DETERMINED Stanton Hill residents and traders have pledged to work together to tackle the problem of empty shops on the village’s High Street.
Chad reported last week that villagers were becoming increasingly frustrated by the number of empty, boarded up shops on High Street, which they said were stopping people spending money in the area and damaging the fragile economy further.
They were particularly concerned about the former Co-op building which has been vacant since the supermarket moved to larger premises at the Netto store at the edge of Stanton Hill.
On Monday, householders gathered for a meeting at Brand Court to discuss what could be done tackle the number of vacant businesses - and they agreed to ask the public what shops it would like to see in the village.
Resident Chris Clarke told the meeting: “We could conduct a survey asking people what they would like to see for the former Co-op site.
“We could gather the information and say, ‘we’ve surveyed your customers and these are the results.’
He added that the survey would give people the chance to say what they would like to see for all the other vacant shops on High Street.
“There might be a mass opinion for a bakery and we could write to companies like Greggs and say that we have done this survey and we have vacant shops,” he said.
“We can write to them and say come to this area.”
People who attended the meeting, which was chaired by Ashfield district councillor Ann Patrick, said they would like to see greater choice of shops, including another supermarket such as Lidl, a Wilkinson store or a petrol station.
They also agreed to invite a representative from the Co-op to another meeting so they could find out directly what was happening at the site.
Last week a spokesman for the Co-operative Group said that although the former store had been marketed extensively, the difficult market conditions means it will take some time to secure a new tenant.
She added: “We haven’t received any interest from any of the big food retailers for this property although we have now received interest from an independent proprietor and, although it is early days, we are hopeful this interest will progress.”