb & new computer system
Why would Co-op close a C&G branch that has just had a refurb & new computer system maindeegirl
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree