Pennine Business and Tourism Forum

Minutes of meeting held on 7 September 2015






Simon FRANCE – Littleborough Local

Neela JACKSON – Star Tree Studios

John KAY – Chairman – Molesworths Bright Clegg Solicitors

Joanne MATTHEWS – Best Dressed Boutique

Nick ANDREWS (MoorEnd Trust)

Julie PIMLOTT (Fingerprint Gifts)

Susan HOLMES (New England Design)

Philip HOLMES (New England Design)

Tracey KNIGHT _ RMBC Pennines Township

Andrew BRADWELL        RMBC

Angie COOP       Co-op Store

Lesley THOMPSON Classy Cakes


Stephanie MILLS Dickey Steps Riding School

Nigel STANLEY Annis Hill Farm




Cllr Allen BRETT

Carol STERZIKER – The Flower and the Glory

Cllr Janet EMSLEY

Clare Bennett (Little Gift Shop)

Keith Swift

Cllr Anne Stott


1.        Introductions and Apologies


1.1     JK opened the meeting by welcoming everyone. Apologies given as above.


2.       Minutes of meetings held 15 June 2015


2.1     The Minutes of the last meetings were approved.


3.       Matters Arising

3.1     JK commented upon the issue of insurance for community events, RMBC through Cllr Emsley were looking at how the Council could support such events, but no update at present.

3.2     NA stated that the organiser of Ramsbottom Festival’s had been approached as a possible speaker. It was agreed that he would be invited to address a future meeting of the Forum.

4.       Rochdale MBC Pennines Town Centre’s Fund

4.1     TK introduced the new grant scheme. It had been launched 2/3 weeks ago. A total of £25,000 was available, split £15,000 for shop front improvements and £10,000 to support community events. The scheme was only available to support Milnrow and Littleborough Town centres.

4.2     Copies of the application form and guidance notes were available. It was stressed that as the scheme progressed tweaks to the scheme may be made. Grants for shop fronts would be for 50% of eligible costs upto a maximum of £1,000. Total cost being £2,000. Some issues and concerns were raised including the difficulty of getting landlords to commit to the necessary expenditure, and the fact that some owners/shop keepers would still not invest their own resources to secure a grant. AB commented that the scheme would be reviewed if it was not achieving the desired outcomes.

4.3     Clarification was sought on the eligibility of voluntary groups to apply for funding for events, specifically the May Day event piloted this year, but with potential to become a significant event in the L’boro calendar. TK confirmed that the monies were available for events such as the Food and Drink Festival and May Day events.

4.4     JK asked how such schemes had operated elsewhere in the Borough. AB responded that schemes had operated in Middleton and Heywood, via the Town Team’s. It was stressed that the funding was a targeted approach to reviving our Town Centres, aligning with the thinking of the Portas pilots and work undertaken by the High Street Foundation. However it was acknowledged that not everything  had worked and that the Council would keep the scheme under review.

5.       Small Business Saturday

5.1     JM said that last year’s event had been a success, from the shop keepers perspective. AB confirmed that funding could be made available again this year.

5.2     It was agreed to repeat the Hog Roast. NS agreed to secure quotations. AB encouraged the group to be creative in its thinking about the event. It was also agreed to secure entertainment, and publicity for the event including balloons (RMBC supplied last year) and flags to promote the event.

5.3     JM suggested that following the Food Festival the shop keepers were seeking too repeat the event at Xmas, this had been resisted, but consideration should be given to something similar on SBS might be possible.

5.4     AB agreed to send an application form for funding. PBTF to develop proposals and budget.

5.5     RMBC would promote the window dressing competition.      

6.      Littleborough Christmas Lights Turn On

6.1     JK sought to encourage shop keepers to remain open for an additional hour until 6/6.30pm. However those present thought that they benefited more prior to the events in the square. Once the lights had been turned on and entertainment finished the crowds drifted away, with the local take-away’s being the shops to benefit.

6.2     JK encouraged those present to communicate the event and potential benefits to other retailers, if the message came from peers it was more likely to be successful.

7.      Littleborough Food Festival 2016

7.1     NJ fed back the progress being made for the 2016 festival. A sub group comprising JM (Chair); Julia Pimlott (Treasurer); SF (Secretary); Mark ? (Business liaison) and NJ (Publicity) and ToR had been established. Whilst some progress had been made, having spoken with Cllr Emsley and officer re the issue of insurance it was considered safest to be addressed by the group securing its on insurance, estimated at £600.

7.2     An Event Plan was being prepared and licensing addressed. It was also agreed that a budget needed to be established.

7.3     It was proposed to have stalls in the square with the appropriate road closure. Work had also started on matching traders with retailers. The event would include celebrity chefs and a stage would ne required.  The event would seek to celebrate Queen’s birthday with the theme Great British food. The logo had been redesigned.

7.4     The group proposed to open its own Bank Account. JK suggested that they would need a constitution. It was agreed the Forum had no issue with the group opening a bank account.

7.5     JM commented that as yet they had not yet decided how to use the services of Cathy Burger, although it was likely they would use her to address any weak points. JK suggested that signage at the boundaries should be included.

8.      Milnrow Town Centre Initiatives.

8.1     JK reported that he had written to the Milnrow ward councillors and had had a follow up conversation with Cllr Brett. However he had nothing to report back. JK agreed to write to Cllr Brett.

8.2     TK and AB were asked what support they had in Milnrow. They suggested that a number of retailers might be worth approaching including the owners of the Italian Job; Furniture Store and Florist (opp the BP station).

9.      Sectaries and Treasurer’s Report

9.1     NA reported that the Forum had a mailing list of 126 and 80 members signed up for emails.

9.2     The Forum had a current balance of £1,890 with a commitment to the L’boro Food and Drink Festival of £250.

9.3     JK suggested that the Forum seek further funding from the Pennines Township to continue its activities. It was agreed to bring a proposal to the next Forum meeting.

10.    Any Other Business.

10.1   SL reported that next years Rushbearing Festival would be the 25th, silver anniversary since its reintroduction in 1991 and encouraged the members of the forum to support and get involved.

11.    Date of next meeting

Monday 23rd November at 6pm  Venue to be confirmed. To include speaker and light refreshments.

Contact Information

Pennine Business and Tourism Forum

Hare Hill House
Hare Hill Park
OL15 9HF

Mobile: 07880 335 437

Meeting times

Pennine Business and Tourism Forum is a Committee of MoorEnd Development Trust.

The Officers of the Forum are

Neil Butterworth (Chairman)
Nick Andrews (Secretary)

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