NEWS: Sandbach Town Team Announce Trial Shop Front Improvement Scheme

Sandbach Town Council has been awarded a £10,000 grant from the Portas Initiative and a Town Team was established to spend the award within Sandbach Town Centre.  The Town Team is made up of businesses representatives from Sandbach as well as local councillors. One of the initiatives is a trial ‘Shop Front Improvement Scheme’.  This will assist the renovation of some shop fronts within the town centre which uses £4000 of the grant.

There is local demand for a shop front improvement scheme

There is proven demand for a scheme which will address the varying levels of decoration and disrepair of some shop fronts in Sandbach. Sandbach Town Council has previously received several enquiries from business owners for assistance via such a scheme.

As there is a limited amount of funds, the project has been split into two phases.  Phase One has been identified as High Street and Market Square.  Depending on the success of the trial in Phase One, Phase Two will also be included.  Phase Two includes the remaining streets with the Town Centre.

Once all applications have been received, Sandbach Town Team will assess the applications using weighted criteria in conjunction with conservation officers from Cheshire East Council and the Draft Shop Front Design Guide. Criteria will include visual impact of the proposal, sympathy with surrounding properties, value for money and location of property. A set of guiding principles will be made available to applicants at the outset of the process to steer designs to be sympathetic to the conservation area.  Priority will be given to properties in phase one.

Successful proposals will be awarded up to 50% of the costs of their planned improvements!

Successful proposals will be awarded a grant of no more than 50% of total costs, with a maximum grant of £500 per property.  This would enable shop frontage works of up to £8000 to be completed in Sandbach Town Centre.

Lots of local support to help the town look its best…

Fiona Bruce MP remarked ‘I am delighted to see that Sandbach Town Team has decided to launch this scheme.  The vibrancy of our Town Centre depends on good quality shops, both inside and out.  Sandbach Town Team is actively supporting local retailers during this challenging trading time and using the Portas funding to maximum effect.’

The Mayor of Sandbach, Councillor Mike Benson said ‘This project is a combined effort between Sandbach Town Council and the business community of Sandbach. I am sure the end result will benefit the community as a whole and may inspire other retailers to join in improving their shop frontages.’

Amanda Wagg, Chairman of the Town Team added ‘The Town Team has worked very hard to come up with ideas that will be in the best interest of Sandbach Town Centre.  The Shop Front Improvement Scheme will have the best visual impact, ensuring that the Town Centre remains a pleasant place to be.  This project will enhance the appearance and appeal of the town centre to visitors, customers and the local population.’

Carol Williams from STAR also commented ‘Members of STAR and Pubwatch are pleased to have been working as part of the Sandbach Town Team to decide the best way to utilise the Portas grant.  We welcome this positive commitment from Sandbach Town council;   enhancing the appearance of shop frontages will we hope, encourage more visitors and stimulate business and consumer confidence’.

Look out for your information pack during 15th – 19th July!

All independent retailers with a shop frontage will receive an information pack and application form during the week 15th – 19th July 2013.  The deadline for applications is Friday 23rd August 2013.  For further information please contact Amanda Wagg on 01270 600825 or email towncentremanager@sandbach.gov.uk.  Please also get in touch if you would like to be kept up to date via email or if you are interested in future events for Sandbach Traders and Retailers.

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About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email champion@retailchampion.co.uk.
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