July 23 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, June 12, 2014
A brightly-coloured alien which landed in a Suffolk town might be revamped so it can continue with its one aim – to get shoppers spending money.
The creature, a Stow Martian, can be seen visiting Stowmarket’s town centre and often makes appearances at events.
Sharon Brown, town manager for Stowmarket Town Centre Partnership which promotes the purple and green coloured alien, said: “It’s like Marmite, people either love it or hate it.”
The group is also running a Stow Martian loyalty shopping bag which encourages people to spend money in the town with offers.
Mrs Brown said the partnership was considering making changes to the concepts.
Steve Searle, county councillor for Stowmarket South, said it was a “good idea”.
“I have had a couple of photos with the Stow Martian, the girl goes out in all weathers in a leotard and did the Christmas lights switch-on – she must have been freezing,” he said.
“It’s quirky and I have asked if I qualify to be a Stow Martian as I’ve lived here 20 years but you have to be born and live here to be eligible.
“Anything that brings interest in the town has to be good so, certainly, I agree with it. Trying to get businesses involved with a reward scheme – anything to drag footfall into the town is a good thing.”
Gary Green, county councillor for Stowmarket North and Stowupland, said: “I have heard about the idea. The name Stow Martian has been banded out for a long time but I like the concept of it.
“Re-launches are always a good idea and if they do something different to boost it in an innovative way then that should be worthwhile.”
The Stow Martian has even created its own Facebook page.
Martian toys are also available to purchase with the alien offering herself for event hire.
Appearances have included at fun days and the town’s Royal British Legion branch.
Visitors to this year’s Stowmarket Carnival on July 19-20 are also in for a chance of spotting the Martian.
Mrs Brown said the alien was likely to be kept as part of the scheme but other elements could be modified.