A number of businesses in Chorleywood have recently got together with the Chorleywood Residents’ Association (CRA) to come up with ways to save the high street.
Since the break-in and subsequent closure of the village Post Office in January, local businesses have seen a major decline in trade and footfall – and has been labelled a “ghost town” by a worried shop owner.
Desperate times call for desperate measures and with ever rising business rates, now is the time to act, say CRA who have created a Business Liaison Team (BLT) to improve it.
Sam Jamison, who works at butchers W.H. Higgins Ltd on Station Approach, commented on the uncertain future of the high street.
She said: “There is nothing that attracts people here anymore. We only have loyal customers that come back, very few new faces come to shop here.
“The closure of the Post Office has had a dramatic impact because locals are going to neighbouring villages to use the post office services and are now in the routine of shopping there aswell.
“It isn’t right and we are worried for the future. We’ve already had to commit and adapt to attract customers to our shop, and if we didn’t, it would be a very different story.”
Andre, who owns family restaurant, The Peppermill, which has been on the high street for 50 years, said footfall in the last year has dropped by 50 per cent.
He continued: “At the moment it is terrible. Business in August is usually the slowest month of the year amongst traders, but for me, it feels like every month is August.
“Everyone is struggling but in the last year business would have dropped by 50 per cent I’d say. The village is in need of urgent help and we feel there should be help of some description to enable our village to grow once again.”
Owen Edis, chair of CRA, believes there are things that can be done to retain the character of the high street.
He said: “We are interested on behalf of the residents to see if we can do anything to retain the character of Chorleywood.
“The residents’ association are very concerned for all the community and we are concerned that Chorleywood residents will lose their shopping centre, which will change the character of the village.”