24 Urmston businesses have launched a unique advent calendar to help the local economy
But, after being forced to close down and subsequently suffering huge losses, the group have decided to do an 'Indie Advent' - whereby one business is the focus of a virtual campaign on a separate day, and each offers a special treat hidden behind their ‘advent door’.
Local businesses have been amongst the worst hit during the coronavirus pandemic – so two dozen Urmston companies have decided to do something about it.
Two years ago, several small businesses in Urmston got together to form ‘Indie Urmston’ to try and increase footfall and sales in the area.
But, after being forced to close down and subsequently suffering huge losses, the group have decided to do an ‘Indie Advent’ – whereby one business is the focus of a virtual campaign on a separate day, and each offers a special treat hidden behind their ‘advent door’.
Running from the 1st-24th of December, the treats range from the release of a new product to a special offer for their advent day.
Indie Urmston said: “From restaurants and pubs to coffee shops, retail stores, hairdressers and beauty salons, there is a real mix of independent businesses involved in Indie Advent, with the overriding objective to encourage people to shop local this Christmas and support independent businesses fighting for survival in Urmston.”
At its halfway point, the businesses involved have already announced impressive offers such as 35% off at Little Yu boutique, and Prairie Schooner Taphouse’s 12 beers of Christmas.
Scott Power, co-owner of Get Chucked and founder of Indie Urmston said: “Urmston is very much an up and coming place and the high-street is full of independents, so basically we saw that and we thought, Urmston is going to be better if we bring more people to the area and share the love.”
Coronavirus has eliminated a huge portion of the footfall that generates profit for businesses when they are allowed to be open, so this project is hopeful that it can decrease some of the damage done for the businesses in Urmston.
Scott said: “When people hear about a business potentially not doing so well, There is very much a rallying spirit that goes around they pull together in support. And I think the whole Indie Advent event is geared towards letting people know that these places are still here.”
The independent businesses involved in Indie Urmston include; Little Yu Boutique, Kin Bakehouse, The Barking Dog, What’s the Catch, Ixia Flowers, Scrumptious, The Larder at 7, Nikki & Co, Music for the Soul Records, Prairie Schooner Taphouse, Fred’s, Poppies 11, Kelder, Get Chucked, Thomas Carter Opticians, The Steamhouse, Rose & Bumble, Astoria Bar & Restaurant, BrauHaus, A Cut Ahead, Lockette’s Fashion, Craft Brewtique, The Retreat and Showcase Studios.
Daily updates can be found @indieurmston on Instagram.
‘Provocative’ life insurance firm hit with advertising restrictions after using Harold Shipman picture
A life insurance company that controversially used a picture of Harold Shipman in a recent advertisement is to have all of its future marketing campaigns restricted.
Leicester-based firm DeadHappy – which is known for its strapline ‘life insurance to die for’, and has a reputation for shocking adverts – grabbed headlines last week after it used a picture of the infamous Manchester serial killer alongside the text “Life insurance: Because you never know who your doctor might be.”
The use of Shipman’s picture understandably received a barrage of backlash online, and was consistently branded “tasteless” and “disgusting” by critics.
The advert was even condemned by the families of some of Shipman’s victims.
A “popular” and “well-liked” local doctor, Shipman had been practising in Hyde for over 20 years, but went on to become Britain’s most prolific serial killer after doubts were raised over the validity of the will left by one of his patients following her death in 1998.
Shipman was eventually found guilty of killing 15 of his patients back in 2000, with his total number of victims said to be around 250.
After the advert continued to draw backlash, and a number of formal complaints were made by industry professionals, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – which is responsible for regulating the financial services industry – has now ruled that all of DeadHappy’s future adverts and marketing campaigns must be cleared by its risk carrier before being allowed to run, according to BBC News.
The FCA now states that the company “must cease to communicate any further financial promotions that have not received prior approval”, which means future adverts will need to be cleared by DeadHappy’s insurance provider, Shepherds Friendly.
On top of being hit with these restrictions, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has also said it is currently in the process of reviewing more than 50 complaints about the Harold Shipman advert.
DeadHappy has now apologised for the advert.
Addressing the FCA’s ruling, Andy Knott – founder of DeadHappy – said: “In our attempt to be provocative and make people really stop and think about their need for life insurance, we have made a mistake and for this we apologise.
“We will now go away and immediately review all of our current and future marketing campaigns to ensure we learn from this mistake.”
Shepherds Friendly says it is “committed” to its values and the advert “does not align” with them.
“Following the FCA’s restriction on DeadHappy’s activities, we are ensuring those requirements are complied with,” a Shepherds Friendly spokesperson concluded.
Featured Image – BBC
New images give sneak peak at £210m redevelopment plans for ‘eyesore’ Manchester hotel
New images giving a sneak peak at impressive £210 million plans to redevelop a Manchester city centre hotel once branded an “eyesore” have been released.
The former Renaissance Hotel is undoubtedly one of the most divisive buildings on Deansgate, was notably once labelled an “eyesore”, and had been facing demolition since 2018 – but plans were eventually unveiled to redevelop it into a part-office, part-hotel, and part-residential complex a few years back.
The brutalist structure is set for a whopping £210 million makeover, which is being overseen by Property Alliance Group and Starwood Capital.
Developers have now released a handful of new images showing what the new offices will look like.
According to redevelopment plans, the offices within the building will be spread over four floors and be around 36,000 sq ft in size.
With work expected to begin on the building by the end of next month, plans also show that there will be a communal roof terrace, a wellbeing studio, bike store, and showers with changing rooms, as well as flexible office space.
Speaking on the redevelopment plans, Alex Russell – CEO at Property Alliance Group – said the project is as “important” to the company as it is to the city of Manchester.
“It demands best-in-class for design and amenities to maximise its riverside location [and] we cannot wait to relaunch this vibrant and engaging destination for the city’s residents and visitors.”
Will Lewis, who is the founder of OBI, which is the company that’s been tasked with “bringing the commercial space to market” added that he wants to see both large and small companies rent office space within the building once redevelopment is complete.
“New build office development of this nature is unique, as it enables both large corporates seeking a self-contained HQ and SMEs to take space on a floor-by-floor basis,” he explained.