Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Town 'lacks commercial premises'

A SHORTAGE of commercial premsies is among the concerns of members of the Henley Business Partnership.

Recruitment, parking and attracting visitors were among other issues raised at the group’s latest strategy meeting.

The quarterly get-together, which was held at Leander Club, was the first since former chairwoman Julie Perigo stepped down in February to take a job abroad. New chairman Keith Douglas said: “The same subjects came up again, which include increasing footfall in the town centre, waste disposal, parking and recruitment.

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“Some are saying that there is a shortage of commercial premises but that depends on what size you are after. Infrastructure also comes up a lot.” Membership renewals have been sent out and the partnership expects to retain more than 100 members. Mr Douglas, who lives in Station Road, Henley, and owns wills and probate advice company County Douglas Law, said: “We are nothing more than a self-help group for local businesses who wish to get involved and give back to the community.

“To have membership of about 115 people is good for a town like Henley and we will be looking to have more business and social events to get local businesses together.We are looking to establish regular meetings and start a more formal networking meeting at breakfast based on a model that is already running in Twyford.”

Mr Douglas said the partnership would continue to work with town centre manager Peter McConnell, Henley Town Council and South Oxfordshire District Council to market the town as a visitor destination and boost trade.

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