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Regatta stalls, taking trade from shops

Traders are calling for talks with Dartmouth regatta bosses amid claims that many of their businesses are being harmed by the massive event.
Half the town traders in the town surveyed after this year’s royal regatta said that the massive influx of thousands of visitors had had a neutral or negative impact on their businesses.
And Paul Reach, chairman of Dartmouth Business Forum which carried out the survey, said: ‘The Dartmouth businesses spend around £3m to £4m in business rates between them each year.
‘Yet when regatta is held and all the visitors come to the town, the event brings its own high street and a new out-of-town town shopping centre with it – and that’s not fair on the businesses.’
Mr Reach was referring to the tented shopping village on Coronation Park which is now part of the annual event along with the traditional Cheapjack stalls which line a large section of the town centre embankment.
There have already been complaints this year about the number of fast-food outlets brought into the town as part of regatta and their impact on local businesses.
Mr Reach said regatta officials had agreed to hold talks with the business forum later this year to look at the concerns.
And he added: ‘We don’t want to take away from how spectacular the event is and how brilliantly they organise it but we also want to make sure it does the maximum good for Dartmouth.’
He said a similar forum survey last year following regatta had show that some 30 per cent had said it had a neutral effect and 20 per cent it had had a negative impact on their businesses.
‘It was slightly worse this year,’ he said.
‘I have had a lot of response from people who echoed the fact that this was a bad year for them.

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