Ben Lake brings local stakeholders together to discuss Lampeter's future


70 local business owners, organisation representatives and stakeholders came together on Friday, 26 July at Lampeter Rugby Club to discuss the future of the university town.

Ben Lake MP was joined by a panel of guest speakers – Rob Basini, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Wales; Bronwen Raine, Director of Antur Teifi and Cllr. Clive Davies, County Councillor and Cardigan Town Councillor.

Lampeter, like many other rural towns and high streets across Wales, has faced significant challenges over recent years and is subject to increasing pressures. Following a survey of FSB members and of businesses and stakeholders across the country, some of the top issues identified included the threat of online retailing, empty shops, business rates and out-of-town development. Three ‘megatrends’ were also identified, which were found to affect towns across the country: 

  • Social and demographic change
  • Urbanisation to cities and clustering
  • Technological breakthroughs and changes in consumption patterns

Ben Lake MP called the Lampeter meeting with the aim of hearing creative, practical and innovative ideas from the community for the town, and to hear of examples of successful regeneration in other towns, such as Cardigan.

Speaking after the event, Ben Lake said:

"Lampeter is a town with a proud history, but also great potential. It is home to quality independent businesses, and boasts several important cultural and heritage sites. It is clear that the local community is keen to work together to overcome the many challenges facing the town, and to harness its many attributes to realise its potential.”

One idea discussed at the meeting was employing a Digital Town Centre Manager and developing a town centre strategy for Lampeter. This would be a collaborative effort pulling in individual businesses, the Chamber of Trade, local organisations and stakeholders, creating a cohesive vision and action plan for the future.  

Ben Lake added:

"Towns across the county, indeed the length and breadth of Wales, have witnessed a period of significant change that has not been without its difficulties. Changes to the high street and retail habits have been particularly challenging for old market towns, but it is clear that there is an appetite in Lampeter for businesses, community groups, the University and local authorities to cooperate more closely to develop the town's offer so that it is able to attract more people to the high street."      

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