BUSINESSES have taken their first steps to breathing life back into their villages.
East Wittering and Bracklesham Local Business Alliance, set up about one month ago, arranged a community fun day for Saturday to build funds and momentum for future events.
The alliance was formed by small business owners in the two villages who all want to see more residents shopping and socialising in their local centre.
Gemma Curd, owner of Gigglewhiz in East Wittering and member of the committee, has been devoting her spare time to making bunting to put up around the centre for the celebration.
“We just want as many people to come out and support us as possible. We really want the village to come back to life like it used to be,” she said. “Everyone is really passionate.
“All of us want our businesses to do well and you can’t have your business doing well without a great community.”
The VE event, funded by the local businesses and parish council, took over The Parade from 11am-3pm.
Money was raised towards a Christmas festival and lights.
The alliance also painted the plant pots at the end of April to brighten up the area.
The role of the alliance has been praised by residents and the parish council.
Earlier this year when the business alliance was talking of plans for the future, East Wittering and Bracklesham parish council chairman Sylvia Main praised the group on its plans to brighten up the area.
“I think it’s highly commendable,” she said.
“I’m sure the residents and councillors will support you as much as we can.”
Around 30 impassioned business men and women united to form the Bracklesham and East Wittering Local Business Alliance, with the vision to recreate a thriving local centre and close-knit community to be proud of.
An initial meeting in February was of the businesses.
Saverio Mastronardi, owner of Horrocks greengrocer, in East Wittering, said at the time: “We have to just do it ourselves and get on with it.
“We can’t keep waiting for the councils. If not nothing gets done.”
See Thursday’s Observer (May 14) for pictures from the event.