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Bishop Auckland MP Helen Goodman has introduced a ‘Digital High Streets’ initiative to support local businesses and encourage retail growth in the town.
Jane Imrie

Bishop Auckland businesses boosted by ‘Digital High Streets’ scheme

Bishop Auckland MP Helen Goodman has introduced a ‘Digital High Streets’ initiative to support local businesses and encourage retail growth in the town.

In conjunction with payments tech firm Square, the initiative offers free card payment services and digital skills sessions to entrepreneurs and SMEs in Bishop Auckland and surrounding areas, including Shildon and Spennymoor.

The initiative follows a decline in high street shopping in Bishop Auckland with retailers leaving the town in favour of outlying retail parks, as well as a decrease in ATM facilities affecting smaller traditionally cash-based businesses.

Almost 60 local businesses have signed up to the initiative, receiving free debit and credit card readers as well as digital skills training.

Square’s Melinda Roylett commented: “It’s been great to meet such a wide range of local businesses that make up Bishop Auckland and the surrounding area and help them get started with digital payments, as well as give them pointers on other technologies that can help them to run their businesses.

Helen Goodman, MP said: “This scheme has been tailor-made for Bishop Auckland, Shildon and Spennymoor and is already providing a much-needed boost for businesses.”

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