|Arundels Tourist pound matters.|
Arundel Town Mayor (James Stewart) called a meeting recently of key stakeholders to discuss a strategy to underpin the town's economic activity and discuss various initiatives. It was well attended and there will be a working group formed under the leadership of the Mayor to take things forward, James has to be congratulated on this initiative.
Like it or not Arundel’s economy is built on Tourism, with the recent referendum and resulting reduction in the pound against the dollar and Euro this has created more inbound tourism and you may have noticed the number of foreign registration numbers around town.
There are concerns regarding the lack of key retail shops in Arundel, but with the advent of Internet shopping and the change of the nation's shopping habits makes it impossible for some types of business to make a go of it particularly with high Business rates which you may not be aware of go to central government and not the local authorities that collect the tax. Arundels population is just too small to support some businesses especially with the plethora of Supermarkets in and around Littlehampton with Aldi about to arrive. Tourism is driving the restaurant trade, banks are closing and Lloyds bank site is becoming a gourmet burger restaurant
So rather than resist the trend I believe there are opportunities to enhance the tourist offering, The food festival of a few years ago could be relaunched and as well as the Arundel festival and Arundel by Candlelight we could try and have a fourth festival in the spring, I know the town council are interested in having a full time festival organiser to help and support existing festivals and possible new ones, but It is important we take town residents with us on this.
Aruns Leisure strategy of 2012 identified a number of potential projects, reshaping of the streetscape to pedestrianise or make the streets pedestrian friendly, re-surfacing Tarrant street removing kerbs this all goes to make Arundel even better, but Fest
As well as structural street changes, their are a number of projects which are currently underway, amongst these and of note are
Arundel Lido LEAP project (To make the Lido a year round facility and build a gym)
Victoria Institute. Bid for lottery funding to make the Institute a Cultural Centre
There isn’t the money in Arundel alone to fund these projects, so it’s important we lever in funds from outside bodies, I will try and support these as much as possible to try and bring the money to help these projects and others
Until next month, Paul Dendle is Arundel & Walberton Ward member and Cabinet member for Leisure & Amenities on Arun District Council email address: Cllr.firstname.lastname@example.org. Web site www.pauldendle.org