As the weather at last warms up and summer begins to quicken, it is apparent that trade in Rye is thriving and there is far less talk of recession and belt tightening.
From the nature of some of the shops appearing in the town, it is reasonable to suggest that real money is once again now being spent in Rye.
Premises becoming empty for whatever reason are in most cases quickly taken up, often by a business expanding and leaving a smaller space for another newcomer to fill.
There are exceptions and I do often have complaints that ordinary items are hard to source since the demise of Woolworths, but equally I hear the term ‘market forces’ being frequently used.
More and more of our shopping is being done online or in big supermarket outlets and it is hard to see how a Woolies type outlet could survive this modern trend.
Rye is perhaps fortunate to still have the Thursday market which does fulfil the remit of having a lot of household items on offer and apparently our sole supermarket outlet range is beginning to incorporate more everyday non-food goods.
Rye Town Council has recognised the importance of retail development and regeneration of the trading core of the town and in late July a new working group will meet to discuss ideas to form a structured forum for driving progress in this vital area.
The group will aim to identify future trading trends, ensure that Rye is able to meet them and to compete in this highly competitive market.
Other aspirations will be to facilitate partnership working with other groups dedicated to the same end with the view that there is strength in numbers.
It is vital that we keep on attracting visitors who first experience and then go away with, a positive image of the town and what it offers.
The knock on effect for employment and re-investment in Rye can only benefit us all.