July is Independent Retailer Month an initiative aimed at highlighting the importance of Indie retailers to the local community. Find out what we’ve been doing in Kelso to make the town buzz.
Kelso town centre has just emerged from a 5 year, £1.4m regeneration programme. The objective was to improve traffic flow and civic space, and renovate commercial and historic buildings with the aim of making Kelso town centre a welcoming place.
Following improvements to the streetscape and infrastructure the famous Square now feels like somewhere people might linger. Do a spot of browsing. Sit and sip a coffee. The hope is that people will stay longer and spend more.
This is good news for us as individual businesses but also great news for the local economy. A point that’s best summed up by this eye-opening statistic:
Of every £1 spent locally around 50p – 70p of that money recirculates back into the local economy. For the same £1 spent out of town only 5p trickles back to the local community.
Of course, increasing spending locally isn’t going to happen simply on the back of the regeneration works. It’s now up to us the retailers, cafes, hotels, B&Bs, hairdressers, local visitor attractions, to do everything we can to draw in locals and visitors to get Kelso buzzing.
To this end, A Hume have been working with a group of local businesses to encourage locals and visitors to shop, eat, play and stay in Kelso.
Here’s just a few:
- Updating a Visit Kelso website aimed at visitors, a hub of info, events and guides to the area.
- Creating a Visit Kelso Facebook page for the social stuff: offers, events and little bits of this & that to remind of the good stuff on your doorstep.We only launched on Monday and already the likes are over 400 Likes – get on there and join us!
- Experimenting with Sunday opening. On Sunday 30th August a number of shops will open to coincide with the Massed Pipe Band Day at Floors Castle.
- September 8th is Tour of Britain – cyclists and the whole cavalcade that accompanies them will arrive in Kelso for the last leg of the race. It’s an amazing opportunity to show case our town and we’re doing everything we can to make Kelso shine.
- Encouraging bus companies, who stopped coming to Kelso during the regeneration works, to return to Kelso. This has already been successful with a number of companies putting Kelso back on their routes.
- Publishing a new tourist map of the town, reflecting the new layout, paid for by local businesses.
- We’re also working on a mini-guide to Kelso and the surrounding areas to be distributed free to visitors.
And this is just the start of it.
The Visit Kelso group is filled with talented, creative business professionals, all focussed on boosting independent businesses in and around Kelso. Everyday more businesses are joining the group in recognition that we’ll achieve more together.
But we won’t do it without you, the customer. So this July show support for your local independent retailers and #BuyIndieInKelso.
For more info on joining the Visit Kelso group please contact:
Wendy Richardson, Pride & Joy
June Swan, Swans Shoes
Karen Hume, A Hume Country Clothing
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