PLANS to put Petworth on the business map are in the pipeline.
One of the town’s Chichester district councillors, Eileen Lintill, told a meeting of town councillors a high-level ‘positive’ meeting had taken place in Petworth, attended by MP Nick Herbert, chairman of the Petworth Business Association Jackie Tudor, and officers from the district council’s economic development team.
“To put it in a nutshell, what those at the meeting would like to see set up is a group like the Midhurst Vision where the district council’s economic development team worked with traders, the town council and others and had a consultant to look at the town,” she said.
Cllr Lintill said schemes such as the shop front refurbishment resulted from the initiative and since the Midhurst Town Team had been set up to take town promotion projects further.
“What was talked about at the meeting was whether something like that would be good for Petworth.
“Certainly the traders present thought it would be good for the town.”
But Cllr Lintill said there were differences between Midhurst and Petworth.
“We recognise that predominantly we are a town of antique shops and we are never going to get the ‘big guys’ in, and so we all believe that Petworth needs to promote itself as an entity.”
Cllr Lintill said Chichester District Council officers were keen to take on the project and a report would be going before members of the council’s cabinet in March asking for funding to pay for the project.
“This would enable a steering group to be set up,” said Cllr Lintill, “made up of members of the Petworth Business Association, the National Trust, traders, town councillors and others to actually carry out this work and over things along in the town.”
She said once the funding had been agreed by cabinet members for the initiative to go ahead, economic development manager Kenrick Garraway would become involved, along with town co-ordinator Melanie Burgoyne.
“Personally I think it sounds like a really good idea,” said Cllr Lintill. “As a town we need to survive and we need an identity. I hope town councillors will feel able to support this project.”
Town councillor Chris Kemp welcomed the initiative. “The Petworth Business Association have been pushing to raise the profile of the town and this work will be very valuable for our Neighbourhood Plan.”
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