BUSINESSES in Alcester and Studley are being encouraged to take part in a scheme aimed at attracting new customers.

The programme, put together by the Warwickshire Towns Network, is tailored to increase awareness that the high street is changing and the training will equip businesses with skills to change the way they interact, trade and attract new customers.

The training is free to those who sign up but in return, businesses are being asked to dedicate time and commitment in order to improve their business as well as the wider town centre.

Leader of Warwickshire County Council and portfolio holder for economic growth, Councillor Izzi Seccombe, stressed the importance of supporting town and village centres.

“In a climate where internet shopping and the convenience of out of town shopping play a bigger part in serving the needs of consumers, our town centres need more than ever to provide interesting, social and unique experiences for locals and visitors who want that much more from their trip, whilst also providing jobs for local people and supporting the Warwickshire economy," she said.

"I would urge retailers to sign up for the course, to help improve their business as well as their town and trading environment.”

To find out more and to sign up for the training, details can be found at warwickshire.gov.uk/towncentres.