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Rotherham Wins Big In Business

posted 10 Jul 2013, 07:05 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 10 Jul 2013, 07:08 ]
Rotherham has scooped another prestigious business award with the announcement that a recent high-profile project has been given the national nod.

The Retail Investment Team has been handed the “Improving the Business Mix” award from the “Association of Town Centre Management”, Europe's largest membership organisation dedicated to helping town and city centres reach their potential. Rotherham was one of six winners announced at the annual ATCM conference, which took place in Lincoln on 3rd-5th July.

The award recognises the work being undertaken to redefine the shopping offer in the town centre through projects such as Pop-up Shops, Business Vitality Grants and the Business Development Grants.

Bernadette Rushton, Retail Investment Manager said: “It’s fantastic to see Rotherham getting national recognition for projects which have really helped the town centre spring to life.

“Town centres across the country continue to face significant challenges; this award specifically acknowledges the ways in which the independent retail offer in Rotherham has grown, attracting new customers to the town and encouraging old ones back.

“We've concentrated on expanding the town’s range of opportunities for new retailers and established traders and have built a reputation for helping getting businesses to reach their full potential. This renewed shopping offer has contributed to a footfall rate which has increased year on year, reduced vacancy rates and improved shopper satisfaction levels. This stood us in good stead to win the ‘Improving the Business Mix’ award against stiff competition.”

Councillor Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Development added: “This follows the recent announcement that Rotherham scooped the lion’s share of the national ‘High Street Renewal’ or ‘X Fund’ award, securing £268,000 to allow the Town Centre Team to further develop the retail support work. The award also coincides with Rotherham’s inclusion in the “Review of Retail & Town Centre Issues” in historic areas produced by English Heritage, where Rotherham is cited as an example of best practice. 

‘’It’s fantastic to see our profile raised at a national level and for others across the country to hear about what we’ve achieved in the town centre and the fantastic independent businesses we have trading here.’’ 

‘’The award specifically relates to the successful Pop-up Shop project, which welcomed it’s fist successful applicant, Vintage Dolls, earlier in the year. There are currently 15 retailers trading in town who were supported as part of the Business Vitality Grant scheme; we have so far helped two existing businesses to develop in the town and we’re currently working with a further seven more retailers to help make their businesses even better. We want to build on the success to date and continue to work with new and existing businesses as we move forward’’ 

Owner of town centre success story, Bittersweet Boutique, Laura Bullock, added: “Rotherham has proved that when it comes to encouraging small businesses to be the best that they can be, they are right behind business owners in helping to realise their incredible potential.

“Through hard work and innovation, Rotherham town centre has become the kind of place that welcomes both business and shoppers who are looking for something different. The various incentives that are available have given local residents like me the chance to fulfil our own ambitions and set up our own business. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support of my customers and have been delighted to be able to expand earlier this year, its thanks to the support from the Retail Investment Team that this has been a possibility for me.’’