Letchworth businesses praise town centre improvements

BUSINESSES have praised improvements to a town centre and the sense of “community” it has helped instill.

Improvement works to The Wynd in Letchworth GC were completed on Friday with new signs installed, a pirate ship playground and sensory garden built, and the conversion of The Gallery into a covered market and auction house called The Greenhouse.

The �300,000 refurbishment was funded by Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation to maintain the area while long-term regeneration plans, currently under consultation, are formed.

Speaking to businesses based in The Wynd about the effect of the improvement work, the response was overwhelming positive.

“It’s had a very positive impact and it’s letting people know that The Wynd is still open and running,” said Aly Inwood, owner of Aly’s Diner.

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“There’s a really nice atmosphere down here and we’re very pleased with it.”

Clare Ashton, who started up her vintage shop The Secret Garden last month, said: “We’ve been open four weeks but we’re doing well. (Since the refurbishment) we’ve noticed a lot more footfall since the regeneration here and a lot of customers coming in.”

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David Howatson, co-owner of 2d Interiors, added: “It’s encouraging that the Heritage Foundation is spending money on what was before a bit of a disaster. The relationship has improved between businesses and it’s like a community here now.”

Residents were also pleased with the transformation.

“I think it’s brilliant, absolutely amazing,” said Anna Beresford, who lives near to The Wynd and has taken her children to play on the pirate ship playground on a number of occasions since its opening.

“It was a place which you were almost scared of walking along but now it’s totally come alive. Every time I’ve come it’s been busy.”

Resident Emily Wearmouth posted on social networking site Twitter: “I love the ship. I love the Greenhouse. Wynd starting to come to life as a crafts, gifts, one-offs shopping place.”

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