After 12 years, and with a great deal of sadness, the time has come to close down the Four Heatons Traders Association. This decision has not been taken lightly. However, as a volunteer run group, we’re finding it harder to find personnel to replace key members of the team. And with the events of the last year, we’ve not been able to hold the annual summer festival, a key source of income for the 4HTA and so we risk running out of funds within a few months.
The Steering group and I are proud of what we have achieved over the last decade. With the help of many volunteers over the years we’ve achieved some fantastic results. We’ve helped to increase footfall into the Heatons with seasonal walking trails and we’ve provided a platform for local SK4 businesses to collaborate and build networking relationships. The 4HTA has been instrumental in sowing the seeds of other community groups who continue to do great work in the Heatons. We supported the creation of the Moor Mag; we helped to initiate the Heaton Moor Street Improvements project which saw Shaw Road get a facelift in 2017; through collaborations of our members we helped start the Kick the Plastic movement in the Heatons.
Our biggest highlights have to be our Summer and Christmas Festivals which have brought the community together in a way that far exceeded our own expectations. Our Summer Festivals saw crowds from across the Heatons, across all age groups come together in all weather types. And the Christmas events kick-started the winter season in the Heatons. I hope another group will pick up the mantle of these events in the coming years, as I’m sure they will be missed.
The mission of the 4HTA has always been to make the Heatons a better place to live, work and prosper. This statement has been central to all our activities. It’s a mission that we could only ever strive for, never actually achieve – because improving the Heatons can never stop, and I have no doubt the amazing community groups in the Heatons, and indeed the people of the Heatons, will continue this agenda.
I was one of the founding members of the 4HTA and I’ve held the Chairman role for 6 out of the last 12 years. Those who know me will know of my passion for the 4HTA. But the 4 Heatons Traders Association has run its course, and leaves a great legacy. I truly hope that some time in the future it will be replaced by a new fresh organisation to represent local businesses, but for now the 4HTA must retire.
I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in running the group, all the volunteers who have helped at our events, every business owner who has supported us as members, community groups & charities who we have collaborated with, each of the past Chairs and all the members of the Steering Groups over the years. The 4HTA could not achieve anything with out the support of each and everyone of you.
Finally a special thank you to Amanda Fourie, who as the Chief Operating Officer has been the face of the 4HTA for the last three years. Through her dedication and perseverance, Amanda helped to grow the organisation and make a real difference to how we operated. Thankfully Amanda will be continuing her community supporting duties in her new role at the Heatons Post.
For my part, I’ve made some wonderful friends through the 4HTA that I am very grateful for, and I look forward to lending my support back to the Heatons in other ways over the years to come, because I still believe in the mantra of making the Heatons a better place to live, work and prosper.