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High Street shops grab late night shopping initiative for Summer School students

Marlborough’s retailers have grabbed a chance to boost business this month by taking part in a new late night shopping initiative launched by Marlborough College’s unique Summer School.

And when the College opens its gates on Sunday for the arrival of the first of more than 3,000 students, local residents too will be welcome as well to attend evening lectures and an array of musical concerts without having to sign up for courses.  The two-way connection between the Summer School, the High Street and residents’ own interests is contrasted by the fact that scores of students fly in from 25 countries around the world to enjoy courses run over three weeks by some 200 expert tutors – and at the same time have money to spend.

But feedback from them shows that too often courses end too late for them to enjoy shopping.

“At least 500 cars a day are coming into our car park and we are very keen to bring our students into our wonderful High Street as well because it benefits the town,” Summer School director Jon Copp (pictured) told Marlborough News Online.

“We produced a flyer and handed it in to every shop.  We wanted to know how many retailers were interested in late night opening between 5 and 7pm on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays.”

“We said if we could find a core of retailers willing to do so then we would advertise them widely to our customers here at the Summer School and try to bring them together.”

“And we have had an avalanche of replies, some from shops we didn’t even approach.  We seem to have struck a new cord and so far we have 18 shops who will be taking part (click here for list) and more will follow.”

At the same time, the Summer School wants residents to feel free to enter the College gates, where strict security normally operates in term time, and become part of the event, whether or not they have signed up for a vast array of courses.

“We want to get the message out to residents that they can come after work to lectures at 5.15 pm and to musical recitals at 8pm paying £5 at the door,” said Mr Copp, now in his tenth season as director.

“They will be welcome here and won’t be stopped by any security. We have a little booklet we are putting around the town telling them what’s on.”

And that is apart from six featured gala concerts, which include An Evening with Blake, the eclectic group that mixes classical and pop music, which takes place in the College’s Memorial Hall on July 22, tickets costing £20.

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  • Town-Hall-2011-05-03 08-
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  • Marlborough-2013-04-18 St Peters