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by Tim Lamden
Friday, February 10, 2012
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall surprised Tottenham shoppers today as they visited businesses targeted in last August’s riots to see how they are recovering.
The royal couple began their visit at the new Post Office where they met Tottenham MP David Lammy and Haringey Council’s chief executive Kevin Crompton.
They last visited Tottenham in August shortly after the riots, and returned on the sixth-month anniversary of the third night of rioting that spread across the nation. Camilla said: “It’s very nice to be back again.”
Traders shared their experiences of the riots and how they have coped since with Charles and Camilla as they visited the Pride of Tottenham pub and the site of the former Carpet Right building, which became a vivid symbol of the unrest as it was gutted by fire.
The Prince of Wales’ charity, Business In The Community, brought business connector Kay Horne into the area to share her expertise and help small projects access funding to get started.
Ms Horne, 35, had managed the Waltham Cross branch of Sainsbury’s before being parachuted into Tottenham a fortnight after the riots. Since then she has helped link charities and community groups with businesses.
She said: “I think the future for Tottenham looks bright so it’s an exciting place to be.
“Trade is still significantly down along the High Road. What is really exciting is that there is a view to make real changes in Tottenham.”
She challenged Tottenham’s reputation as a “riot-stricken place” and said: “It is a great place - I can’t say that enough. I think people were afraid when they heard I was coming to Tottenham two weeks after the riots. [But] there are so many great people [here].”
She added: “There is some way to go and much of that is around building confidence.
“They need to get those businesses that were burnt down back open so that it will increase shoppers in the area.”
Ms Horne has secured £600,000 of grants for Tottenham’s small traders from the High Street Fund, set up to help riot-stricken businesses.
High Street Fund founder, Sir William Castell, also met the royals at the Pride of Tottenham pub and Cllr Alan Strickland joined them on the High Street during their tour.