Silverhill traders secure cash to help regenerate area

Money is being spent on road improvements in the Silverhill area
Money is being spent on road improvements in the Silverhill area

TRADERS and businesses have secured almost £80,000 to help improve an area of St Leonards and attract more shoppers.

Silverhill Traders’ Association got the cash from the council as part of an agreeement to prop up the area following the opening of Asda in Battle Road.

Monica Mathieu, who owns Silverhill Post Office and is a member of the association, said the money has been used to improve the pavements and traffic island in the centre of Silverhill, which started recently and is ongoing.

She said: “When Asda came about proposing to build a new store there was quite a bit of opposition from traders and businesses. Representatives from Asda said they were going to help the area and improve the roads.”

She said shopkeepers met with councillors and it was agreed that the supermarket giant provide a sum of money to be used to help Silverhill after it was given the go-ahead in autumn 2009 to build its new store.

Under planning law this is known as a Section 106 agreement.

Mrs Mathieu said: “We got £78,000 in total and we asked other traders how best to spend the money.

“After walking up and down Silverhill, we thought it would be good to get the pavements improved because they were in quite a bad state and very uneven.

“I took photographs and sent them off to highways.”

Work started earlier this month and the pavements have been tarmaced in red and made more even for pedestrians to use.

Mrs Mathieu said: “I have heard that some traders are finding it difficult since Asda opened and our shop has noted a drop in footfall compared to the level before.

“People go to Asda to get what they need but hopefully this recent regeneration of the area will have a positive impact. We are also launching a leaflet advertising all of the traders and businesses in Silverhill.

“The upgrading of the pavements has not cost the council taxpayer a penny as all of the money has come from Asda.”