7 steps to Whitehaven
As the spokesperson for TEG Retail, sitting in Whitehaven Civic Hall during the workshop led by Sonia Cubrilo of the High Streets Task Force was like sitting at the intersection of opportunity and change. With more than 30 years of experience in town centre regeneration, Ms. Cubrilo perfectly expressed the essence of what TEG Retail stands for—creating opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to be a part of community renewal.
Councillor Mark Fryer’s words further cemented our conviction that now is the right time to create lasting partnerships among local stakeholders, businesses, and communities. His enthusiasm for the idea of local groups coming together to share and pool their resources echoes our mission at TEG Retail.
Our programme isn’t just about providing market stalls; it’s about nurturing aspiring entrepreneurs through a structured mentorship scheme. We help them turn their business dreams into tangible, profitable ventures that simultaneously benefit their communities. And it is with this spirit that we propose a pilot plan to be a part of Whitehaven’s town centre regeneration.
The TEG Retail Whitehaven Pilot Plan
Step 1: Scouting Talent (to be fair we already have a waiting list!)
Our first action will be to scout for aspiring entrepreneurs in Whitehaven who demonstrate passion and drive. We’ll host a series of workshops and bootcamps, where they can pitch their business ideas.
Step 2: Pop-Up Market Stalls
Selected candidates will be given market stalls on King Street (as many have already witnessed every month). This provides them with a low-risk platform to test their business concepts, engage with customers, and receive constructive feedback.
Step 3: Business Mentorship
Alongside the market stalls, our mentorship programme kicks in. Weekly meetings with industry veterans, business strategy reviews, and financial planning sessions will be on the agenda.
Step 4: Open the Retail Enterprise Hub
Our ambition is open our Retail Enterprise Hub that allows our member retailers to not only benefit from “class room” business support but also have an indoor trading area to work from. Thus moving from Market Stall mentorship to full retail business support.
Step 5: Creating Synergy
We’ll introduce our mentees to established local businesses, aiming for partnerships that can benefit both parties. Whether it’s a coffee shop hosting a pop-up book stall or a clothing store showcasing artisan jewelry, the idea is to create a symbiotic business environment.
Step 6: Securing Retail Spaces
Upon successful completion of the mentorship programme, TEG Retail will support and help negotiate retail spaces for our mentees. These won’t be just any spaces; they’ll be spaces that align with the town’s regeneration plans, ideally multifunctional venues as discussed in Ms. Cubrilo’s workshop.
Step 7: Community Engagement
Throughout this pilot, we’ll be actively seeking feedback from the community, ensuring that the businesses we’re nurturing meet the needs and desires of Whitehaven’s residents.
By the end of this pilot, with the right support we will have ten more mentees move from market stalls to permanent retail spaces, contributing not just to the economy but also to the rich tapestry of community life in Whitehaven.
The time for change is now, and TEG Retail is committed to being a catalyst in this transformation. We wholeheartedly agree with Ms. Cubrilo’s sentiment that we must create our own opportunities. And what better opportunity than to lift up the very entrepreneurs who could define Whitehaven’s future?
For more on the High Streets Task Force
, visit their official website, and to learn more about how TEG Retail is transforming lives through entrepreneurial mentorship, visit our website. Here’s to new beginnings, new opportunities, and a revitalised Whitehaven town centre. Let’s create, not wait.