Ellesmere Port: Whitby Road to be part of Google Business View

High street ready to go fully digital

Sara Challinor, director Mooreskills; David Armson, FabLab; Mayor of Ellesmere Port Brian Jones; Ross Goldstein, Google trusted photographer; Jochem Hollestelle, Town Centre improvement manager, Phil Smith, retail expert and Cllr Justin Madders

Ellesmere Port’s Whitby Road could become the first high street in the country to go digital.

The borough council has teamed up with photographer Ross Goldstein to create Google business views of the street’s shops using the latest Google internet-based technology.

Ross, who lives locally, is offering to create interactive 360- degree tours of shop frontages and views inside the business in a format similar to how streets are navigated in Google Street View.

If all 60 businesses take up the council supported offer, the historic high street would become the first in the country to be fully operational within Google Business View.

The borough’s economy chief, Cllr Stuart Parker, said: “This is a brilliant initiative which will really highlight what Ellesmere Port retail has to offer.”

Ross said: “I want to see my home town really flourish again and I believe that together we can make this happen.

“This really is a future proofing service from Google and now with the support of the local council it is at its most accessible to the shops along Whitby Road high street.”

Mayor of Ellesmere Port Brian Jones added: “These business views will help people to take a virtual first step though the door of the Whitby Road shop whilst on their computer at home.

“This modern technology is a real opportunity for local businesses to increase their footfall.”

The council has also teamed up with small and independent business mentor Phil Smith.

Phil, a locally-based retail expert, is offering individual expert sessions with shopkeepers on how best to engage with customers and showcase retail offers.

Phil’s sessions are also supported by the council, which has prioritised supporting local businesses in becoming more economically viable and attracting new customers.

Phil said: “I am absolutely delighted to support and share my business knowledge with independent retailers who play a vital role in the revitalisation of Ellesmere Port town centre.”

European Social Fund supported courses are also being offered to businesses on the high street by Sara Challinor of Mooreskills, based at Pioneer Point.

Sara and Phil are working together in tailoring businesses training needs so local retailers can benefit.

“We are delighted to be supporting the retail businesses within Ellesmere Port,” said Sara.

Ellesmere Town ward councillor Justin Madders said: “In the fiercely competitive world of retail, shops need to explore every avenue to make sure they are doing the most to maximise their business. It would be absolutely fantastic if we were able to get Whitby Road to be the first high street in the country fully integrated with Google Business View.

“We still have a long way to go, but each of these steps is contributing towards making Whitby Road a thriving part of the town.”

 
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