Grant support for Gallery Photiq will benefit the business community
"To have the support of such a forward-thinking council as Warwickshire County Council, which truly supports the business community, is amazing. It has made a real difference."
A small business in Leamington is keen to spread the benefit among the local community after receiving "amazing" support from Warwickshire County Council.
Gallery Photiq, specialists in fine art photography in Leamington Spa, applied for support under the council's Retail and Hospitality Grant scheme.
The scheme is part of an initial £8 million package of funding earmarked by Warwickshire County Council to support the immediate economic recovery in the county. The rapid release of funding has made grants of between £2,000 and £7,500 available to provide long-lasting benefits for the businesses, their local communities and the local economy.
Gallery Photiq received a grant towards a specialist camera which will transform their ability to provide virtual experiences. These will include exhibitions at their own gallery in Park Street, but also the production of virtual tours for other businesses, an increasingly important marketing tool at a time when many retail and leisure outlets cannot be visited in person.
Directors Nat and Ruth Coalson believe the new camera provides great new opportunities for their business and those around them. They are eager to assist other local businesses to repay them for the incredibly warm welcome received since opening in Leamington in 2019.
"When we came to Leamington we knew it was a special town in a lovely county, and we were confident in the local customer base," said Nat. "What we couldn't know was what sort of reception we would get from other businesses and the local council. In both cases the welcome has just been overwhelming.
"To have the support of such a forward-thinking council as Warwickshire County Council, which truly supports the business community, is amazing. It has made a real difference. We have also been so fortunate to have such support from the business community; people have been so kind and helpful. In Park Street and the streets around us there are so many wonderful independent businesses that have made us welcome.
"This is a really tough time for us all, and people have supported us, so as soon as we received this grant we began thinking of ways to help the local business community.
"This new camera is a game-changer. It has six lenses to capture images in all directions at once, a huge time-saver, and the images are of the highest quality. The resulting virtual tours are posted online, allowing people to virtually visit spaces, especially those that are currently closed, and explore them in great detail. The virtual tours also provide unlimited functionality for interactive elements, such as embedded video, animations and e-commerce links.
"In terms of our gallery, we can scan the showroom space then superimpose on it all the virtual art exhibitions we wish. We also aim to roll this out so that it benefits our neighbours, with plans to give free demos and discounted rates to local businesses. We have received fantastic support and want to give something back."
Warwickshire County Council leader Cllr Izzi Seccombe said: "It is great news that this Retail & Hospitality Grant is so appreciated and will be of such value to both Gallery Photiq itself and the business community around them.
"It is also very heartwarming to hear of the warm welcome that Nat and Ruth have received from the county council and businesses in Warwickshire at a time when all of us are facing such challenges. Just one more reason to be so proud of our wonderful county!"