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Reepham: Don't let crunch strike here!

PUBLISHED: 13:00 05 March 2009 | UPDATED: 15:04 07 July 2010

A Norfolk market town which is far from dying has launched a rallying call to beat the credit crunch before it has chance to take hold.

Unlike many market towns, Reepham has not got one single empty shop unit.

A market town which is far from dying has launched a rallying call to beat the credit crunch before it has chance to take hold.

Unlike many market towns, Reepham has not got one single empty shop unit.

But its town leaders say instead of waiting until they start losing any of their services, they should act now to promote what they have got.

On top of that, they want to bring businesses and local groups together to see if there are shortfalls in services or skills they can address or improve.

Liz Kiener, a member of the town council, launched the idea at Wednesday night's full council meeting.

She said: "There is an overwhelming tendency of people to value something only when they have lost it.

"Years ago Reepham was described as dying when they closed the Cattle Market. When Barclays left there were fears businesses would struggle.

"The financial situation at the moment has prompted me to do something now.

"We should look at how we can identify and promote skills and talent at the businesses that exist in Reepham and highlight any current gaps."

Trevor Bevan, chairman of the council, described the project as "promoting Reepham with self-help, working together" and decided it should dominate the town's annual town meeting, open to everyone, on April 22.

A working group of four, three of them women, two with businesses in the town, has been set up to lead the project.

Mrs Kiener has already put together a list of agencies that could help, from the Women's Employment and Enterprise Training Unit to Norfolk Rural Community Council.

One step already being made to help people in the town is the formation of a credit union, which will be a branch of Broadland Community Bank - to offer a reasonable interest and loan rates to investors and borrowers.

Anyone interested in getting involved in the Sustainable Reepham project should contact the town clerk, Ros Calvert, on 01603 870813.

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