Chalking up successes

A GROUP of traders who came together to better the prospects of their market town have reflected on a successful first year.

Alnwick Chamber of Trade (Act) launched in 2010, following a call by Market Street restaurateur Carlo Biagioni to create a stronger business community and have a unified voice on local issues.

Membership has grown considerably over the last 12 months and a number of projects have been spearheaded, including a wedding fair to highlight services, town clean-ups and closer working with Northumberland County Council to address a wide range of matters such as parking and road closures.

Mr Biagioni, who is Act’s chairman, said: “Here we are after our first year, and the Alnwick Chamber of Trade is still going strong – and it is going from strength to strength. We have become recognised throughout the community by other groups and organisations as the point of contact for those wishing to reach the businesses of Alnwick.

“We have managed to achieve a lot in such a short time. Many of the challenges we have set ourselves are seeing fruition and even those which have taken much longer than we had hoped are receiving attention, others are taking notice of us.

“Our members have worked tirelessly, giving their own time to achieve the goals we are aiming for.

“We all recognise that Alnwick needs help to gain the vibrancy the town deserves and we are doing that.

“We organised a clean-up for the town recently and the response we received, in some cases from ordinary members of the public, was amazing.

“As a result, we have started to spruce up the town to make it more appealing to visitors and more attractive for our community. People are beginning to take a pride in Alnwick again.”

He added: “We are all aware that the parking issue is a very contentious one, but we are still chipping away at it.

“Our unitary council maintain that they must treat the whole county alike, yet Alnwick still has some of the highest parking charges in the county. We are fighting this unfairness intensely.

“Let us all work together this year and add to this list of achievements – there is a lot to do but I am confident that this time next year, we will have even more successes to add to the list.”

Businesses interested in joining Act can contact the chairman on 01665 833109 or email