Integral to our High Street Manifesto 2018 and it’s success are the people on the front line who work with independent businesses in their community on a daily basis.

Often these individuals saw the decline of their communities’ retail offering and high streets as a result of the 2008 recession, but were determined to change this.

With headlines and narratives mindlessly echoing that the “High Street is dead, we’re doomed” to sell fear and advertising space, they didn’t take this for a credible answer and used their own initiative to seek improvement on a grassroots level. Through coordinating with members of their local business community to start their own organisation or getting involved with their existing local government associations, they have shown an impressive mixture of entrepreneurship and dedication.  

The aim of our programme is to empower these dedicated individuals and give them the resources and support they need to maximise the improvement that they can have on their communities.

They will be able to help spread our message and encourage business owners to embrace the technological revolution and transformation of high streets across the United Kingdom.


How do I get involved?

To get involved you can register your interest in joining our Local Champion’s programme by emailing localchamps@savethehighstreet.org 

Just let us know your name, where you’re from and a quick intro on what you’re up to.

We’ll come back to you with more information about how we can help and what you can do next.


Meet The Champions


Sarah Bassett

“As Chairman of Alcester Chamber of Trade my role was to support the local business economy. I discovered the Regional Destination Management Plan, the District Council’s Core Strategy, and a very dated Town Plan. I then pulled these together to create a formal plan for Alcester. I later set out in search of strategic partners, stakeholders and community engagement. I soon had the Town Council, District Council and Warwickshire County Council on board.”


Read Sarah’s full interview here 


Erica Roffe

“Since 2010, we have been striving to change perceptions about Bedford. We run pop up events, publish an arts & culture magazine and have just launched Explore Bedford with the aim of raising the profile of Bedford Borough as a visitor destination. We aim to increase pride and engagement among residents and to increase the value of the visitor economy. Bedford’s independent retailers are at the heart of our campaign.”


Read Erica’s full interview here 


Emma Robinson

Emma Robinson

“Barnes is a very special place and I feel privileged to live in the area. I took on the role of Town Centre Manager at a time when local businesses were suffering from the impact of the recession and we had a high number of empty shops locally and an unloved feeling about the area. I wanted to see if I could make a difference to the retail scene and bring the buzz back to Barnes.”


Read Emma’s full interview here 


Gail Laser

“I realised from doing all this work that amongst many issues was the fact that we had a pretty disparate community and a business retail community that didn’t really understand or communicate with. each other so I set up a website intending that the businesses would use it to promote themselves, up sell, offer discounts etc but this didn’t happen so I set up the Love Barnet Facebook page and decided to promote the local businesses myself.”


Read Gail’s full interview here 

Are you a Local Champion?

Do you know anyone that would be perfect for the programme?

Please share this article with them and get in touch using localchamps@savethehighstreet.org

We are looking forward to hearing from you!