Lichfield & Tamworth Lichfield & Tamworth Chamber Patrons

Contact: Chris Brewerton T: 077534 53624

A bold new vision for Tamworth town centre

Businesses, residents and visitors are being invited to put forward their views about how Tamworth town centre should be developed in the future. Tamworth Borough Council has made

New venture: Matt Smith, Dan Pawar and Yvonne Smith

HSBC dishes out help with restaurant funding

The Olive Tree restaurant in Lichfield has re-opened after its new owners secured funding from HSBC UK. The restaurant has been purchased by

Matt Smith and his mother, Yvonne, who together have more than a decade of experience in the hospitality industry. As well as supporting the restaurant

purchase, the funding has been used to renovate and replace some of the business’ existing facilities, including new flooring throughout, new toilets, a new foyer, signage and lighting in the dining room. Since purchasing the restaurant, Matt and

Yvonne have created four full and part-time jobs, including a head chef, a business development manager, front of house manager and general manager. Matt said: “We’re excited to launch our

new restaurant. I would like to thank HSBC UK and our relationship manager, Dan Pawar, who has supported our new venture throughout.” The deal is part of HSBC UK’s £1.1bn lending

fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the West Midlands.

regeneration a priority, and a number of projects and investments are planned to ensure the town centre can keep pace with the changing needs of 21st Century visitors and consumers. As well as investing millions in

the town centre itself, the council is also looking to attract more investment through initiatives like the government’s £675m Future High Streets Fund.

‘We need businesses, residents and visitors to the town to come forward with viable, positive ideas’

The council said: “A new strategy and vision is

being drawn up for the town centre, and as part of that, we’re looking for people to give us their positive ideas about how Tamworth town centre can and should move forward. “At the same time we’re hoping to raise

awareness of the change the council actually has the power to effect and address some common misconceptions around things like business rates and rents. “We are also aiming to bid for a slice of the

cash available as part of the Government’s new £675m Future High Streets Fund – and consultation with the public about what improvements are needed is a key part of that.

“We need businesses, residents and visitors to

the town to come forward with viable, positive ideas about what the town centre should and could offer to ensure it is a thriving, successful place that people want to visit.” Tamworth Borough Council leader cllr Daniel Cook (pictured) said: “Town centre regeneration has and always will be a priority for this council but we really want to focus our efforts on how we can ensure it grows and evolves despite changes in shopping habits and the national

retail picture. “We have to establish a new

vision for Tamworth town centre, to identify viable uses that people want and the market can support, we need an

evolution of what the town centre is. “We need to define what the town should be

offering to ensure it is a thriving and successful place that people want to visit. It could be that it should include more housing, more leisure, a greater variety of food and drink or more artisan retailers, for example. “We get tired of hearing the same old

arguments and misconceptions. The fact is we don’t set the business rates and we only own 18 properties in the town so we are not responsible for the majority of property rents either. “We can’t scrap parking charges as they

represent 10 per cent of our annual income to our net budget. “We are never going to get back the town

centre we had 30 years ago – the majority of people don’t want that and the market wouldn’t support it. “What we need is to move forward and

develop a town centre that is fit for the 21st Century.”

Chamber lends support to Lichfield Festival

One of the most important multi-arts festivals in the region is to be supported by Lichfield & Tamworth Chamber of Commerce. The Lichfield Festival, now in its 38th year,

stages more than 80 events as well as running an extensive education programme. The Chamber will be using its extensive

business networks to help the festival forge new relationships with industry as well as offering advertising and promotional support. Corporate sponsorship is a pillar of support

for the 10-day festival, a registered charity that attracts more than 50,000 visitors to Lichfield every summer. It also extols the importance of “cultural and creative assets as key to our quality of life and

48 CHAMBERLINK March 2019

our offer to inward investors, talent and visitors”. Festival chair Helen Wiser said: “We are very

excited to have the backing of such an influential business organisation and, as an existing member, we are very proud to see the Chamber investing so demonstrably in the community.” Chris Brewerton, Lichfield Chamber’s senior

relationship and business development manager, said: “We believe it is vital for business to support such a great local initiative that is now firmly part of the Lichfield events calendar and we look forward to playing a leading role in encouraging firm to get behind events that attract so many visitors every year.” The multi-arts summer festival will take place between 5-13 July.

Spectacular: Lichfield Festival

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