Shortlisted for BID Excellence Award - Touchwood bucks national trend - The Solihull Observer

Shortlisted for BID Excellence Award - Touchwood bucks national trend

Solihull Editorial 14th Oct, 2019   0

SOLIHULL’S best businesses will be celebrated in next month’s BID Excellence Awards.

We continue our look at the each of the shortlisted finalists. This week we focus on one of the five nominees in the Outstanding Innovation and Enterprise category.

As high street store closures soar and the struggling high street continues to feels the pressure, Solihull’s Touchwood shopping centre continues to buck the trend.

Year-on-year sales growth of 1.7 per cent is something to be proud of, says Touchwood, in the context of a retail sector facing many difficulties, while Touchwood’s unit vacancy rate of 3 per cent is significantly below that of the 11 per cent national average for similar-sized centres.

Touchwood’s management team helps provide free training for their team and tenants on Autism Awareness, Dementia Care and Inclusion. They also provide a free recruitment and training service for their tenants working with Solihull College to deliver the Touchwood Academy.

“Reaching out has never been more important if Touchwood is to continue to play a meaningful and proactive community role to help attract visitors, drive local revenues and add to general prosperity,” explains manager Tony Elvin, who sits on the boards of the Solihull Chamber of Commerce and Solihull BID.

Along with Solihull Observer, Solihull College & University Centre, Phoebus Software, BNP Paribas Personal Finance, Wasps Rugby and I.M. Properties, Touchwood is one of the sponsors of this year’s Solihull BID Excellence Awards.

The annual awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, November 21, at St Johns Hotel.

Mr Elvin said: “The centre is increasingly seeking to collaborate in order to influence, steer and support all with a vested interest in making Solihull great.

“No business can claim to be seamlessly woven into the fabric of the town without proactively engaging with the community.

“Touchwood is well aware of its responsibilities, both as a major local employer and as a significant contributor to the economic and cultural prosperity of Solihull.”

Community engagement has increased within Touchwood over the past 12 to 18 months.

“Touchwood’s staff are generous with their time and their creativity when it comes to assisting good causes. Last year they donated over 800 man hours (or 114 working days) with a value of over £200,000 to support initiatives associated with education, helping the elderly or those suffering disability or illness,” added Mr Elvin.

“Representation on the Homelessness Task Force, Employment and Skills Board and the Crime Reduction Forum are examples where Touchwood management seeks to reach out beyond the confines of the centre and help the local community find the answers to issues that concern them.

“Touchwood believes that delivering on a commitment to be an active and positive participant in the community isn’t just about words, action is also required. In this sense, the work of the forum and taskforce will be vital going.”

* Judges have whittled down the number of shortlisted businesses after receiving more than 100 entries.

This year’s awards feature seven categories: Best Hospitality and Leisure, Best Independent, Best Customer Service, Outstanding Young person, Outstanding Innovation and Enterprise, Outstanding Team of 2019 and Outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility Project.


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