Approval to award a contract to Loyal Free to implement and manage a bespoke App linked to local businesses that offers incentives and encouragement to shop and play locally.
In 2020, Covid-19 caused the largest
contraction in the UK economy
for over 300 years. Although the implementation of the vaccination
programme and the announcement of the ‘lockdown road map’ by
the government has offered more immediate hope about the road to
recovery, the impact of the pandemic on businesses, jobs and
households will continue to be felt in the months and years ahead.
Already, we have seen the existing inequalities widening, with the low-paid and already vulnerable groups disproportionately affected across a range of socio-economic and health measures.
Before the pandemic, the decline of the UK’s high streets is well documented. The growth of out-of-town shopping centres and internet shopping has led to absentee landlords, empty shops and a stifling of choice at the heart of our communities. The pandemic has therefore accelerated the need to think differently about how we design and create vibrant, thriving high streets across the county.
The council recognises that our market towns and high streets play a critical role in the county’s economy and in our communities. While the composition and size may vary, they are often a point of community focus and for generations have been the place where people go to shop, meet or work. They are an economic, social and cultural hub that shapes the vibrancy, wellbeing and prosperity of where we live and work. In addition, they are the key interface between the wider rural areas and connectivity to and from Hereford.
Providing support to our market towns and high streets to enable recovery as soon as possible is therefore one of the Council’s immediate priorities. Cabinet Members have a vision for Herefordshire to join the growing number of Councils and organisations that have a bespoke digital platform linked to local businesses that offers our residents incentives and encouragement to shop and play.
Project management resource will be provided to support the implementation of the Loyal Free App.
Decision type: Non-key
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Notice of proposed decision first published: 04/05/2021
Decision due: 18 March 2021 by Director of adults and communities
Contact: Stephen Vickers, Director for adults and communities Email: Stephen.Vickers@herefordshire.gov.uk.