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FREE workshops to inspire retail

Tuesday, 6th August 2013

Marketing Lancashire, the Destination Management Organisation for Lancashire, is pleased to offer local retail businesses the chance to take part in a series of free workshops led by leading retail expert, inspirational speaker and winner of Innovator of the Year, Kate Hardcastle.

Kate Hardcastle is an internationally respected authority on transforming the retail experience for the customer and increasing sales for retailers.  She is a regular contributor and industry commentator on BBC, ITV, Sky News and many more.

 The latest report from STEAM* gives the value of shopping to Lancashire’s visitor economy as £855 million, an increase of 4% 2011-2012, making the retail sector one of the county’s biggest attractions for visitors. 

 Ruth Connor, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire comments

“Visitors are already drawn to the county by our award-winning farm and mill shops, garden centres and destination retail outlets, as well as a wealth of quality independent and boutique stores – but in these difficult times, retailers need our support.  

“With Kate’s inspiration and expert advice our aim is to help continue to develop this incredibly important sector for the county, to help retailers thrive not simply survive.”

The free workshops will take place at venues across the county throughout September, with the first taking place at Oswaldtwistle Mills Conference Centre on Monday 2 September; Multi-award winning Oswaldtwistle Mills was winner of Best Shopping

Venue for Groups in the Group Travel Awards 2012, beating off other finalists including The Trafford Centre and London’s Westfield Shopping Centre.

Spaces at the three-hour workshops are limited to two per business and must be booked in advance. The workshops will focus on improving and delivering consistently high standards of service, increasing sales and engaging the hearts and minds of customers.  Each workshop runs from 1pm – 4pm and includes sessions entitled The Retail Theatre Arena and Service -The Customer and Me.

All businesses attending the workshops will be entered into a draw, with one lucky winner receiving a free and private business consultation with Kate.


Monday 2 September                      Oswaldtwistle Mills Conference Centre

Tuesday 3 September                     Wrightington Hotel, West Lancashire

Thursday 5 September                   Brockholes, Nr Samlesbury

Tuesday 10 September                   The Dukes, Lancaster

Wednesday 11 September             Paradise Room, Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Tuesday 17 September                   Whalley Abbey, Nr Clitheroe

Wednseday 18 September             Barton Grange Garden Centre, Nr Garstang

For more information and to book go to

*Source: Steam Report 2012 – The Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor (STEAM) is a model used by tourism organisations to measure the economic impact of visitors on a destination.


Media enquiries: Anna Izza, Communications Manager, Marketing Lancashire

      01772 426 459

Notes to Editors

1.         Marketing Lancashire is the new name for Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board (from 1st April 2012)

Our activities in marketing and communications, commercial membership, `Welcome to Excellence` training and place marketing are all designed to grow the visitor economy and develop the destination as a great place to visit, live and work.

In 2012 Lancashire attracted 62 million visitors who contributed around £3.4 billion to the local economy and helped support 54,804 jobs. 

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For more information, practical advice and support, call Marketing Lancashire on:

01772 426450.