Retail park and high street unite in scheme

Freeport, Fleetwood
Freeport, Fleetwood

A shop local scheme designed to bring in more trade to the town centre has the backing of Freeport.

The outlet village on the edge of town has given the ‘Shop Local’ discount scheme a big thumbs up – and 16 shops in the retail park have already signed up to it.

That takes the total number of Fleetwood businesses involved to more than 50.

The scheme, which has been set up in Fleetwood by Northern Rags clothing store owner Paul Haslam, could be the springboard to revitalising the town centre.

In terms of shopping on the high street, it is hoped the scheme will entice people to shop locally by receiving the benefit of discounts. Costa Coffee, Hallmark, Regatta, Moss and Thornton’s are just some of the big names which have signed up to the scheme at Freeport.

A Freeport spokesman said: “It’s a bit too early to say whether the scheme has had any impact, but it’s just a great opportunity to work closely with Fleetwood town centre as part of the community, and to encourage shoppers to shop in both places.”

Last week, The Weekly News reported how local people avoided the town centre, claiming it was ‘dead’ and had little to offer in terms of choice.

But traders hit back, saying a negative doom and gloom approach was not helping.

Christine MacSymons, who runs the Scotch Bakery in Lord Street, said the town centre was not as bad as people believe.

She added: “When you see other towns, our town centre really isn’t that bad.

“I do think there should be more help available for new businesses.

“They don’t have any financial backing, and sometimes they are only open for a short time.

“I think big brand names would help the high street, they would bring in more shoppers, but I also think that other ways to boost the town centre should be looked at.

“Its a traditional seaside town so ideas to enhance that would be an idea. A street market maybe.

“The signposting also needs looking at, it’s still terrible.”