Visitor Attractions

The following information has been supplied via South Lakeland District Council.  More general information can be found on the SLDC website link:

SLDC Business Rates – All premises are exempt for 3 months if empty. Industrial premises receive up to 6 months if they become empty. We would only be seeking to confirm whether the flooding had affected the whole premises and preventing any trade from the site. Consideration will be given, where appropriate, to extend these periods via means of a local scheme which is awaiting approval, specific to the flooding. Contact SLDC Taxation Team 01539 793245 or

Time To Pay – This scheme allows affected businesses additional time to pay taxes to HMRC, including VAT, PAYE and corporation tax. For further details contact the HMRC hotline on 0800 904 7900, set up for those who have been affected by flooding and may have difficulties in meeting their tax liabilities. To apply to the Time To Pay Scheme call 0300 200 3835 and discuss with an adviser.

Federation of Small Businesses For Members: for insurance related issues, irrespective of being a policy-holder, contact FSB Insurance on 0345 762 6158. Contact the Legal Advice Line on 03450 727 727 for any legal aspects to the flood and clean-up. The legal documents section of the website also has useful support (log-in required) For Non- Members: call FSB Insurance Advice Line on 03450 727 727 and speak to Steve Dawson. For employment support: contact Brian Harrison on or 01539 730382 For practical support: contact Paul Foster on or 07917 628909.
Cumbria Tourism – Working with FSB to ensure the impact of the tourism sector is fully captured, and assisted with Government financial support. Please complete it here:
Helpful guidance and updates on the floods are here A helpline is available for affected businesses, contact 01539 822222 or

United Utilities – Water bills are being suspended for customers who have been forced from their premises, businesses should contact 0345 072 6072. Customers will need to supply a temporary address along with the flooded address. For any water or wastewater issues, call 0345 6723 723.
Electricity North West – Emergency Contact 0800 195 4141 or email, tweet @ElectricityNW
Cumbria County Council – contact 01228 606060



The recent Let’s Talk Shop support programme in East Lothian provided opportunity for ten independent businesses in East Lothian  to receive one-to-one advice from The Shop Doctor in the days following the retail masterclass held on the evening of Tuesday 26th August.

Businesses participating in the programme were Footlights Dancewear and Haddington Herbals in Haddington;  whynot?, Tulipa and The Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick; Knowes Farm Shop in East Linton; Dunbar T-shirt Shop and 1650 Coffee Shop in Dunbar;  Cashmere Barn at Fenton Barns Retail Village and The Merrygoround in Gullane.

Each of the businesses will be receiving a comprehensive Shop Doctor Recommendations Report detailing potential opportunities to help further develop retail vitality within each of the diverse range of businesses visited.

IMG_1159 croppedHaddington Farmers’ Market, held on the last Saturday every month, also received a visit from The Shop Doctor with the objective of identifying routes to further enhance footfall to this popular and very friendly event.

Each of the 17 stalls active on the day were reviewed, as was the way in which the market as a whole engaged with customers.


IMG_1745Part-funded by the EU ERDF programme, ‘Revitalising Tourism Retail’ is based on a highly successful pilot provided last year by East Lothian Council. The programme  is once again being delivered by Let’s Talk Shop Ltd.

Independent retailers in North Berwick, Dunbar, Haddington, Gullane and East Linton have enrolled for the programme which commences on the evening of Tuesday 26th August with a masterclass looking at the challenges facing the retail sector.

In addition to the masterclass, each participating retailer will benefit from a one-to-one advisory visit from The Shop Doctor that will be supported by a comprehensive Recommendations Report identifying opportunities to help enhance retail vitality.

For more information visit the East Lothian Council website

As part of the programme, The Shop Doctor will also be visiting Haddington Farmers’ Market on Saturday 30th August.  The subsequent Recommendations Report will provide pointers to help individual stallholders refresh their offering and identify routes to enhance the market as a whole.


As part of the Visitor Attraction Pilot Project being delivered by Dumfries & Galloway Council 12 visitor attractions across Dumfries & Galloway will be receiving advisory visits from both VisitScotland and Let’s Talk Shop.

Shop Doctor Bill Smith will be visiting each of the 12 attractions to identify business development opportunities capable of improving business performance, and onward profitability, whilst VisitScotland will be advising on routes to ensure that the attractions maintain their existing, or further improve, their quality assurance grading.

Attractions enrolled  include:

Mabie Park Farm

Cream O’Galloway

Creetown Gem Rock Museum

Drumlanrig Castle

Galloway Activity Centre

Marrbury Smokehouse

Barstobrick Visitor Centre

Hidden Treasure Museum of Lead Mining

Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre

The Whithorn Trust

Annandale Distillery

Hetland Garden Centre & Dino Park


The project is funded by ERDF  in conjunctioDumfries-and-Galloway-Logo 3n with Dumfries and Galloway PrintCouncil

Let’s Talk Shop has recently been awarded the contract to work with Dumfries & Galloway Council, VisitScotland and 12 quality assessed Visitor Attractions across Dumfries and Galloway.

The intention of this pilot project is to add value to support to be delivered by VisitScotland who will be advising the attractions involved how to sustain and improve the quality of the visitor experience based upon their established Quality Assurance criteria.

Let’s Talk Shop will be focusing on identification of routes to improve overall business performance  and recommendation of areas for business improvement capable of delivering positive impact on both business vitality and the visitor experience.

“This is not just about enhancing any retail aspect within the attraction” advised Bill Smith of Let’s Talk Shop, “it’s about taking an holistic look at each of the attractions and identifying routes to enhance their vitality and opportunity for effective and profitable engagement with those visiting”

Dawn Hunter-Ellis of DHE Associates will be applying her valuable experience of the tourism sector by working in association with Let’s Talk Shop in the delivery of this project.