Town centre events provide boost but traders in need of good weather

TWO town centre events have boosted business for many in recent weeks, but traders are in desperate need of at least a couple of weeks of good weather.

The annual children’s parade and Party on the Prom drew hundreds of people into the town, although the latter event was affected by strong winds on the seafront.

Although footfall was down by around 15 per cent on the same period last year, ideally-located cafés and eateries managed to benefit from the events.

Now, all traders are praying the weather settles down and a longer spell of summer weather gives them a shot in the arm.

Jigor Desai, owner of Caffe Latte, in Warwick Street, said the weekend had been the busiest period in the sixth months since it opened.

He said: “Compared to other Saturdays, and the weekend as a whole, it was the busiest day we have had since we started.

“From about 10 o’clock, we were busy.

“The events in town definitely make a difference, but I think we do need some more good weather, though.”

Throughout the day, Steyne Gardens was one of the focal points, with the children’s parade finishing there and Party on the Prom entertainment also running.

Tom Lines, owner of The Garden Pantry in Steyne Gardens, was able to capitalise on a lack of on-site refreshments, and said business was “crazily busy”.

He said: “We had lots of parents in coming to buy coffee.

“I don’t think they had anything at the event itself, apart from a burger van selling instant coffee, so we benefited from that.

“Our recent re-branding has played a big part in increased business, and we have been really busy lately, but that weekend was crazy busy.”