Battle traders tackle parking problem

BATTLE traders have come up with a number of schemes to attract shoppers into the town, following the “disappointing” news that car park fees are set to rise yet again.

Last week the Observer reported shoppers and traders would be hit in the pocket as Rother District Council agreed to increase car park fees by between 10 and 15 per cent from April.

It was feared the increases could put people off shopping in the town.

But members of the Battle and District Chamber of Commerce have come up with a number of ways to help keep shoppers coming to the High Street, despite the price hike.

A monthly late night shopping event has been proposed for the last Thursday of the month, to take advantage of the fact the town’s car parks are free after 6pm.

The Chamber believes shops being open until 8pm would offer a chance for commuters to visit Battle midweek.

The idea has already been well-received by a number of businesses and could start in March.

Another popular suggestion is to encourage some Battle traders to offer to refund one hour’s parking charge on purchase.

Although it’s acknowledged not all businesses will be able to do this, several, including Dask, The Saffron Gallery, Alan Hunting Associates and Battle Interiors, have already started with this scheme.

The Chamber is encouraging businesses to adopt a minimum spend strategy, for example spend a minimum of £30 on goods and have an hour’s parking refunded, but individual traders will make decisions best suited to their stores and goods.

The Chamber is also currently in talks with a local gift voucher provider about creating Battle Town Gift Vouchers, which will be redeemable at participating stores.

If the scheme proceeds, customers will be able to purchase gift vouchers from any participating business, although the idea is still in development.

Dale Cromwell, the vice president of the Battle and District Chamber of Commerce and owner of Dask Ltd, said: “We are trying to get a lot of traders on board to be a united High Street.

“All great things are achieved by a series of small things together.

“We are just getting all these small things together to make something great for the good of Battle.”

A final decision on the proposals is due to be made shortly.