A new initiative to support retail businesses and boost Wyre’s town centres has been unveiled.
Get ReWyred will offer expert advice and financial support to help independent retailers, adversely affected by the current recession, innovate and prosper.
Council bosses acknowledge that Wyre has below average empty shop rates, but says there’s still a need to encourage more customers and get them to spend more locally.
Michael Ryan, Wyre Council’s Corporate Director with responsibility for economic development, said: “We’re very proud of our widely successful business network Wyred Up, which has helped to create economic stability in the borough.
“We now want to build on this with the launch of Get ReWyred, which has three different strands aimed at supporting individual retail businesses and collectively boosting our town centre economies.”
The package comprises: Free support for independent retailers, grants of up to £600 if businesses can match-fund and a Dragon’s Den style contest for awards of £5,000, £3,000 and £2,000.
Mr Damian Carr, spokesman for Garstang’s Chamber of Trade, said: “Any help is welcome to help businesses improve and progress. We are fortunate in Garstang we’ve got such a good town centre, because we offer such good services anyway.”
Professional business advisers will carry out in-depth assessments of businesses, and generate action plans for future development.
The companion funding programme will offer grants of up to £600 to retailers who can match the amount awarded. Money is available for a wide range of projects, from website design to painting and decorating, if it can be demonstrated these will significantly improve business.
The competitive grant scheme, called Wyre Winners, asks retailers to submit ideas to develop their businesses.
Entries will be judged by a panel of local experts.
Get ReWyred follows Mary Portas’ national campaign to transform town centres.