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Confidence and optimism the keynotes at business exhibition

Friday, 16th October 2009.

Haverhill is a powerful community with confidence and a clear direction, according to the director-general of the British Retail Consortium, who opened the town's sixth Business Exhibition today (Friday).

Stephen Robertson told the assembled members of Haverhill's business and social community that he had done some homework on the town before arriving, by talking to retail managers in the area about what they thought of the town.

"Unanimously, the feedback was that this is an area of increasing confidence and economic growth over the last ten years," he said.

"The growth in employment opportunities, particularly, dare I say, in the manufacturing sector, has been dramatic."

Mr Robertson said he had been met at the door by the Haverhill town centre manager Tina Hanks with a list of major retailers she would like to see in the town in the near future, and he admitted there was not the complete balance in place yet in Haverhill.

"It is true that some business does haemorrhage because you have not got all the right shops here.

"But it is great to be in such a powerful community with such confidence and such a clear direction."

Mr Robertson was opening the exhibition, staged by Haverhill Enterprise in the newly-re-opened leaisure centre, and featuring over 50 buinesses.

He was introduced by Haverhill Enterprise chairman Richard Herbert, who also introduced two more familiar speakers, the leader of St Edmundsbury Council, John Griffiths and Haverhill's MP Richard Spring.

Cllr Griffiths described the exhibition as "the sixth and best ever", and listed numerous projects and initiatives by which the council had been investing in the town to improve the quality of life.

He referred to the 9.6m spent on the new cinema and 5m on refurbishing the Leisure Centre, the works in Jubilee Walk and in Queen Street and he said there were many other projects aimed at making the town centre better, to get people to spend their money in Haverhill rather than other areas.

Mr Spring said people were delighted with the latest developments in Haverhill, the fastest-growing town in Suffolk, and where the recession had not impacted as badly as in many other places.

"There may be hard times ahead but we are looking to the future with confidence, and Haverhill will resume its upward trend, beating many other parts of the country," he said.

"There are very few places in England that have this palpable sense of optimism, and this is another step on the road to Haverhill becoming the greatest success story in East Anglia."

* Our picture shows Richard Spring MP, Stephen Robertson and Richard Herbert chatting at Haverhill's business exhibition earlier today.

Haverhill Online News

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