Telford’s high streets have been thrust into the spotlight as an example of how town centre traders can turn their fortunes around.
Television cameras descended on Madeley and Wellington as part of a report on Small Business Saturday, and a successful business improvement project running across Telford.
Business owners who have taken part in the Telford & Wrekin Council-funded Pride In Your High Street programme said the day of filming was a great experience.
The Pride In Your High Street project is aimed at rejuvenating Telford’s traditional town centres, and a big part of the scheme is a series of business improvement workshops for traders.
Workshops have covered topics like social media and visual marketing and feature a variety of industry experts from across the country.
A film crew from BBC Midlands Today spent most of Thursday (December 1) talking to business owners in Madeley and Wellington about how the project has been going.
Sally Themans, of the project delivery team, said it had been a fantastic opportunity for them.
She said: “We have had really great feedback from everyone who has come on the workshops, which are continuing in 2017.
“We have a waiting list for some of the programmes but are hoping to be able to schedule in more workshops.
“We are really keen to keep spreading the word about them, because they are free to attend and have already proved to be an eye-opener for many town centre traders.
“We filmed with Midlands Today in Madeley and Wellington, although the project is taking place right across the borough, and it was a great chance for traders to explain how the workshops have helped them.”
Among the businesses involved in the day were Tink’s Treasures in Wellington and John Biddle Opticians in Madeley.
John Cooke, of John Biddle Opticians, said: “The workshops have been really useful in a variety of ways and I would really recommend other business owners to go along. It was good fun meeting Midlands Today and any opportunities to promote the business is to be welcomed.”
Pam Mansell of Tink’s Treasures said: “It’s tempting to think that you know all there is to know about retailing – especially when you have worked in that environment for a long time.
“But I have benefitted hugely from new ideas and the expertise of some of the country’s top retailers – and of the things I did know, well it’s been a timely reminder!”
Councillor Gilly Reynolds, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for education, employment and regeneration, added: “The workshops have proved extremely popular with those that have chosen to take advantage of this pioneering initiative.
“Those retailers have already begun to put some of the advice into place and are beginning to reap the rewards.
“We want to see businesses that are robust and sustainable – that’s good news for local jobs and employment prospects – and these workshops that Good2Great are running provide practical, tailored advice to help businesses.”
For more information about the Pride In Your High Street workshops, visit the website at www.good-2-great.co.uk/piyhs