New Forest District Council (NFDC) and New Forest Business Partnership (NFBP) are facilitating 4 town and village workshops for retailers and all relevant community interests in The Avon Valley, Coast, Waterside and Forest areas of New Forest District.  The aim of the workshops is to discuss issues and determine the mechanisms that might be developed to improve the vibrancy and competitive edge required for our village and town centres to thrive in the future.

There are many issues affecting the vibrancy of the New Forest’s village and town centres, from changes in on-line commerce, consumer and social behaviour, to the growth in out of town shopping, proximity to large populations and local environmental ambience.  The Free workshops are open to all interests and will act as a starting point to discuss those issues and the creation of an action plan of potential solutions.

NFDC and NFBP already work to help stimulate consumer interest in our town and village centres through the Brand New Forest (BNF) Card Scheme and its associated Shop & Buy Local programme.  The BNF Town/Village of the Year Award is another means of promoting our settlements to both residents and the New Forest’s many millions of annual visitors.

In partnership with New Forest Business Partnership (NFBP) the Council has already delivered a series of successful digital training events for local retailers in the use of on-line and social media tactics for improving sales to consumers.  A further series of similar training events for retailers might well be one of the outcomes developed through the workshop process.

Whilst it is important to help provide immediate help and action to assist local retailers in developing sustainable business models and activities, it is also important for the Council to consider how longer term support can be provided through such processes as the upcoming review of the Local Plan.

Dates & Venues for workshops

New Milton – Tuesday 18th October 2016, 6pm –  Forest Arts Centre, New Milton (Theatre)(Lymington, Milford, New Milton, Bransgore and surrounding area)
Register your interest

Brockenhurst – Wednesday 19th October 2016, 6pm – Brockenhurst Village Hall (Exhibition Room) (Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst, Sway, Burley, Beaulieu and surrounding area)
Register your interest

Each workshop is free to attend and will start from 6pm.  For further information please contact Di Jackman on 023 8028 5588 or by email di.jackman@nfdc.gov.uk

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