Visitors to Halesowen Town Centre are soon to benefit from a number of initiatives from local businesses designed to increase visitors to the town. The most striking change will be the recently agreed addition of 35 parking places that will provide 45 minutes of free short term parking. The change has been agreed by Dudley Council and will provide facilities for shoppers and other visitors making only a short visit to the town centre.
Initiatives such as this are driven by the Halesowen Chamber of Trade, an association which works closely with local traders and organisations. The Chamber is currently led by Wayne Edwards owner of the local Less4Ink and Less4Office supplies. Mr Edwards believes Halesowen is one of the most thriving town centres in the Black Country and is already achieving remarkable results.
The Chamber of Trade is also in negotiation with Dudley Council to test the viability of a Business Improvement District (BID) scheme in the town centre. A BID scheme gives power back to the traders of the town and enables them to invest into the towns facilities. This could include cleaner, safer streets, more attractive displays to attract visitors, supporting new businesses arriving into the area and helping them to become established for the long term.
Meanwhile, the Grange Island, the principal entrance to the town for most visitors is currently being investigated for an upgrade with the erection of a statue which will be symbolic of Halesowen’s illustrious history. It is intended to enhance the perception of a thriving and vibrant town.
Halesowen can also be proud of the gold award it has received for its ‘Halesowen In Bloom’ entry in the national competition – at only the second attempt (having achieved the silver gilt award last year). This has been achieved through the efforts of Eve O’Connor Chairperson for Halesowen in Bloom. The results of these efforts can still be seen around the town in the many floral displays.
Not content to rest on their laurels, work has already begun on this years Christmas Lights switch-on event (which last year attracted 43,000 visitors in that one day to the town centre). The switch-on will take place on Saturday November 21 and the chamber is inviting performers to apply to entertain the crowds. Mr Edwards said they were looking for bands, singers and street entertainers to provide a packed programme on the day. Anyone interested in taking part or in sponsoring the lights should contact him on 0121 550 7333.