AFTER a flood of entries, five lucky entrepreneurs have been shortlisted in Altrincham’s Drive 2 Thrive competition.

Drive 2 Thrive Altrincham is a campaign for people living and/or working in the area to come up with their own business proposition to boost Altrincham.

Messenger Newspapers: drive 2 thrive

Over the past two months people from across Altrincham have been submitting their business ideas to get the town centre thriving once more.

From food outlets to street rejuvenation firms, the entries have shown the variety of innovative ideas the people of Altrincham have for the area. Entries came from a full spectrum of age groups, ranging from 17 to 90 years old.

It’s great to see we’ve inspired so many!

Five lucky business brains now go head to head for the once in a lifetime business opportunity.

It’s now time for you to decide; we want our readers to vote for their favourite idea to choose the final three businesses to go face to face with our panel of expert judges.

Here’s an overview of each business idea – all you need to do is scroll down and vote for your preferred business idea. Only one vote per computer will be registered.


Business brain: Carl Brown

Age: 23

Business idea: An art deco tea room combined with a contemporary art gallery space to display the works of local artists and art students in order to provide them with the opportunity to boost their profiles and perhaps even generate revenue for themselves through sales.

Why Deco would boost Altrincham town centre:“Deco will be a social hub appealing to many sectors of the local community. It will be a meeting place harking back to the roaring 20’s era as well as a space to demonstrate the wealth of talent which exists in the area.”



Business brain: Jamie Gordon

Age: 17

Business idea: FREEMAPS is a free hand out which will be given out at the entrances of Altrincham tram, train and bus stations. Visitors will be able to look for a category which interests them (for example cafes) and then match the description of the café up with the number on the map and find their way there. The user could also enjoy a discount by showing their FREEMAP.

Why FREEMAPS would boost Altrincham town centre: “FREEMAPS is about people, giving them a reason to go to Altrincham and contribute to the local economy. This is about getting business back into Altrincham and FREEMAPS will do it, I promise.”


3. Altrincham Open Market

Business brain: John Hoare

Age: 61

Business idea: Altrincham should build on its market town legacy by expanding on resources it already has. Altrincham Open Market would be open three days a week and would be a small business and craft market. Stallholders would own their own stands and be given a licence to pitch their wares at an agreed side street location.

Why Altrincham Open Market would boost Altrincham town centre: “The open market would bring weekly social interaction, entertainment and entrepreneurial excitement. All local shops, restaurants and bars would also benefit from an influx of customers.”


4. Big Tuna

Business brain: Richard Foster

Age: 28

Business idea: Health food catering business aimed at gym goers and health conscious general public. Big Tuna will provide fresh, great tasting, healthy food, ranging from barbequed chicken to pasta with homemade sauce. All items on the menu will have nutritional information printed. All recipes will be developed to have little unnecessary fat, oil and sugar.

Why Big Tuna would boost Altrincham town centre: “It would provide locally sourced ingredients from Altrincham market and local shops, and Trafford Council would benefit linking with the Trafford health campaign. “



Business brain: John Wonnacott

Age: 42

Business idea: Local creation would provide space for local artists (ranging from potters, jewellers, painters to fashion designers) which they could use to run classes, have workspace or have a gallery for retail. The business would also create a local artistic community and act as a springboard for a local arts festival.

Why Local Creation would boost Altrincham town centre: “The business would perform as an incubator for local creative businesses whilst they establish themselves. Tenants would be local people offering bespoke locally made products which aren’t currently on offer in Trafford.”

The top three finalists will go head to head in a Dragons Den style pitch and our judges will crown a winner on Thursday, November 3.

The winning business idea will be awarded a £1,000 cash prize, plus a business mentorship programme with leading business figures in Altrincham.

This will include business mentorship from Myers Lister Price Solicitors, PR and marketing advice from marketing and PR agency RMS, assistance with property and business planning from Nikal and business and training support from Trafford Council.