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The lead singer of rock band Led Zeppelin and author India Knight were among a packed crowd at a meeting to discuss the future of shops in Primrose Hill.

Primrose Hill Community Library was packed to capacity as around 90 shopkeepers and residents attended the meeting to discuss the future of shops in Regent's Park Road, last Thursday.

Ways to maintain the vibrancy of the shopping parade in a tough economic climate was top of the agenda, after recent rent increases are understood to have left many shops struggling to stay open.

As businesses have started to leave, shop units are being left vacant and the community feels something should be done.

Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant's suggestion that a men's clothing shop would be a valuable addition, was one of many contributions to the debate.

Phil Cowan, 46, owner of Primrose Hill Interiors, Regent's Park Road, said: "Primrose Hill is not immune to the recession. If we want to keep our shops open, we need to reinvent our business association and broaden its remit."

A survey revealed people were keen to turn one of the empty shops into a community-run store – perhaps a butchers or greengrocers. It was also suggested that "pop-up shops" should take residence in the empty units to brighten the area. None of the landlords of the empty properties attended.

Another meeting will be held next month.

From: Ham&High
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