Traders: loss of signs could be devastating

FEARFUL: Vanessa Bremner, from Health Foods For You, and Lisa Cornell, from Rude Strawberry cafe.
FEARFUL: Vanessa Bremner, from Health Foods For You, and Lisa Cornell, from Rude Strawberry cafe.

Businesses in one of Sudbury’s quieter side streets have hit out at the potential removal of their A-boards, fearing it could destroy trade.

Friars Street in Sudbury has a number of small independent shops, and owners are concerned that a council decision to remove the boards could have a devastating affect on trade.

Their signs currently sit on the traffic island between King Street, Gainsborough Street and Friars Street.

After reported issues with contractors refusing to carry out work on lampposts on the island while A-boards were attached to them, officers at Babergh District Council decided that a new policy was necessary.

As a result, shops will only be allowed one sign next to their business, and this will need council approval.

“It would be devastating for the business if the signs go,” said Vanessa Bremner, who manages Health Foods For You.

“The businesses down here have been built on the A-boards.”

Mrs Bremner said that a lot of people did not know about the shops along Friars Street and the signs gave them vital publicity in encouraging trade.

This view was echoed by shop assistant Caron Downs.

“A lot of tourists and people from out of town come into these shops after seeing the A-boards,” she said. “It could be devastating.”

Sudbury community warden Bradley Smith told worried shopkeepers at a recent town council meeting that he would be visiting each individual shop to discuss whether there was space for them to have an A-board.

Mr Smith told the Free Press that it is unlikely any shops will be allowed A-boards in Friars Street due to the narrow pavements. Instead, he is looking to form a meeting to discuss how they can best keep trade alive.

“We are thinking about having one big sign displaying all the businesses down there,” said Mr Smith.

Town and district councillor Jack Owen said: “We had mums with prams and people on mobility scooters having difficulty getting through some parts of the town.

“It was getting out of hand and we desperately needed a new policy.”