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What makes Dorking a community like no other

28 January 2019

Why our High Street will survive

In our current political and economic climate, UK high streets are suffering. According to accountancy specialist PwC, shops are closing at a rate of 14 per day across the nation and are in crisis. Businesses are faced with increasing challenges that include rising costs from rents and business rates. Dorking is not immune to these factors and it must be acknowledged that small business owners — all businesses owners on the high street are challenged by these issues.

But this is why Dorking’s High Street will survive and thrive:

  1. Dorking has an independent spirit. It is composed of innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, dreamers, craft gin makers, restauranteurs, and more. They are brilliant. They won’t give up. They inspire all who visit our town.
  2. Dorking is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty. It is a haven for cyclists, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. If sweating isn’t your thing, then explore our incredible restaurants and gaze upon our gorgeous hills, trees and vistas. Or shop in our quirky independent retailers along our pebbled streets and explore our art galleries and antique shops.
  3. Dorking is centrally located and convenient to visit.  Visitors can easily find us via train, cycle, car, or by foot. Less than an hour from London, 15–20 minutes from Guildford or Gatwick, we are a breeze to visit.

Dorking isn’t without its challenges. E-commerce giants, the usual retail issues, we all face them — but we view challenges as opportunities. We never want to see a shop close. However, Dorking has a lower vacancy rate than the national average (as of October, Dorking had a vacancy rate of 7.92% compared to the National Average of 11.2%). In 2018, we have achieved so much for the town:

  • Recruited new Board of Directors
  • Rebranded the Dorking Town Partnership
  • Launched a multi-channel digital strategy to across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
  • Launched a Shop Safe Radio Scheme
  • Engaged in a town beautification Scheme
  • Launched a digital Loyalfree App Scheme
  • Hosted the Rob Walker Centenary Festival
  • Hosted the Christmas Festival
  • Received a Special Mention in the Great British High Street Rising Star category
  • Engaged in Small Business Saturday and hosted a town-wide window competition
  • Launched a comprenensive rubbish collection scheme
  • Launched a newly-designed responsive website (the one you’re looking at)
  • Launched a promotional video

For the past few weeks on our @HelloDorking social media channels, we have been focussing on #Thinkbigshopsmall. We’ve featured and will continue to feature our independent businesses.

Visit Dorking, meet our incredible people and businesses, and join us in our effort to #ShopLocal. We appreciate your support.

What is the Dorking BID

The Dorking Business Improvement District (BID) is a business-led and business-funded body, created through a ballot process, to improve a defined area in which a levy is charged on all business rate payers in addition to their normal business rates bill. BIDs started in the US, but there are now more than 270 in the UK alone. They work together through organisations such as British BIDs and the BID Foundation. BIDs focus on improving the public realm, creating a better trading environment for local businesses.

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Dorking Town Partnership
156 South Street
Dorking, RH4 2HF

T: 07377 0966892

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