A scheme offering support to retailers to strengthen their businesses and make them more sustainable will return to Peterhead this year.
Aberdeenshire’s previous iterations of the Retail Plus Scheme proved popular when they ran in Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banff and Macduff and were considered very successful.
A further phase will now run in Peterhead as part of the Peterhead Development Partnership Vision and Action Plan, the regeneration plan for the town.
Local businesses which have not taken part in Retail Plus before are invited to an information evening at the town’s Albert Hotel on Wednesday, January 11 at 5.30pm.
The project is split into two parts and will run over a number of months.
The first, delivered by retail management consultants The Retailer, gives each business access to specialist expertise and confidential advice tailored to its individual needs, to help maintain long-term sustainability.
The second complements the expert advice by offering an improvement and enhancement scheme, aimed at encouraging and supporting private investment in Peterhead’s town centre premises.
Up to £2,000 grant funding will be available from Aberdeenshire Council, to be matched with 50% funding from applicants, to help implement the advice received.
Managing Director of The Retailer Group, Gordon Bell, said: “We are delighted to once again be supporting additional local independent retailers via Aberdeenshire’s Retail Plus program.
“These are challenging conditions for all retailers, so assistance at this time is particularly valuable.
We have seen many achievements in the earlier phases and are looking forward to working with more local retailers, hopefully repeating these previous successes.”
Chairman of the Buchan Area Committee, Stuart Pratt, said: “This is the second retail plus project to be delivered from the Peterhead regeneration plan, and it aims to secure business viability and maintain town centre services.
“It is a great opportunity for retail businesses to seek expert advice and grant funding to invest in their business.”
Katrina Allan, of local bakers Murdoch Allan, who took part in the initial scheme added: “The Retail Plus programme has been fantastic for our business – it has alowed us to make the changes we needed quickly to grow our shops.
“The advice and help from The Retailer has been excellent – they are always available and have a genuine passion for your business to succeed.”
Iain Sutherland, Project Officer for Rediscover Peterhead BID, said: “This scheme has been a major investment by Aberdeenshire Council and we know that businesses value this advice and assistance, so we are keen to see it back to help the town centre.”
Full details of the Retail Plus Scheme will be announced at the meeting in January.
There is no need to book in advance and refreshments will be provided. It will also be possible to sign up for the scheme at the end of the launch event.
Representatives from The Retailer and Aberdeenshire Council will be available to answer any questions businesses may have.