Debate

Hedon – Preserving our uniqueness!

HEDON TOWN COUNCIL has appealed to local businesses to help in improving the appearance and special character of the town, and enhance civic pride – particularly in the town centre.

As well as catering for local residents shopping needs, the town’s central thoroughfare, of St Augustine’s Gate, Market Place and Souttergate, is also a visitor attraction. Visitors find Hedon a charming place to visit: They come, and are pleased with the town’s unique charms; they also buy from the local shops; eat and drink locally, use and pay for local facilities.

And therein lies the issue: – Local businesses want to attract residents and visitors into their premises. By doing so they advertise their premises in ways that ‘stand out’ from the crowd. Over a period of time a series of bright, modern advertising logos and signs dominate a town centre – and it begins to look like any other town centre in the country! The ‘local’ charm and uniqueness is lost!

So how do we encourage a thriving commercial centre, whilst preserving a town’s unique character?

The Town Council is charged with preserving the Hedon Conservation Area (pdf) (although it is the East Riding Council that is responsible for implementing this). This is all about maintaining those parts of the town which are ‘special’, unique or of historical significance. This is not an easy task considering the points made above. However, conservation has its own unique selling points.

Our significance as a “market town” should not be underestimated with Wednesdays – the town’s market day – being the busiest of the week and attracting visitors from across the region. But neither should the town’s historic and architectural charm be undervalued either. A visit to Hedon is a step back in time with views of St Augustine’s Church – the 800 year old “King of Holderness” – dominating the skyline. The history of the place is discoverable at every turn – if only people knew where to look! This historic charm is apparent in the town’s buildings, streets and shops. Hedon is a unique place to live and visit!   – Or at least perhaps that is how it could and should be!?

Hedon’s heritage, history and character is also one of its greatest unique selling points. If modern commercial development, advertising and practice work with this heritage, preserve and promote it – rather than unconsciously act against it – then the town, its residents, businesses and visitors will all surely win?

What do you think?

2 replies »

  1. late at night thought…….what about pedestrianising the center, then puting permanent old fashioned style market stalls on what is currently parking area and renting them out to local residents at an affordable rate, the whole center could be given that edwardian look and feel , this would bring people into the town,as well as provide a small income to the council to help pay towards the costs.

  2. I am 5th generation Hedon person, I have recently been looking for a suitable commercial premises in the Hedon market place area, the rents are extortionate and the business rates are just as bad, for the same money and in most cases a bigger shop with lower business rates I can rent one on Holderness road , were the footfall is much larger. I would also like to see more made of the local market which would attract more trade to the town, it should be transferred to market hill were it could be much bigger with maybe an area set aside for carboot trade. A regular farmers market may also be a good idea on a saturday, were most shopping areas are extra busy on a saturday local traders ive spoken to say its quiet in fact some dont even bother opening, I think satrday would be a great day for a farmers market just in the center to start wih.
    Private landlords need to think about the rents they are charging otherwise we will end up with just food outlets and estate agents …

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