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News - 1 December 2009
The Fair Shop

Tourism Futures offers ‘Fair’ deal for local businesses

For the last two and a half years, City College’s Tourism Futures Project has gone from strength to strength, with some participating businesses announcing very healthy sales thanks to the free cutting edge courses on offer.

Whilst the SEEDA funding comes to an end in March, the College has been able to secure further funding to ensure that it can continue to offer free or discounted training to local businesses during these difficult economic times.

As part of the project, City College and the Tourism Futures team set up the Tourism Forum as a way of bringing businesses together to share relevant employment and training information and to encourage businesses to work together to your mutual benefit.

City College is committed to supporting the Tourism Forum for the foreseeable future and it will remain free of charge.

One local business that has benefitted considerably from Tourism Futures is local 'Fair Trade' shop, Fair, based on Queens Road. So far, Fair’s sales are up 40% on this time last year and they have surpassed their projected sales for 2009. Fair supports fifty craft projects worldwide, providing work to those who need it most.

Fair joined Tourism Futures earlier this year and have since taken advantage of all the retail workshops: Space Planning, Customer Service, Window Display and Visual Merchandising.

City College’s Retail Trainer Marcus Pescod, who has been working closely with Fair, says: “With Fair, we’ve been looking at ways to increase footfall and generate higher sales. Time spent working together has really helped the business, driving sales forward while remaining true to the product and brand.”

Fair’s manager Emma Hiscock, says: "Signing up to Tourism Futures and being able to use the training that's on offer has made a huge difference to our business. It's given me and other staff members the confidence to display our merchandise effectively and create displays that attract more customers in and encourage them to spend more. Customers regularly comment on how lovely the shop and window looks which is really encouraging."

Since completing the training, Emma has been inspired to do an NVQ qualification in Retail Skills with the College: "I think the qualification is all about confidence-building and knowing that what you're doing in the shop is right. It increases your awareness of the skills required to do your job effectively and in the long-term, it will look good on my CV - which is especially helpful in the current climate."

Tourism Futures is offering a variety of courses covering marketing, management and retail-specific skills. Dates are available throughout January and February. For more information, contact City College's City Business Skills department on 01273 667756.

For media enquiries, please call Brian Bell, Marketing Communications Officer, on 01273 667788 Ext. 488 or email website

Read related items on:
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Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants
Tourism, entertainment and hospitality
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