Lyme Regis traders have agreed to set up an association to promote themselves.

Following on from a road closure on Broad Street due to a partial building collapse in the town centre in November, business owners have decided they need a 'collective voice’.

A meeting on the road closure held with Lyme Regis Town Council helped galvanise traders who were left frustrated by the situation.

Broad Street remained closed between the B3165 and Rock Point from Saturday, November 11 until Monday, December 18.

READ: Broad Street in Lyme Regis reopens after weeks of disruption

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Rebecca in her shop Paperbird on coombe Street Rebecca in her shop Paperbird on coombe Street (Image: Rebecca De-Voisey)

Rebecca De-Voisey, 39, owner of Paperbird, was among those voicing their concerns over the time taken to reopen Broad Street, which shop owners believe impacted upon their trade in the run-up to Christmas. 

She said: “Our high street and its surrounding area are our real strength.

“I was sitting in my shop on my own, and there were all these different rumours going around about when the road would reopen, so I closed my shop, wrote a letter on my laptop and went round businesses to sign, and submitted it to the council.

“I went along to the council meeting and gave them what for. Before we went to that meeting there was no talk of taking the scaffolding down, then it came down in a week.

“Everyone was thinking the same thing, someone just needed to say it out loud.”

READ: Impact of Lyme Regis Broad Street closure on traders

Rebecca has lived in the town since 2017 and used to run the Nag’s Head pub, before opening a shop on Coombe Street.

She is now helping to set up the association along with other business owners.

On Monday, January 8, around 20 independent businesses gathered to discuss how to move forward and agreed to set up the association.

Speaking about the meeting, Rebecca said: “It went really well really, it was positive. Lots of businesses felt lonely, slugging away and not much support for them and being able to get together and talk to each is really positive.

“It will be a Lyme Regis Business Association, we are not pigeon holing restaurants or shops – we spoke about the Lyme Regis brand – so anyone that touches that area we will try and offer inclusivity into the business association.

READ: Lyme Regis business worries over closed Broad Street

“We agreed our aims last night, to have a collective business voice and organise ourselves with internal communication – as a collective we feel we would have a larger influence on governing bodies and councils.”

The next step is for the businesses to write a constitution which will then enable them to apply for funding via a community grant through Lyme Regis Town Council, which needs to be submitted by the end of January.

Once funding is secured, the association can then ask for help from Save the High Street, an organisation dedicated at supporting local businesses across the UK.