Community leaders have launched a campaign to save Amersham’s High Street.

Former Chiltern District Council chairman Cllr Mimi Harker set up an action group for retailers in the town last year after the closure of Iceland around three years ago, which she says has affected some businesses’ footfall by more than 40 per cent.

She said while some retailers, such as Temptations and The Entertainer, have managed to keep their businesses successful, a number of others have been forced to shut shop.

Cllr Harker said: “They have got a long-standing loyal customer base. Children are always going to want toys and Temptations has always done very well in the community. You can always find something for that special occasion from there.”

Speaking about the loss of footfall, she added: “The closure of Iceland around three Christmases ago was really the catalyst. It started off the footfall.

“Then parking in the town became a nightmare because of the multi-storey car park [in King George V Road].

“The other car parks became full by 9am so people had nowhere to park if they wanted to come in after this time.

“The district council made a huge effort to get people into other car parks, but a lot of businesses went around this time because it was just unsustainable.

“Historically Amersham has always been an expensive place to have a business. I have lived here for around 30 years and have had retailers complaining to me about how high the rents and rates are.”

She added that the change in people’s shopping habits also “added to the problem”, saying: “Part of the thing we want to say to people is that Amersham is open for business.

“Come and see what we’ve got. Fat Face moved over from Beaconsfield and they have helped to make the High Street look really nice. 

“There’s such a good atmosphere in the town because there’s a good, strong community behind it.”

And talking about the closure of Iceland, Cllr Harker said she and many other residents would like to see a value supermarket come back to the town.

She said: “We have a very mixed community to provide for. I personally used to love going into the Iceland as it was good quality food at reasonable prices.

“Now people have nowhere like that to go so they stopped coming.

“We would love for a Lidl or an Aldi to come into the town.”

Cllr Harker has set up the Amersham-on-the-Hill retailers’ group in a bid to get businesses to talk about what can be done to help make the High Street more vibrant.

She said: “We want successful businesses to come along and share their expertise. I know we have had a bad time with parking when the multi-storey was being built but all that is done now.

“We have so many amazing retailers, some of whom have been around for decades.”