Press Release from East Cambridgeshire District Council
The idea came from a series of visits made by members and officers from East Cambridgeshire District Council last year to gain insight into what local retailers thought of Ely.
The meetings sparked some great ideas with one put forward by the owners of Yarn on the Square – Ginette Heard and Christine Brown – forming the gem of the idea for the Welcome Pack.
They suggested that when they first opened their store in Ely it would have been useful to have had a reference manual of some kind to provide information on the city. This idea was welcomed by other traders both new and established so has been brought to fruition by the newly formed City Centre Forum.
Tracey Harding, Tourism & Town Centres Team Leader at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “We know how important it is for the beating heart of Ely to be strong and vibrant. Not only does it give the residents a great range of choice but it acts as a magnet for visitors to come and spend their money. This is why it is important that we work together to create a community spirit for our retailers. The Welcome Pack is the first of many initiatives which we are going to introduce over the next few weeks and months with the aim of creating a city centre we can be proud of.
Ginette Heard from Yarn on the Square, said: “When we first opened in Ely we were like any other new business – excited and full of ideas. We had a lot of support from friends, family, and Business Link, but we were both completely new to retail. To begin with it was not always easy to get the information needed. , and we were not always sure of who to ask even very obvious questions. When we were asked to look back to those early days, we thought it would have been useful to have a little more knowledge of how the city centre worked and the support which was there. This is where the idea for the Welcome Pack came from and it is great to see our idea become a reality to help others.”
Tracy Allgood from newly opened Allgoods of Ely, said: “As a new business in Ely I was asked to have a look through an early draft of the Welcome Pack and I thought it was really helpful with lots of useful information. As a fledging retailer, time seems to fly by as your life is taken over by your drive to see your ideas succeed. This is why the pack is so useful as it puts in your hands all the details, contacts and numbers you need in one place. I have had a great start to my business and I can’t wait to see what the future for the city centre will be as we all work together.”
Every business has had an Information Pack delivered to them and all new businesses will have one delivered to them when they open.
For more information please call 01353 665555 or visit www.eastcambs.gov.uk.