Last week we took to the road for some Totally Locally work in Richmond , North Yorkshire followed by a return visit to our friends in #Ripon, all under our TownThrive package, which we have devised to work with local authorities and #BIDs to help activate High Streets at a grassroots level.

After a walk around stunning Richmond with our Business Association hosts, we met a big crowd at The Black Lion Inn (a pub is always the best place for meetings like this).

Our favourite bit of this sort of evening is after the presentation and informal Q&As, when all the ideas start flowing.

Whereas most business meetings end with everyone running for the door as soon as it’s over, we couldn’t get people to leave! The positivity from everyone who attended has been overwhelming, both on the night and since.

The next day we wandered Richmond and met some wonderful business people including Caygill Cycles (hand-building beautiful bikes in Richmond), Pink Sundays – an incredible gift shop, Granny’s Kitchen (making cakes, pies sweets & more in the cafe on-site plus loads more – and there was still a buzz from the night before’s meeting.

Richmond is great place with a lot to offer, but like many small towns they have their challenges. We know the meeting was the start of addressing some of those issues. Thank you to North Yorkshire Council for funding our visit and ORBTA business association for being our hosts.

At our Ripon meeting, our main talk was about a holistic approach to building a digital high street to wrap around the traditional one – using the TotallyLocally campaign alongside digital technology. This is something we are well into exploring by partnering up with a large tech company based in Yorkshire. Watch this space!