VIDEO - Sleaford’s new Town Team launched with blessing of High Street guru Mary Portas

Sleaford’s Town Team has been launched amid a flurry of publicity and a day of networking and business advice lectures.

The inaugural event was staged at the town’s Masonic Rooms on Westgate and saw things kick off with an outline of the make up, aims and ambitions of the Town Team by its chairman Clare Rayner.

Clare Rayner introduces a video message of support from Mary Portas. EMN-140711-150338001

Clare Rayner introduces a video message of support from Mary Portas. EMN-140711-150338001

It was backed up by video messages of support from TV retail queen Mary Portas, Sleaford MP Stephen Philips and Martin Blackwell (former CEO of the Association of Town and City Management).

This was followed by an address from Leader of North Kesteven District Council Marion Brighton who outlined the Sleaford Masterplan and a number of projects being put together with top consultants to reverse the trend of losing three quarters of the town’s potential revenue to other surrounding towns and cities.

As a Community Interest Company, the team of Andrew Rayner, Bev and Eddie Jenkins, Catherine Smith, Karen Pole, Nigel Gresham and Sharon Broadwood will be focusing on expanding efforts to regenerate Sleaford market, the evening and night-time economy, major events such as the carnival, business events and training and increase footfall to benefit local businesses.

Mrs Rayner said they will be practising their own philosophy of sourcing all goods and services locally for a fair price wherever possible and will be sustained through membership fees ranging from £12 to £1,000 per year, grants, donations and sponsorship and in future, if they gain the trust of the townspeople, they may look at resurrecting the Business Improvement District to unlock further investment.

* Read more on their plans in Wednesday’s Sleaford Standard and view this video interview with Clare Rayner, author of the book “The Retail Champion: 10 steps to retail success”.