Frederick Street traders join forces to push for improvements in South Shields' historic shopping area at Laygate
Businesses on South Shields’ Frederick Street are joining forces to make sure the historic shopping street isn’t forgotten.
Traders on Frederick Street in Laygate have formed the Frederick Street Traders Association in an effort to improve the area and attract customers as they look to bounce back after Covid pandemic hardship.
Small businesses in the area say they have a lot to offer, in particular a different experience to that of high street chains, and want some help to show off the area to tempt more people to visit.
Jazz Hair owner, Sheena Carmichael, said the association is in talks with South Tyneside Council to ‘spruce up’ the street, with hopes for new signage, trees and lighting in the area.
“I have been on Frederick Streetfor 31 years and have seen lots and lots of changes,” she said.
“Frederick Street as a high street tends to go under the radar compared to other streets.
“We are a bit different, we always offer something that is not on the conventional high street.
“We started the association off because we didn’t want South Tyneside and the council to forget that Frederick Street is here and has all these things to offer."
The council has confirmed that work is ongoing to build a new play area in the area as part of the Trinity South housing scheme at the southern half of Frederick Street.
Improvements to Frederick Street, including resurfacing work on the rear lane and more free parking behind the shops, have been carried out as part of the scheme.
A South Tyneside Council spokeswoman confirmed council representatives were planning to meet the traders to see how all parties could work together for the betterment of the area, and highlighted work which had already taken place.
She said: “Local ward councillors and officers from the council plan to meet with the Frederick Street Traders’ Association to discuss opportunities to work together further.
“The play area currently under construction is part of the Trinity South housing scheme, which also included the recent resurfacing of the rear lane at Frederick Street, additional free parking behind the shops and a linear park which has significantly improved the setting of the shopping area.
"[In addition] 225 new homes were constructed by Keepmoat in partnership with the council and Homes England – this included the acquisition and demolition of the failing southern half of Frederick Street.”
Sheena Carmichael said Frederick Street traders will be discussing plans with the council at a meeting later this month and said businesses were being proactive in their efforts to improve the area.
“We’re not sitting back and waiting for people to come,” she said.
“This is a protective group that is making things happen.
“We just want the public to support us as well."
The businesses involved in the association are; Jazz Hair, Handmade By Flo, Premier General Dealers, H.Sharp Butchers, Treasure Island, and Cakes And Shakes.
As well as; Zam Zam Super Store, Valonia Tattoos, Plastic Cladding Centre and My Sister’s Attic.