Hopes for revival of retailers' association in Northumberland town

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A public meeting will be arranged to discuss reviving a retailers’ association in Wooler.

The event, to be held once coronavirus restricted are lifted, is being planned by Wooler Parish Council.

It is being planned on the back of a disappointing turnout at a recent meeting of Wooler Business Forum.

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“It was very poorly attended by businesses,” said Coun Mark Mather, parish council chairman. “There were more parish councillors there than anyone else which is very disappointing.”

Wooler High Street. Picture by Jane ColtmanWooler High Street. Picture by Jane Coltman
Wooler High Street. Picture by Jane Coltman

The forum meeting heard updates from Newcastle Building Society and the Glendale Gateway Trust which has set up a small task force to look at what might happen to the high street in the longer term.

“I’ve asked a few retailers why they don’t go to the business forum and what I hear is that they want a retailers’ association so they can discuss how to help each other, rather than having customers there listening,” said Coun Mather.

“Especially with what’s happening now, retailers and businesses are in the same predicament which isn’t good.

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“When this virus calms down they are going to need as much support as possible.”

Coun Kevan Curry added: “If we kick start them off, it’s up to them to run their own show – they know the business side of things.

“We used to have a good shopkeepers’ association at one time.”

“I would love to see that back,” agreed Coun Mather.

“There are times when the parish council needs guidance from all the retailers, not just one or two, to make sure everyone has a voice.”