Concessions tell of success as they help bolster local economy and create community destinations
A record number of concessions are now operating across Adur and Worthing as the Councils continue endeavours to regenerate town centres and add social value to key areas.
More than 40 concessions are up and running at a range of sites, including Worthing Promenade and popular walking spots like Storrington Rise, Adur River and Shoreham Lighthouse.
Every year the Councils make a dedicated effort to create new opportunities for local businesses to operate concessions - a move which is more important than ever post Covid.
Each cluster is part of a friendly, community-led atmosphere and visitors can enjoy a variety of different food, drink and activities - from kite surfing to street food stands, and ice cream to cocktails.
While most seasonal concessions only operate during the Summer, the Councils have been exploring licence extensions, due to the increase in popularity of operating through the Winter season, in part down to the pandemic.
In October last year, The Camp’s Coffee Bean Co set up shop on Worthing Promenade, opposite Steyne Gardens. In April, Worthing Borough Council gave owner Will Camp another Summer licence - so The Camp’s Artisan Gelato could operate from a separate pitch, within the same cluster.
Will runs the business with his family, and said: “When we started our concession people weren’t able to shop properly, so it gave us a bit of a flying start.
“Lots of people give us very positive feedback and both of our concessions have really enhanced the promenade - making the area more appealing along with the other businesses around there.
“It’s become a bit of a meeting spot for the community. The more people we can get into Worthing the better, and we know people come to see us and then head down to the shops.”
Adur and Worthing concessions have worked hard to ensure the safety of their employees and customers during the pandemic. Each has been responsible for procedures, including social distancing guidelines, following advice and guidance from the Councils.
They are also responsible for their own health and safety, waste management, and noise limitation procedures.
Ensuring there is a good and proper mix of concessions across the area are part of the Councils’ wider efforts to regenerate local spaces, including parades, town centres and other key areas.
Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “We want to support local businesses and give residents and visitors places to meet, and a variety of different offerings from food and drink, to activities they can participate in.
“Each follows a ‘no-trace policy’, meaning they manage their waste and litter while on-site, pack up after trading, leaving nothing overnight - ensuring our pitches are left clean and tidy.”
Through a survey conducted earlier this year, the authorities found some have taken steps to limit noise by purchasing quieter generators, not using one at all, or buying noise-reducing baffle boxes.
After leaving the group travel industry due to the pandemic, Nick Dawson set up Relay Coffee, and since November has been operating as part of the River Adur cluster near Shoreham Tollbridge.
After the Government ruled open air food and drink stalls and concessions could continue to trade during lockdown, Nick said his spot became somewhat of a haven for people during this period.
“It’s such a nice location to work in. I've lived in a few towns in Sussex, but there’s something special about Shoreham’s community and the friendly people being so willing to support small businesses.
“We try to source produce locally. Our coffee roasters Cast Iron are from Chichester, our crisps are from The Sussex Crisp Company, and cakes come from Shoreham-based company, Twist and Bake.
“We don’t use a generator and all of our cups are compostable - we put a bin out and make sure all waste is disposed of properly.”
The Councils currently offer six-month summer and winter licences at designated pitches across the area. Each can be applied for online. For more information, visit: https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/land-and-property/seasonal-concessions/