TOWN traders are being urged to sign up for a week-long project to smarten up the high street.
The Love Ormskirk group has sent letters out to firms over the past week about their latest project – dubbed the “spring clean-up”.
Revamping tired shop fronts with a new lick of paint, putting up hanging baskets or displaying promotional window vinyls are three of the suggestions being put to businesses as part of the scheme.
The group wants traders to coordinate their efforts over the first week of April, creating a town centre-wide revamp that will breathe new life into the high street.
Love Ormskirk team leader Katie Givens, of lingerie firm Pandora’s Box, said: “What we’re doing is asking local businesses, community groups and volunteers to target grot spots and do up old shops.
“We’re encouraging every single retailer to get involved, sending letters out and speaking to people. Within that week, we want them to do something – it could be as simple as buying hanging baskets or, if they are thinking about repainting their shop, to do it during that week.
“We’re asking them to think about the outside of their shop, how they can do things to improve the look of it and hopefully, if everyone gets on board, it can make a real difference.
“People don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands of pounds. If they are planning some work – bring it forward.
“If not, step outside, have a real look and think what they could do. We’re on hand and can provide volunteers to help out.”
The announcement of the new scheme coincides with the launch of Love Ormskirk’s new website, www.love ormskirk.com, which went live earlier this week.
The setting up of the site – one of the key goals for Love Ormskirk when it formed in the wake of the town’s Portas Pilot bid last year – was paid for with some of the £20,000 funding the group received from the council.
The cash boost was part of a £100,000 pot the council was awarded through the Government’s High Street Innovation Fund last year.
The group is also looking to put together a quarterly magazine that can be given out free in all the shops in the town with features and information about the different traders.
Explaining the idea behind the website, Katie – who recently celebrated 20 years in business for Pandora’s Box, which has moved back into its original unit on Wheatsheaf Walk – said: “We now have more than 50 town businesses who are members.
“Each one has their own page on the site with their address, contact details, a logo and information about them. They can also include links to their own website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
“It’s a bit like a blog, as it will have news stories, top-ten tips and features. Members can get as much out as want as want to. “It’s a one-stop shop for shoppers. We’d like to thank the borough council for the grant funding which has paid for this.
“There’s a contribution fee from members, showing we are willing to put our hands our in pockets, but we couldn’t do it without the council support. We’re hoping now this has gone live other traders will be able to see something tangible and a lot more will sign up – the more members we can get, the better.”
Visit the group’s website at www.loveormskirk.com
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