Retail Development Programme
As part of the Working Neighbourhoods Fund (WNF) programme in Birmingham funding was allocated aimed at increasing the city’s economic output and productivity, as well as mitigating against the impacts of the recession on the business community.
Retail Development Programme (RDP) - Now Closed
The aim of the Programme was to support existing independent retailers and attract new independent brands to Birmingham. The programme provided financial assistance through grants of between £2,500 and £10,000 for a variety of purposes, from marketing to shopfitting.
The project was completed in March 2011.
An independent external evaluation was carried out by Consulting In Place.
In March 2011 it reported the following:-
Evidence from the evaluation shows that the programme met a real need for independent retailers in Birmingham, as retail was a sector that was rarely targeted for support. The demand for the programme was evidenced through the high number of enquiries and applications received. One of the key aspects of the delivery model was the decentralisation of delivery, with promotion of the project and the provision of support and guidance being devolved to local levels. The project officers were commended for their helpfulness and support, and the programme as a whole was run well.
The evidence collected through our beneficiary survey allows us to calculate the impact of the RDP in terms of additional GVA and employment. The headline figures for this are:
- Accounting for persistence effects, i.e. the long term impacts of the support, total additional GVA of £1.95m
- ncluding these persistence effects, for every £1 of RDP spend, £2.30 of additional benefits were generated
- Over 310 jobs were safeguarded and almost 230 jobs created as a result of the support from the RDP
Other impacts of the RDP included increased access to new markets, improved confidence in the Council among retail businesses, safeguarding against the recession, the provision of a valuable source of finance and the regeneration of local town centres.