Masterclasses aim to boost town centre businesses

Local business owners and managers are being invited to take part in a free '˜Town Centre Business Boost' masterclass.

Thursday, 8th March 2018, 12:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th March 2018, 12:59 pm
Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Alderman Gareth Wilson and Adrian Farrell, Chair of the Business Partnership Alliance (BPA) encourage businesses to register their interest in attending a 'Town Centre Business Boost' masterclass and learn about customer service, digital marketing and visual merchandising from leading experts.

As part of its ongoing drive to grow the local economy and support a thriving retail sector, the council will be running a series of masterclasses later this month in conjunction with the Department for Communities.

A highly knowledgeable team of leading experts have been commissioned to deliver practical sessions aimed at helping businesses improve their overall performance by providing them with the skills, confidence and inspiration they need to make positive changes in key areas such as customer service, digital marketing and visual merchandising.

The Banbridge event will take place in the Old Town Hall on Wednesday, March 28 between 5.30pm and 10pm. Other sessions will take place in Armagh and Portadown.

Speaking about the masterclasses, Lord Mayor Alderman Gareth Wilson said: “Each expert will share their experience and provide practical tools and advice on how businesses can not only survive but thrive in a rapidly changing and fiercely competitive retail landscape. I recommend that local retail businesses take full advantage of this initiative because they cannot afford to get left behind when it comes to adapting to changing consumer demands, embracing digital technology, engaging with customers and providing a richer customer experience.”

Adding to this, Adrian Farrell, Chair of the Business Partnership Alliance (BPA), said: “We understand the pressures that many independent retailers and other businesses in town centres across the borough have faced in recent years. Through delivering these masterclasses, we aim to better equip local retail businesses with the skills they need in order to increase their competitiveness so that they can retain existing customers as well as attract new ones.”

Former UTV business editor Jamie Delargy will host the masterclasses and will be joined by three expert speakers.

Clare Bailey, one of the UK’s leading retail experts and best-selling author of ‘The Retail Champion’ and ‘How to Sell to Retail’ will speak about improving customer service and optimising visual merchandising. Mags McAlpin, founder of Creating Retail Magic, NI’s leading visual merchandising and retail consultancy, will speak about how retailers can succeed in today’s competitive environment. Digital marketing and social media expert Amy Chestnutt, who works for Full Digital, will speak about using social media to boost footfall.

To book your place at a ‘Town Centre Business Boost’ masterclass register at or contact Patricia at Full Circle Management Solutions on 028 9069 1027.