A broad range of businesses gathered at Oskubox in Lymington to discuss practical measures to improve the vibrancy of town and village centres.

Attendees enjoyed a Nordic style breakfast as per Oskubox’s speciality before hearing from business owner Oddny about how the business was created and the challenges she has faced in the early months of trading.

This breakfast meeting built and followed on from the four sessions held around the district in the autumn of last year. At these sessions a number of barriers to growth and challenges were identified. The objective of this session was to look at practical measures to be implemented to overcome these.

Amongst the themes discussed there was a recurring idea of collaboration and communication. The idea that best practice carried out by an individual business or town could and should be shared elsewhere so that others can learn and benefit. In a similar way, there was the idea businesses can be ‘critical friends’ to each other and assist in identifying strengths and weaknesses locally.

There was also a strong theme of creating a positive customer experience within towns which can create a more engaging feeling than shoppers would experience when shopping online or at a large shopping centre.

It was agreed that NFBP should continue to work with local partners including New Forest District Council and Hampshire County Council to implement and develop the ideas discussed at this breakfast before feeding back to NFBP members, town and village coordinators and individuals within the local authorities.

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