A package of support to help traders in North Camp, including free parking and rate relief for businesses, has been approved by Rushmoor Borough Council’s Cabinet.
Cabinet members voted to approve a series of measures to support struggling local businesses, which have been severely affected by the closure of the carriageway on Lynchford Road and disruptions to traffic flows caused by Hampshire County Council’s North Camp Accessibility Scheme.
The meeting heard that the loss of passing trade and parking spaces had reduced footfall and caused considerable distress to the local business community. One business has closed because of the scheme.
The impact on local businesses has been heightened by the extension of the work and because it is being carried out along the whole stretch of road all at once, rather than in phases.
Although Hampshire County Council, as the highways authority, is responsible for the work, Rushmoor Borough Council has been proactively engaging with local businesses and seeking ways in which it can support local retailers, maintain the economic vibrancy of the area, and help the community manage the disruption caused by the work, which began last October.
As a result, the Cabinet agreed to:
- Offer one-hour free parking at the Peabody Road car park and free parking all day at the Napier Gardens car park to encourage visitors into the area, increase footfall and boost local trade
- Adopt a local policy to enable the council to award business rates relief of up to 100 per cent from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2024, to those retail and hospitality businesses on Lynchford Road, Farnborough who are most impacted by the work
- Endorse a marketing campaign to help attract visitors into the area
Councillor Gareth Lyon, the council’s Cabinet member for Planning and Economy, said: “It is important that we, as the local council, step in and support our local businesses in North Camp, who have been suffering. I urge people to shop local and use the free parking offer in Peabody Road and Napier Gardens car parks to see how much North Camp has to offer.”
Councillor Paul Taylor, the council’s Cabinet member for Finance, said: “North Camp offers a wonderful variety of independent businesses, which have been severely affected by the roadworks. We are taking action and I am very pleased that my Cabinet colleagues have supported this package of help. We will continue to do all we can to support and promote North Camp businesses and community.”