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Issue 511 – “All businesses are welcome on Catherine Hill”

TRADERS on Catherine Hill have pledged their support for the estate agents Pullin Rose who moved onto the Hill recently.

Some traders have been critical of the estate agent’s application to change the use of the shop from retail to office. As reported in the last issue of Frome Times, they feared that the permanent loss of a retail unit may affect the uniqueness of the Hill’s shops.
However, other businesses along Catherine Hill say they welcome the estate agents, stating that only a small minority of retailers felt opposed to the change of use.
David Hampson of Bon Bons on Catherine Hill describes the positive attitude of the majority of retailers, “There has been an enormous exchange of emails between the businesses on Catherine Hill and the overwhelming majority are in firm support of Pullin Rose. Tony Gibson of the Golden Goose is the chairman of the trading association and he is on board with the change of use and welcomes the Pullin Rose team to the area.
“Even before Pullin Rose applied for the change of use, the landlord of the premises made the effort to ask local businesses how we felt about the situation and we all, collectively, welcomed the business.
“If anything the estate agents will attract more diverse shoppers to the area and create more footfall.
“The last time an estate agents was on Catherine Hill was seven years ago, and now there is another one. There is no grounds to say that offices will take over Catherine Hill when they are so few and far between.
“The uproar over Pullin Rose is a minority. The loss of identity is nonsense. Pullin Rose advertise their goods via a window space the same as other retailers and clothes shops. They are very welcome on Catherine Hill.”
Sarah England of the Frome Model Centre also added her support to the estate agents. “Just because a new business on the hill is not actually selling items of stock, they are still selling houses or letting them,” she said.
“It is not a closed-in office like we have had before on the hill and surely the fact that it is an open shop rather than an empty one or even worse a boarded up one, like we have had in previous years, is a good thing.
“Perhaps if the businesses on the hill concentrated on their own business rather than trying to stop new businesses coming onto the hill then we would all get along and no bad feelings would be felt between the business owners. I feel it’s such a shame that this is what it comes down to when people are just trying to earn a living.
“We should be advertising St Catherine’s in a positive way and show that all independent businesses are welcome, as that is what this area is all about.”

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