Extra funding from Waverley is helping town centre retailers draw in shoppers with festive events.
In Farnham – it’s let it snow.
Retailers across Waverley hope to welcome increasing numbers of shoppers, following matched funding from Waverley and the town councils for festive activities and town centre decorations.
“Waverley provided extra funding to top-up money already committed by the town councils to make their centres extra festive for visitors this Christmas,” said Councillor Liz Townsend, Waverley Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development.
Supported by Waverley, cash, the town councils are working to increase footfall in their high streets between now and Christmas. In Godalming, the town council funded a Christmas Festival recently when the lights were switched on. The money was used for street entertainers, particularly around parts of the town centre where footfall is often lower.
On Friday, 2 December, Farncombe lights went on with entertainment to encourage more visitors to the area. Haslemere is switching on its Christmas lights on 15 December, when there will be late-night shopping, with festive stilt walkers, including a Snow Queen, as part of the street entertainment.
Waverley provides free parking in its Haslemere car parks from 3 pm on the 15th. Retailers are joining in with a discount voucher scheme for shoppers and participating in a seasonal window dressing competition.
Farnham is investing the extra Waverley funding in artistic snow windows, an initiative that began in 2021 and proved to be an internet sensation. Windows at over 20 shops and town centre businesses will be decorated with unique snowy designs created by a specialist company.
Snow Windows. A video of last year’s windows in Farnham town centre received over 10 million views online, and the town hopes this year’s designs will attract more visitors and shoppers.
Said Cllr Townsend:Christmas is a vital time for town centre retailers who are keen to encourage consumers through their doors. “Vibrant, bustling high streets are vital for supporting our communities and our local economy. Money spent locally gets fed back into local services and local jobs for local people. From expert advice from specialist retailers to seeking out unusual or locally made goods, there are lots of reasons to shop in our local high streets,”In order to keep our town and village centres full of great independents and popular chains, we need more people to experience the unique shopping experience they offer.”
Waverley has also given free parking in its Farnham, Cranleigh and Godalming car parks from 3 pm on 1 December to encourage shoppers into local high streets.