Steer­ing groups work­ing to­wards im­prove­ment

Stockport Express - - Your Views - BY HE­LEN WHITE To­tally Stock­port

SINCE the busi­nesses in Stock­port town cen­tre voted in favour of Stock­port’s first Busi­ness Im­prove­ment District, Stock­port’s BID team To­tally Stock­port – have been work­ing on ini­tial projects that will help to cre­ate a vi­brant, sus­tain­able town cen­tre for ev­ery­one to en­joy.

The steer­ing groups Des­ti­na­tion Stock­port, Ex­pe­ri­ence Stock­port, Busi­ness Stock­port and Dig­i­tal Stock­port con­tinue to work on a num­ber of ini­tia­tives.

This week I’ll ex­plain a lit­tle about how the Ex­pe­ri­ence Stock­port group have been work­ing with re­tail­ers to cre­ate a bet­ter shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence for all the fam­ily.

Through re­search, we found that two of the most com­mon bar­ri­ers to visit the town cen­tre on a more fre­quent ba­sis are park­ing and se­cu­rity. While these can­not be ad­dressed and fixed overnight, they form an im­por­tant as­pect of the Stock­port BID’s orig­i­nal busi­ness plan.

Work­ing ei­ther in­de­pen­dently or along­side part­ners, fur­ther ini­tia­tives in­clude im­prov­ing pedes­trian routes, tack­ling empty prop­er­ties, de­vel­op­ing an evening econ­omy and build­ing a team of town cen­tre vol­un­teers.

But, as with all well­con­ceived busi­ness plans, projects will evolve over time, de­ter­mined both by de­mand and tech­nol­ogy.

The new Stock­port Nav­i­ga­tor Map – a handy A5 sized fold-out map – high­lights the unique ar­eas of the town cen­tre for her­itage, shop­ping, food and drink and leisure. The map is avail­able at the en­try points to the town, in­clud­ing the rail­way and bus sta­tions and across the town cen­tre: Tourist In­for­ma­tion Cen­tres, mu­se­ums, li­braries and ho­tels.

Through the BID’s in­tro­duc­tion of the Meer­cat Joint Pro­cure­ment scheme, busi­ness own­ers and their staff can en­joy sav­ings of up to £600 per year at Mersey­way Car Park. Tack­ling empty shops is a UK wide chal­lenge and Stock­port is no dif­fer­ent. Stock­port coun­cil have a con­clu­sive plan in place and, work­ing with the coun­cil and key part­ners, the BID are look­ing at ways to de­velop a busi­ness hub / pop-up shop op­por­tu­nity for emerg­ing re­tail, bring­ing a unique of­fer and en­cour­ag­ing more foot­fall into the town cen­tre.

Qual­ity of cus­tomer ser­vice can be a key fac­tor in en­cour­ag­ing re­peat vis­its to Stock­port. We have some ter­rific re­tail­ers here and next year we are in­tro­duc­ing the To­tally Stock­port Cus­tomer Ser­vice Awards.

Next week we will look at Busi­ness Stock­port but, in the mean­time, don’t for­get to down­load To­tally Stock­port’s App with spe­cial town cen­tre of­fers for ev­ery­one.

If you are in the BID area and want to pro­mote your busi­ness, email To­tally Stock­port’s BID man­ager: paul.tay­lor@ to­tally­stock­port.co.uk

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