Traders bid to improve West Street’s image

New traders' association being formed for the West Street area of Boston. L-R Alan Ellis of Harmony Music, Andrea Maude of Maude Jewellers, Kevin Reed of Westlands, Mavis Ashton of Ashton Carpets.
New traders' association being formed for the West Street area of Boston. L-R Alan Ellis of Harmony Music, Andrea Maude of Maude Jewellers, Kevin Reed of Westlands, Mavis Ashton of Ashton Carpets.

Traders in Boston’s West Street are set to join forces to promote the area as a friendly shopping destination for everyone.

Boston Business Improvement District (BID) is in the process of organising a traders’ association for the area, in a bid to encourage shoppers to appreciate all there is to offer on the thoroughfare.

It is being formed following a recommendation in the recent Boston Borough Council report on the social impact of population change, which suggested forming a body to improve the area – which some people consider to be unwelcoming.

Alan Ellis, who is the chairman of Boston BID and runs Harmony Music on West Street, told The Standard: “West Street is very diverse and full of very small shops which are all locally owned and not multi-nationals. You’ve got everything you could think of and every type of food down here.

“It’s not unwelcoming down West Street at all. Everybody goes out of their way to make people feel welcome.”

He said he was currently working on developing a traders’ association.

Over time, some people in the borough have expressed concerns West Street is not as welcoming as it could be, but Alan said he did not think these fears were founded.

Police have also said there is no particular problem with the road and its surrounding 
area.

Insp Dave Rimmer said: “We do not have more reports of problems in West Street than any other part of the town and I believe this is a perception issue. Officers on foot patrol in the town and are ideally placed to listen to the concerns of the community and identifying priority areas, leading to our current focus on street drinking in the town centre.”

The Task and Finish group behind the population report recommended that the new traders’ association should address safety issues and litter problems, among other things.

The committee also recommended working with BID, CCTV operators and police to try to alter the public perception of West Street.