Sudbury: Department store Winch and Blatch diversifies with help of Grants4Growth programme
06:00 26 March 2014
A programme that delivers grants to small and medium sized businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk is helping an independent high street department store to diversify as it enters its 70th year of trading.
Winch and Blatch in Sudbury has worked with the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Breckland council, which administers the European Regional Development Fund-backed Grants4Growth programme, to develop a new aspect of its business.
The family-owned business sought to identify growth areas within the retail sector, as a result of which is has now added a coffee shop to its premises, which has been named Winch’s Café and offers views over Sudbury’s historic Market Hill.
“Research tells us that by 2020, 20% of high streets shops will be gone,” director said Judith Blatch. “Therefore as a business with a passion for individual service on the high street we are always looking for new ways to grow. We are delighted that the Grants4Growth project has enabled us to do this.
“As a business we have over 60 full time and part time employees and see ourselves as a key part of the local economy. That is why not only were we pleased to open Winch’s Cafe but were delighted to use local tradesmen for its construction, use locally sourced fresh produce to serve from it and employ new staff to serve our customers from it.”
Andy Wood, chairman of New Anglia LEP, added: “The Grants4Growth programme is important for small and medium sized firms in Norfolk and Suffolk that want to grow and thrive.
“New Anglia has always been committed to leading economic growth and seeing real jobs going to real people making a real difference. We are seeing that at Winch and Blatch and I am delighted that Grants4Growth is making a real and lasting difference in Sudbury.”
Mark Kiddle-Morris, chair of the Grants4Growth project and executive member for assets and strategic development at Breckland council, said: “We are delighted to be able to provide Winch and Blatch with grant funding to support the investment in their business. Diversifying their offering with the inclusion of a café will help sustain the business, safeguarding local jobs and maintaining an important local family business.”