A MEETING of the Shop Local Advisory Group saw councillors, traders, and public discuss an application to secure annual £50,000 funding to support town trade.

The group debated the sum and how it could help with boosting the fortunes of small, independent shops throughout Wales’ largest town.

Shop Local will focus on Broad Street, High Street, Island Road, Vere Street, Holton Road, Thompson Street, and Park Crescent.

The Barry & District News’ ‘Your High Street: Use It Or Lose It’ ongoing campaign also seeks to enable the town’s small retail business’ and work with Shop Local and others keen to have a positive impact on the town’s retail economy.

Speaking about the Barry Town funding proposal, Buttrills ward councillor, Ian Johnson said: “We need to put some money behind this. More housing on the Waterfront means more council tax and the money could be channelled back to things which would benefit the town.”

It was agreed the matter would be discussed at a full council meeting of Barry Town Council on Monday, December 19.

A proposal for a full time community development officer which would be responsible for a portfolio of projects which would include Shop Local, would also be discussed at the meeting on December 19.

This follows on from the decision made at the already held Barry Town Council personnel committee, group members were told.

A budget of £5000 was agreed to fund Christmas lights at Park Crescent, but although companies would be approached it was noted that three weeks may not be enough time to establish lights on lamp posts and hold an event for 2016.

Group members felt that ensuring the job was done properly could mean a more decorative and successful event for Christmas 2017.

The group also discussed the need for signage to highlight Barry’s shopping areas and how members of the public could access the retail districts on foot, by public transport, and using car and bus.

It was also noted that Barry is one of the top five locations in Britain for independent shops, according to a new survey.

The Local Data Company has revealed more than 91 per cent of shops in the town’s western area are independently run.

High Street is heavily populated by independent traders and overall Barry West has the fourth highest proportion of independent shops in the UK.

The next Shop Local meeting will take place on a date to be arranged.