Businesses welcome new Richmond town centre manager


The Richmond Business and Retail Association appointed Con O’Brien earlier this month.


By Emma Hitchens

Businesses in Richmond are welcoming the council’s decision to appoint a new town centre manager.

The news comes after The Richmond Business and Retail Association, which provides funding for all shopping areas through the Town Centre Opportunities Fund, appointed  Con O’Brien earlier this month.

Mr O’Brien is said to be working closely with individual traders, The Richmond Business and Retail Association and the council, to help generate trade and further improve the town centre, as well as promoting it as a first rate shopping destination in the capital.

“At the moment, the council’s approach to helping traders is very poor – it feels there is no general support as a local business,” said Mark Archer, Managing Director of Imperial Printers.

“I am hopeful that Con will bring businesses together, encourage B2B trading and therefore all businesses will benefit.”

Unique independent shops in Richmond that are finding trading conditions tough hope he will be able to help make the town an even better place to visit by expanding the presence of the boutique shopping available in the town.

“It’s such a small area around here. Half of it is brand for big labels, but there are a lot of small, independent  people and we need somebody to get everyone together, with a bit more authority to guide and lead it,” said Mary Spiteri, owner of Tit-fer-Tat Hats & Accessories.

“I hope that Con will help to emphasise on the boutique shopping that’s here. That’s what needs to be sold to the people; the speciality shops.”

Mr O’Brien, who had previous experience as town centre manager on a temporary basis in the run up to Christmas, has spoken of his keenness to offer businesses his ‘full support’.

“I’m looking forward to working with everyone who has an interest in making the town even more exciting for shoppers, residents and businesses alike,” he said.

“Part of my work will be acting as a facilitator between businesses and helping them in their dealings with the council.”

It is hoped that he will be able to come up with ideas for making the town an even better place to visit.

“The whole point of this is to increase footfall in the centre and generally improve the whole environment in the town, making Richmond a more vibrant place for people to come and shop,” said Cllr Pamela Fleming, Richmond Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Business and Culture.

“With a strong town centre manager, a pro-business council and willing businesses and landowners, I’m confident of great results.”

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