'Queen of Shops' helps revitalise town centre

THE head of Rotherham’s regeneration body pointed out this week that plenty was being done to improve the town's fortunes—including organising training courses with TV retail guru Mary Portas.Paul Woodcock, head of Rotherham Investment and Deve

THE head of Rotherham’s regeneration body pointed out this week that plenty was being done to improve the town's fortunes—including organising training courses with TV retail guru Mary Portas.

Paul Woodcock, head of Rotherham Investment and Development Office, said: “We welcome any observations or suggestions made by visitors, residents or businesses and find it frustrating that Rachel Elnaugh had such an unpleasant experience, as this is very unusual in the town centre, where service is friendly, polite and helpful.

“We’d welcome the chance to show Ms Elnaugh around the town centre again and are sure we can find somewhere for her to have a decent latte, some electricity and a friendly Yorkshire smile.

“For those businesses who need a helping hand in that department the council will shortly be announcing training courses, where customer service features heavily, by Mary Portas—as seen on the hit BBC series Mary Queen of Shops.

“The new working group, ACT for Rotherham, consists of pro-active retailers in the town centre, who are aiming to better the retail offer and look at areas such as customer service.

"With that aim a customer service award will be rewarded to the successful retailer in February of next year.

“While not ignoring major retailers, Rotherham is repositioning itself based on its strengths—popular markets, an impressive Minster and a focus on small, high-quality, niche independent businesses.”

Mr Woodcock pointed to initiatives such as the recent Food and Drink Festival, the Free After 3 Parking scheme, the YES! Project and the £37 million All Saints’ Quarter development as more evidence that the town's business leaders were not sitting on their hands.