Businesses large and small urged to sign up for scheme ‘for the good of the town’

Barnstaple’s town centre manager is hoping to get more independent businesses involved in a ‘rejuvenated’ Town Centre Management (TCM) this year.

Hannah Harrington, who took up the role last summer, said she was keen to reverse a trend of dwindling membership around town.

She said: “I’m talking to a lot of people, particularly small, independent businesses, about how we can support them and what they think we should be doing.

“We’re planning in the summer/autumn to launch the rejuvenated TCM to be truly representative of businesses in Barnstaple.”

Previously, businesses in Barnstaple signed up to a five-year Business Improvement District (BID) scheme, which ended early last year.

But Mrs Harrington hopes that by making membership optional, more businesses would join together for the good of the town.

“Hopefully it will be much more practical for getting things done,” she said.

“We could deliver the kind of projects we might have through BID with this scheme.

“A good example is the Christmas lights. This year, people have noticed that we were unable to fund Christmas lights in some side streets, previously paid for by the BID levy.

“Everyone had to pay into BID and maybe it had some negative connotations because of that. Because this is voluntary and we’re all working together for the same goal it is getting a positive response.

“I think a lot of people are keen to see something happen and be involved.”