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Concern for Wyle Cop traders

Independent traders in Shrewsbury are launching a campaign to highlight the area - amid roadworks and hiked business rates.

The Wyle Cop Traders Group will begin a series of events celebrating occasions such as Remembrance Day and independent shops on December 2.

Jenny Thomas, who manages a number of shops in the street and elsewhere in the town, said Wyle Cop was a Shrewsbury treasure that needed to be cherished.

She said: “We have had roadworks going on since the beginning of the year and traders are starting to struggle.

“Business rates have disproportionately risen in this street compared to other streets in this town too.

“We are the longest street of independent traders in this county town, I counted 80, and there are more listed buildings here than the rest of town too.

“I feel quite passionately about Wyle Cop, the vibe is so friendly, hospitable and welcoming so it must not be ignored by the powers that be.

“The message of this campaign is ‘Wyle Cop Welcomes You’.” Mrs Thomas said in 2010 the rateable value of one of the shops on Wyle Cop was £2,570 - this year it is £38,750. An increase of 1,500per cent.

She said because the traders are independent they haven’t got the time to market or PR themselves but the community have really come together to highlight the unique area.
They are now relying on monthly meetings to help each other out.

James Evans from Halls Commercial has been instructed on a number of properties on the hill.

He recently let one empty store to White Lotus Living, interiors and bedding, the former launderette will be opening as a new venture this month and another store is likely to be filled by the end of the year.

He said: “Over the years we have been instructed on a large number of buildings along Wyle Cop and we believe it to be a fantastic place to set up a business.

“Halls knows the area very well, there are so many independent stores in this area of town, you can come across some real gems.

“We have found that other independent businesses are attracted there because of the high number already occupying units in Wyle Cop.

“We are delighted we were able to find businesses for Jenny’s shops and are sure there will be many more to come.”

Jenny said the aim of the Wyle Cop Traders group is to attract people to the road as a destination - and then further on into town.

For more information about the group email wylecop1@gmail.com

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