A new initiative to encourage more shops, restaurants and entertainment venues to open late each Thursday in Wellington is gathering pace.
Keli King of zero waste shop The Little Green Pantry in Crown Street is the driving force behind the scheme, which she says is all about the town offering an evening experience to people who work in the day.
“The Little Green Pantry makes sustainable shopping more convenient and accessible to the general public, so late night opening has always been something I wanted to offer my customers,” she explains.
“I was not able to commit to this until now as I have been running the shop by myself, as well as bringing up my two young children.
“With the help of the government Kickstart Scheme I have been able to train up a member of staff over the last six months to now help me in the running of the shop and I am also in the position financially to be able to afford another part time member of staff after almost a year of trading.
“I think the time is right now for Wellington to offer a later shopping experience to cater for those working nine-to-five.
“Over the last couple of years the variety of independent shops, eateries and entertainment venues has increased dramatically and I really feel that we have the potential to become a popular place to meet friends, eat, drink, shop and be entertained after work.”
Sally Themans of Love Wellington, which aims to promote the town, said she was delighted with the response to the initiative.
“We are so pleased with the way Wellington retailers and businesses are responding to the need to be more flexible and to open hours which better suit people’s working lives.
“It feels like a very proactive and entrepreneurial approach which reflects the new types of businesses and operators now in the town.
“A couple of years ago Love Wellington set up a WhatsApp group for local retail and service businesses and this has been the platform that businesses have used to organise these late night Thursdays. It’s a brilliant example of collaboration for the good of the area.”