Diss is becoming such a great town that it is likely to become the envy of many others in the region.
New figures just released show just how successful it is becoming in attracting businesses, shoppers and visitors.
They have been made public by the pressure and action group Diss Town Team, which funded a report prepared by Action for Market Towns, looking at 12 key performance indicators. It makes terrific reading and says:
n Diss has double the national average footfall for towns of its size;
n Sixty per cent of businesses surveyed were confident business was improving;
n Fifty-five per cent of shops are independent;
n There are sufficient parking spaces, even on market days;
n Diss has more market traders than the average of East of England towns of a similar size;
n Seventy three per cent of town centre users visitors visit Diss at last once a week.
At a time when the Government announced 1 in 7 shops is empty, Diss Town Team’s report shows it is doing better than the national average. Nationally empty units are refusing to reduce below 14.2 per cent. Only eight per cent of shops in Diss are empty.
And shoppers and visitors know the town is worth a visit. Of those surveyed, 27 per cent made a special trip from over half an hour away.
Town Team leader Oliver Chapman, commercial partner with Diss’ TW Gaze, is delighted and confident. He said: “This report backs up what we all know: Diss is a great town with so much going for it. Other towns will be looking on with envy at how we’re performing and yet time and time again all I hear is Diss is down on its luck.”
He vowed: “The trick is to use this data to tell the outside world all the good things about Diss, and to improve the areas that need work through the three Cs - communication, consistency and co-ordination.” In May the Town Team earned £11,000 in funding.