A new year could herald a fresh start for Grantham as steps are taken to boost the town’s economy.
It is hoped that the decline of the town centre as a shopping destination will be turned around in 2014 with the launch of a retailers map.
The ‘Shop Local’ map, produced by South Kesteven District Council, aims to highlight Grantham’s independent ertailers, plus direct shoppers towards car parks, transport links and toilet facilities.
Councillor Frances Cartwright, portfolio holder for grow the economy and economic development, said the guide provides useful information on the town’s quality shops.
She added: “We want to do all we can to help our town centres, working with partners like the Grantham Retailers Association on a range of measures to promote the variety of shopping the town offers, plus where to park.”
Unfold the map and on one side you can view a map which points out car parks, toilet facilities, the Tourist Information Centre in the Guildhall, and railway and bus stations.
On the reverse are lists of estate agents, eateries, salons, fashion shops, specialist retailers and national chains, totalling more than 400. These are colour-coded, although this does not translate on to the map itself.
Working with SKDC on this ‘Shop Local’ initiative is the Grantham Retailers Association (GRA), with stocks being held by the group founder David Charles at his Grantham Computer Centre store. He has welcomed the launch of the map, adaptations of which will eventually be rolled out in other South Kesteven towns. He said: “It’s really encouraging to see the efforts that the council is making to help us as retailers. This map shows just what a great range of shops we have in Grantham.”
Maps are available at all GRA member retailers, as well as estate agents, hotels and the Guildhall Arts Centre.
Mr Charles added: “This is great news as they can promote local retail establishments, and this may encourage new shoppers to our town centre.
“The map also focusses on independent retailers. There is a wealth of local retail businesses running in the town, and anything that helps people realise this is a great tool.”
Almost 80 specialist retailers are listed, many of them independents, including toy and gun shops, galleries, antiques and gift shops. Many of these are GRA members and 27 in total have joined the ‘Spend Local’ card scheme, which gives customers access to discounts and special offers.
Mr Charles said: “I have had some great feedback from participating shops and customers alike about the card and many shoppers are enjoying the offers available. Overall, I think any idea that promotes local retail is a great idea.”
For more on GRA, go to www.gra.uk.net