Businesses fear they could 'close overnight' if vital brown signs are removed for good

Business owners fear their shops could "close overnight" if brown tourist signs pointing customers their way are removed for good.

Jane Griffiths, Cate Dangerfield, Sue Jenkinson and Sir Gavin Williamson MP
Jane Griffiths, Cate Dangerfield, Sue Jenkinson and Sir Gavin Williamson MP

Hollies Poultry Farm is located on the Wolverhampton Road near Laney Green and has had a brown tourist sign since the creation of the nearby dual carriageway and M6 Toll Road over 22 years ago.

The creation of these roads turned Wolverhampton Road into a cul-de-sac, and the brown tourist signs were awarded to the farm at the time as compensation following the resulting cut in customer numbers.

However, National Highways is now threatening to not replace these brown signs following their removal for roadworks related to the new M54-M6 Link Road, as they state the businesses inside Hollies Poultry Farm do not meet their criteria.

The businesses – Hollies Farm Shop, Cate’s Cakes Tearoom, and Angel Voices – are deeply concerned that losing these signs will spell the beginning of the end for their shops.

One of the brown signs pointing to Hollies Farm Shop. Photo: Google

Jane Griffiths, owner of Angel Voices, said: “Over 22 years ago, Hollies Farm Shop managed to cling on despite 50 per cent of their business being lost when Wolverhampton Road became a cul-de-sac.

"While residents on the road received financial compensation from this change, Hollies Poultry Farm received these brown tourist signs as compensation and they have proved essential in driving up business ever since.

“If Highways England takes away these signs, three locally owned businesses could close overnight. We are not asking for the world, just for Highways England to engage with our concerns.”

Sir Gavin Williamson, MP for South Staffordshire, has got involved in the row, and urged Highways England to let Hollies Poultry Farm keep its brown tourist signs.

Sir Gavin said: “I was deeply concerned to hear about Hollies’ Poultry Farm potentially losing their brown tourist signs which provide vital exposure for these local businesses.

"Highways England needs to do the decent thing by honour the past awarding of these signs to keep this deserved lifeline in place.”

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