Save the High Street was founded by Andrew Bartlett and Nick Danks when they decided to join forces and support their local high streets and save their communities, together. When the duo met three years ago, they realised that their goals, ambitions and morals aligned with one another, and their brains started to tick. Individually they are both successful businessmen in their own fields – Andrew runs the #RoamLocal campaign, a social network for high streets and Nick runs Madhouse Media, a fully integrated marketing agency supporting the same field.
Therefore, they already knew that they had what it takes to run a business. So, when they both simultaneously thought of the concept behind Save the High Street, it was only natural that they teamed up. They concluded that two heads are better than one and decided to set out on their newest business venture together.
Save the High Street was born from the pain that both Andrew and Nick felt their local high streets were going through. Andrew witnessed a lot of the businesses in his home town of Darlington closing due to diminishing sales and business support. Nick resonated entirely with this and said that he was experiencing the same situation in Chester Le Street and the surrounding areas. They sadly realised that the majority of high streets in the UK were experiencing the same problem.
Feeling pride for their local area and empathising with the local businesses, the pair decided to do something to change how the high street was losing out to online shopping. They put their heads together and after extensive research, realised that there were a lot of businesses out there that were not getting the right support. Many businesses were trying to stand their ground. However, with no support or education on the newest digital trends they were finding it hard to make ends meet. They came to the conclusion that if businesses don’t have the support to evolve with the world around them, they will soon fall behind and essentially fail. So, like all courageous entrepreneurs that had gone before them, Nick and Andrew took charge to solve the issue they saw and Save the High Street came into the world at the end
of 2018. The aim of their creation is; to be a big voice for small businesses. They are helping businesses not only to evolve to survive, but they are also guiding them into flourishing like never before.
Together they combined their business development knowledge and got to work. The two were bound to succeed from the very start. Not only do they have experience with different complex parts of business, but they both know the ins and outs of business due to both being directors. They both feel compassion for other business owners and are determined to go to every effort to ensure not one more local company will close.
So, what does Save the High street do? Not only do they have a free support line that any business can reach to ask a variety of questions, no matter how big or small. They also provide completely free consultations on all business needs. For example, they can assist with the Marketing, Energy Procurement, Water, Chip and Pin devices, insurance and more. They take no money directly from the business that is coming for their help. As a team, they also bring over twenty-five years of business experience in marketing, sales and development to that businesses can access.
Unlike a lot of businesses, Save the High Street is not a money-driven organisation. It is there to support and help local businesses with their evolution, as well as improving the surrounding areas. They strive to see local businesses succeed and to turn previously declining high streets into invigorated and thriving hubs for the community.
In addition to helping local businesses, both Andrew and Nick concluded that they are both keen philanthropists and that this needed to be brought forward into their business too. They took it upon themselves to not only start putting money into local hotspots, but they also chose charities to dedicate a lot of time and money to within each community they help thrive.
The two charities they chose to dedicate their attention to are the ManHealth and the YMCA. When looking in to which charities to choose, ManHealth struck a chord in both Nick and Andrew’s hearts, due to them having strong personal connections to the cause. Andrew came from a care background and was raised in an environment in which some of the children had autism and other mental difficulties. He used to spend a lot of time when he was younger, helping some of them to develop their skills. Nick has friends and family with mental health issues, and he also spends time volunteering with autistic children.
They then decided to choose the YMCA as their second charity. They were aware that it is such an active community centre hub that is not recognised or supported enough. The YMCA has changed many people’s lives and continues to do so. They also provide vital community resources and various types of support for the young people.
A variety of types of support comes and will continue to go from Save The High Street to both of these charities. Both Andrew and Nick are aware that both places have such a deep connection with their community. However, they don’t just donate money. They also organise and execute events, as well as assisting the charities with marketing, hopefully boosting the recognition of the charities and raising more awareness.
Save the High Street’s core values lie with the fact that all the people involved are benefiting from what they are doing. They are a fully transparent organisation that is sending a positive ripple effect throughout UK communities.
At the moment, Save the High Street is focusing mainly on regenerating local businesses in the North East. However, in the next five years, they have big plans to stretch into Scotland, as well as help over seven thousand businesses. They are also planning to open four offices to support their growth. Of course, their growth will be exponential because the positive impact they have already made on businesses, communities and charities is quite simply life-changing. They are the hope and help that our declining high streets are crying out for.