Wednesday, July 20, 2016

News: Rotherham High Street 100% let

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Two new independent retailers have opened in Rotherham town centre, meaning that all units on the award-winning High Street are now occupied – the first time in a number of years the street has benefited from a 100% let.

Maia Interiors, located at 34 High Street, is the town centre's fourth pop-up shop and the final shop to be let on High Street thanks to funding from the Association of British Bookmakers. Maia Interiors stocks a range of quality gifts and homeware including candle holders, canvas prints, vases and ornaments designed to spruce up your home.

Owner Deborah Wylie said: "It's always been my dream to run my own business and the pop-up shop has given me the perfect opportunity. I am thrilled that the scheme has given me this chance as I would not have been able to open otherwise."

Meanwhile the Sweet Escape Dessert and Ice Cream Parlour, located at the former Chinese restaurant at 23 High Street, was recently opened by young entrepreneur Tomasz Ugniewski.

The business prides itself on hand-making a mouth-watering range of cakes and desserts such as the delicious Cocoffee and Shaky Shaky cakes, ice cream sundaes and very popular waffles and crepes with a variety of toppings.

Customers can choose to either eat-in in the tropical style café area or take their treats away. And as the eaterie is open seven days a week, fancying a sundae on a Sunday is no problem either!

"I'm really pleased to be opening my new business in Rotherham town centre and look forward to welcoming customers to enjoy the delights on offer," said owner Tomasz.

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Rotherham town centre was named as a Portas Pilot by the Government in 2012 and compiled a pot of £350,000 to support the council and its town team partners in realising its vision to create a vibrant and thriving town centre with a different retail offer by fostering new, independent businesses.

The business vitality scheme aimed at encouraging new independent retailers to open up outlets in Rotherham town centre has been running since 2008. The scheme has provided discretionary financial assistance in the form of rental contributions, business planning, business advice, and contributions to shop front grants, fit out costs and street furniture.

Pop-up shops offer 12-month supported trading, rental increments and bespoke business advice. The scheme in Rotherham is being funded jointly by the Association of British Bookmakers and the Portas Pilot Initiative.

Last year, the initiatives were recognised when Rotherham was successful in the best town centre category in the Great British High Streets Awards, a Government-backed competition to find and celebrate the nation's best high streets.

Rotherham's Retail Investment Manager Bernadette Rushton and Regeneration Manager Simeon Leach were invited to the launch event of this year's awards to speak before business leaders and the Minister for High Streets Marcus Jones.

The pair spoke about Rotherham's experience in taking part in the competition last year and what the success has meant for the town. Rotherham – which impressed the judges as well as receiving thousands of public votes from local people - was the only one of the seven category winners from 2015 to be invited to speak at the launch event.

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>Bernadette Rushton said: "It was great to be invited to the launch event of this year's Great British High Street competition. Our speech was very well received and we were congratulated on our success by government representatives and business leaders."

Cllr Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy at Rotherham Council, added: "It’s fantastic to see that Rotherham is being recognised for the great work we are doing and I'm delighted that it coincides with another two unique independent businesses opening in the town centre. I wish these new ventures every success for the future."

Other recent openings include Mysticum Luna, a previously online-only business supplying handmade jewellery for all things mystical, which has opened in the Imperial Buildings.

Sweet Escape Facebook page
Mysticum Luna website
Rotherham town centre website

Images: Sweet Escape / Facebook

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