Nationally around 48 shops a day are closing in our high streets. Ottery St Mary is bucking this trend with five shops opening in the last few months. These include a restaurant, Turkish barbers, ladies’ hairdressers, a skin care salon, and a wedding / special occasions boutique. There are also two shops preparing to open, a new cafe plus a gift and furniture shop in a premises that has been vacant for several years.
The Council recognise the value of a thriving high street to help generate a thriving local economy and have already launched a number of initiatives to support our wonderful businesses.
- The very successful Shop Front Grants scheme where grants of up to £500 were available to shops to repaint and update their shop fronts. Around £3,000 was awarded.
- The Council organised Festive Cheer and late-night shopping event at the end of November which attracted large numbers of local residents and visitors to the town and shopkeepers reported a higher footfall than previous years
- The Council was one of the founding members of the Coast meets Country project. Working with four other Councils (Budleigh Salterton, Honiton, Seaton & Sidmouth) and a professional marketing organisation, we now have a professional digital presence. www.visitotterystmary.co.uk or follow it on social media (Facebook, Instagram, X and TikTok).
- There is a new Ottery guide that will be available in the coming weeks to be displayed in all local businesses, visitor attractions, accommodation providers and tourist information points.
Deputy Mayor Cllr Dean Stewart said “It is great to see that Ottery is being chosen by businesses to open their shops. We have mostly independently owned establishments, and we see this continuing. Our recent Shop Front Grants brightened up a number of shops, making Ottery St Mary the place to visit and shop.”
Cllr Stewart continued “During October, Ottery had a Magic Tenner Fortnight encouraging people to shop locally in our independent stores. This proved very successful with nine shops offering unique offers during the fortnight.”
Cllr John Green – Chair of the Environment, Local Development and Commerce committee added “The Council are working hard to support the local economy, working with the local business community to make Ottery a place that people want to come and visit. The Council have other projects in the pipeline to continue improving the town for local people and visitors.