Small-business stalls bringing a big boost to Worthing and Adur

A record number of stalls offering food, drink and more are now operating across Adur and Worthing, helping to boost the local economy.

Friday, 27th August 2021, 5:31 pm
Updated Friday, 27th August 2021, 5:31 pm
The Camp's Artisan Gelato stall, near Steyne Gardens in Worthing, is just one of more than 40 concession stalls in Adur and Worthing

More than 40 concessions are up and running at a range of sites, including Worthing’s promenade and popular walking spots like Storrington Rise, the River Adur and Shoreham Lighthouse.

They are part of an effort by Adur & Worthing Councils to create new opportunities for local businesses to operate.

Each ‘cluster’ is part of a friendly, community-led atmosphere offering people a variety of food, drink and activities – from kite surfing to street-food stands, and ice cream to cocktails.

Nick Dawson, the owner of Relay Coffee near Shoreham's Old Toll Bridge

While most seasonal concessions only operate during the summer, the councils have been exploring licence extensions, due to the increase in popularity of operating through the winter season, in part down to the pandemic.

In October last year, The Camp’s Coffee Bean Co set up shop on Worthing promenade, opposite Steyne Gardens. In April, Worthing Borough Council gave owner Will Camp another summer licence so The Camp’s Artisan Gelato could operate from a separate pitch, within the same cluster.

Will, who runs the business with his family, said: “When we started our concession people weren’t able to shop properly, so it gave us a bit of a flying start. Lots of people give us very positive feedback and both of our concessions have really enhanced the promenade – making the area more appealing along with the other businesses around there.

“It’s become a bit of a meeting spot for the community. The more people we can get into Worthing the better, and we know people come to see us and then head down to the shops.”

Will Camp's son-in law Arthur Monin and son James Camp, helping out with the family business

Ensuring there is a good and proper mix of concessions across the area are part of the councils’ wider efforts to regenerate local spaces, including parades, town centres and other key areas.

Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s executive member for Rrgeneration, said: “We want to support local businesses and give residents and visitors places to meet, and a variety of different offerings from food and drink, to activities they can participate in. Each follows a ‘no-trace policy’, meaning they manage their waste and litter while on-site, pack up after trading, leaving nothing overnight – ensuring our pitches are left clean and tidy.”

Through a survey conducted earlier this year, the authorities found some have taken steps to limit noise by purchasing quieter generators, not using one at all, or buying noise-reducing baffle boxes.

After leaving the group travel industry due to the pandemic, Nick Dawson set up Relay Coffee, and since November has been operating as part of the River Adur cluster near the Old Toll Bridge in Shoreham.

Nick Dawson and team at Relay Coffee in Shoreham

After the Government ruled open-air food-and-drink stalls and concessions could continue to trade during lockdown, Nick said his spot became something of a haven for people during this period.

“It’s such a nice location to work in,” he said. “I’ve lived in a few towns in Sussex, but there’s something special about Shoreham’s community and the friendly people being so willing to support small businesses.

“We try to source produce locally. Our coffee roasters, Cast Iron, are from Chichester, our crisps are from The Sussex Crisp Company, and cakes come from Shoreham-based company Twist and Bake. We don’t use a generator and all of our cups are compostable – we put a bin out and make sure all waste is disposed of properly.”

The councils currently offer six-month summer and winter licences at designated pitches across the area. Each can be applied for online and more information is available on the Adur & Worthing Councils website.