Keep Chichester unique, begs independent family firm

Game Set and Match's Rebecca Stemp, Ben Barnes, John Gotham and Andy Barnes.  C121541-1  Photo Louise Adams
Game Set and Match's Rebecca Stemp, Ben Barnes, John Gotham and Andy Barnes. C121541-1 Photo Louise Adams

A FAMILY business which has been based in Chichester since 1995 has called on the district council to work with independent traders to help keep the city’s unique identity.

Rebecca Stemp, director of Game, Set and Match in Quarry Lane, said many people come to the city because of the number of unique shops it contains.

She said with more and more high streets becoming increasingly similar, it was important for towns and cities to attempt to differentiate, and added: “I would love Chichester to take the lead.

“It’s not all about the big boys – don’t forget the independent traders.

“I think they (Chichester District Council) have to support the independents. It gives good variety and encourages people to come to the city.

“It sets us apart from other town centres or city centres.”

She also emphasised the importance of working with the council and being positive about the future of the city.

Originally based in Oving Road, the business moved to its current premises in 2005.

The business is involved with a number of the sports groups in the area, and engages a great deal with the community, something which Rebecca thinks the council should encourage other smaller businesses to copy.

Following recent incidents where local businesses such as The Lunch Box and Chantry House Oak have been criticised by the district council for changes they have made to attract more customers, Rebecca stressed the importance of looking for the council and Chichester-based shop-owners to work together.

Chantry House Oak was contacted by the council after painting its shop front purple.

James Ward, co-owner of the purple-fronted store, said they are now closing their shop on North Street because of all the colour-related issues, describing it as the ‘final straw’.

The business will now operate solely out of its Oving-based workshop.

“When we had the hassle with the council it made us really think,” he said.

He added the business had no intention of going initially, but had since been forced to reconsider.