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Ellesmere ports Whitby Road high street LOOKS TO become first in the country to go digital
6 August 2014 – Ellesmere Port’s Whitby Road is becoming the first high street in the country to go digital.
Cheshire West and Chester Council have teamed up with Google Trusted Photographer Ross Goldstein to create Google business views of the street’s shops – using the latest Google internet-based technology.
Ross, who lives locally, is offering to create engaging and interactive 360-degree tours of shop frontages and views inside the business in a format similar to how streets are navigated in Google Street View.
Helping to show viewers what’s on offer in the town, if all 60 businesses take the Council supported offer up, Whitby Road high street would become the first in the country to be fully operational within Google Business View.
Executive Member for Economy and Culture, Stuart Parker, said: “This is a brilliant initiative which will really highlight what Ellesmere Port retail has to offer.
“The innovative use of Google will enable viewers to take a virtual tour of the shops which will enable them to really appreciate what a great shopping opportunity Whitby Road provides.”
Whitby Road’s latest addition Montague Cafe has already taken advantage of the offer and Ross work has been added to Google Business View http://goo.gl/H79eyB
Ross said: “I want to see my home town really flourish again and I believe that together we can make this happen.
“The Google Business View service helps businesses reach out to potential new clients through an interactive virtual tour, directly accessible from search results. This really is a future proofing service from Google and now with the support of the local council is at its most accessible to the shops along Whitby Road high street.”
Mayor of Ellesmere Port, Councillor Brian Jones, said:” These business views will help people to take a virtual first step though the door of the Whitby Road shop whilst on their computer at home.
“This modern technology is a real opportunity for local businesses to increase their footfall, as this can only encourage residents to visit their local shop next time they are in the area, which must be good for business.”
The Council has also teamed up with mentor to small and independent businesses, Phil Smith. Phil, a local based retail expert, is offering individual expert sessions with shopkeepers how best to engage with their customers and showcase their retail offer.
Phil’s sessions are supported by the Council, which has prioritised supporting local businesses in becoming more economically viable and attract new customers.
Phil said: “I am absolutely delighted to support and share my business knowledge with independent retailers, who play a vital role in the revitalisation of Ellesmere Port town centre.
“We always complete a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis together and that highlights many opportunities for their future success in the town.”
European Social Fund supported courses are also being offered to high street businesses by Sara Challinor of Mooreskills, based at Pioneer Point.
Sara and Phil are working together in tailoring businesses training needs so local retailers can benefit as much as possible from the opportunities.
Sara Challinor, Director Mooreskills: “We are delighted to be supporting the retail businesses within Ellesmere Port. Having supported thousands of small retailers UK wide it is a pleasure to be working with small businesses in our home town to support growth and sustainability in the area.
“We plan on hosting many more sessions including social media, visual merchandising, sales and marketing to support local businesses.”
Local Councillor, Justin Madders, said: “In the fiercely competitive world of retail, shops need to explore every avenue to make sure they are doing the most to maximise their business.
“It would be absolutely fantastic if we were able to get Whitby Road to be the first high street in the country fully integrated with Google Business View. We still have a long way to go, but each of these little steps is contributing towards making Whitby Road a thriving part of the town.”
The Council’s focus on supporting high street businesses follows on from its recent investments in creating new businesses in empty shops along Whitby Road to help regenerate the area.
The high street has been prioritised in the Vision and Regeneration Strategic Framework of the Ellesmere Port Development Board. For more information contact Jochem.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Caption: Photo by Ross Goldstein, Left to right: Sara Challinor – Director Mooreskills, David Armson – FabLab, Mayor of Ellesmere Port, Councillor Brian Jones, Ross Goldstein – Google Trusted Photographer, Jochem Hollestelle (CWAC), Phil Smith – Retail expert and Councillor Justin Madders.