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Sudbury businessman urges collective effort to support local trade in response to number of vacant retail units

A businessman from Sudbury says a collective community effort must be adopted to help boost trade in the town.

Concerned about the level of vacant retail units in the high street, Keith Grinsted is urging members of the public to play an active role in exploring more viable solutions to stem the problem.

Recognising the increasing threat of online shopping to local trade, Mr Grinsted, of Lucas Road, highlighted the importance of businesses making a more conscious effort to attract shoppers into their stores.

Market Hill in Sudbury. PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (27285836)
Market Hill in Sudbury. PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (27285836)

“I think that’s what’s lacking in so many shops,” he said. “There’s just rails and rails of clothes, but there’s no experience for customers.”

Mr Grinsted, a freelance writer, has suggested leasing vacant units at a reduced rental rate to newly-established businesses to help them develop in the town.

“It would be more beneficial for the landlords if there was a business using their space, instead of just having empty units,” said the 67-year-old, who previously served as charity secretary at the River Stour Trust.

Mr Grinsted has argued that people who have been left disgruntled by the increasing level of vacant stores should be more proactive.

“If they’re not happy about what’s happening in the town, then they need to do something about it,” he said.

Determined to improve the town’s prosperity, Mr Grinsted is encouraging people to help form a community group, which would focus on various schemes aimed at boosting trade.

“There must be enough people in the town interested in getting a group together,” he said.

Highlighting the long-term benefits of enticing more visitors to the town, Mr Grinsted said: “We have people coming into Sudbury, but we need them to stay for longer; we need to turn it into a destination and not just somewhere for people to drive through.”

To get in contact with Mr Grinsted, call 07530 927815.

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