East Leeds: Traders take lead to attract shoppers

Lee Garforth, owner of The Greengrocer, Main Street, Garforth.

Lee Garforth, owner of The Greengrocer, Main Street, Garforth.

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Shopkeepers in Garforth have come up with a novel idea to encourage the public to support the high street.

They are contributing prizes to a raffle where all the money raised will go back into the community to pay for improvements to the shopping environment or entertainment to attract people to Main Street.

It was the brainchild of members of the Garforth Traders Association as part of efforts to help traders maximise the benefit of the Christmas shopping period.

The association is a non-profit organisation that work with local traders to get businesses talking and working together with the community, enticing them to think local first.

The ‘Fiveraffle’ involves members of the public buying five tickets for five pounds, giving them five chances to win a large hamper of prizes.

And businesses in the area were asked to donate prizes in order to make the raffle worthy of it’s five pound status

The collection of prizes currently amounts to 30 items worth a grand total of £1350 which one lucky person will win.

A diverse range of gifts are up for grabs including underwear sets, vouchers for spa treatments, a fruit and vegetable hamper and an original painting.

Chairwoman of the Garforth Traders Association, Christine Thom said: “The money raised goes back into the Main Street for seasonal projects, whether it be Christmas trees on shop fronts or street entertainment from local talent, something that will engage the customers onto Main Street or something that makes Garforth asthetically look better.”

The winner will be drawn on November 29 in Main Street where Garforth Lions Santa will make an appearance along with four young local bands playing between 11-1pm.

The Garforth Christmas Lights Switch On event takes place on the same street on November 28, festivities will commence at 6pm where there will be street entertainment, carol singing and a fireworks display at 7:15pm.

Efforts are also underway to strengthen Leeds city centre as a place to shop and do business.

Earlier this week, the city council approved proposals to create a Business Improvement District in the city centre.

A vote will now be held of businesses and if approved, the project would be led by a partnership of companies and landowners co-ordinated by the Leeds Chamber of Commerce.

The initative could get underway as soon as April with prioritieis including improving the Leeds city centre “brand” to attract more visitors, making the city centre’ss street more attractive and starting a programme of events in the city centre.

It would be paid for through a levy of businesses.

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