Wyre launches town centre business support scheme

A new initiative has been launched to support retail businesses and boost Wyre's town centres.

Wyre CouncilGet ReWyred offers expert advice and financial support to help independent retailers adversely affected by the current economic climate to innovate and prosper.

Michael Ryan, corporate director with responsibility for economic development at Wyre Council, said: "Shop vacancy rates in all five of Wyre's town centres are consistently below the national and regional averages. This is due largely to the tenacity and determination of business owners in Wyre and partly to the strong identities and varied offers of our town centres.

"However the council recognises the difficulties existing businesses are currently facing and the need to attract greater numbers of shoppers and encourage more spend.

"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 first strand of the initiative is free business support for independent retailers in the form of guidance from professional business advisors, who will carry out in-depth assessments and generate action plans for future development.

This is complemented by a funding programme that offers 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 that they will significantly improve business.

Additional funding is available via a Dragon's Den-style competitive grant scheme called Wyre Winners, where retailers submit ideas to develop their businesses in the hope of winning a share of £10,000. Entries will be judged by a panel of local business experts, with the top three receiving £5,000, £3,000 and £2,000 respectively. To be eligible for any part of the Get ReWyred scheme, businesses must be in the recognised town centres of Cleveleys, Fleetwood, Garstang, Poulton-le-Fylde or within the local and district centres of Thornton.