A BARRY shop owner has spoken about the challenges facing the high street and called for more help for retailers. 

Cara Bennett, 36 from Llantwit Major opened The Wellbeing Shop, located next to Shoe Zone on Holton Road, September 2022.

She told the Barry & District News that footfall in the area needed a boost.

‘’There are a few things that can benefit Holton Road," she said. "One of the main issues we are facing is the lack of footfall the town gets.

"Our business rates in particular are based on many things, including footfall of the town. Current business rates are based on outdated data of the town which represent the footfall of Holton Road and this may be a reason for the lack of shops opening and businesses wanting to be based here in Barry’."

Holton Road has seen a number of shop closures in recent years and the loss of some big brands, but new openings such as Cara's too.

She urged the local council to investigate why footfall is down and what can be done about it. 

She's not alone. Another local business owner, who did not want to be named, said their footfall was down 75% compared to this time last year.

They described the business rates as not reflective of small Welsh businesses.

Business rates, which are based on commercial property values, are collected by the local council but the money goes to the Treasury, not into local services or amenities.

Some business owners want to see more reinvested in the local area, while Cara wants to know why fewer people are visiting.

She expressed her frustration by stating ‘’nobody wants to figure out why ‘’.  

She added that theft and antisocial behavior was a problem as more police presence may help address the issue of lack of footfall. 

Cara added: "We are a wonderful community that wants the best for each store, each individual that has a business here but we’re on our own.

"We’re all here for eachother, all supporting each other. I know so many people that would love to open a business here but they can’t take the leap with the issues the town is facing."

The Vale of Glamorgan council was approached for a comment.