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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 168

Date:- 18 September 2004

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Young Merseyside entrepreneur picks up another top business award

YOUNG Liverpool born entrepreneur Mike Welch's company, Black Circles Ltd, has picked up another top business award this time at The 2004 National Business Awards for Scotland Awards.

Black Circles, which is the UK's fastest growing and leading online tyre retailer, has picked up the E-Strategy Business of the Year award to go alongside the other awards including the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year award which Mike won himself in 2003.

The twenty five year old Liverpudlian who moved to Scotland in 2000 to attend university has since created one of the most exciting businesses in the UK and is starting to create a revolution in the way that tyres are bought and fitted.

Mike Welch said:- "I'm made up with this award. We've worked really hard to create a business that can compete with major tyre retailers across the UK and with this award and with the thousands of people who are buying their tyres from us we are looking confidently at the future."

The Black Circles tyre buying experience is incredibly simple and changes the current tyre buying process many consumers experience on a daily basis. 

Customers visiting the Black Circles website or callers to the company's call centre experience a simple and transparent buying process. Completely open price listings are provided and the times for fitting the tyres are made entirely to suit the customer and their diaries.

Mike Welch added:- "Black Circles is the new way of buying and fitting tyres. The old way of doing it, which very often involves traveling to and waiting in a queue at a tyre fitting centre only to find out the tyre you need is not in stock is a huge waste of time and effort. Black Circles avoids that situation happening."

Black Circles also has a number of high profile strategic relationships with other major online players including Europe's largest online motoring websites. 

The company, which was formed in 2001, has former Kwik Fit Group Finance Director Graeme Bissett as chairman and has over 800 approved tyre fitting outlets across the UK.

Huge fall in reports of anti-social behaviour

A PIONEERING youth initiative in a Liverpool neighbourhood has led to a massive decrease in anti-social behaviour. 

Rather than gathering on street corners and outside shops, teenagers spotted on Childwall's streets this summer have been invited to take part in Summer @ Hope, a project taking place at Hope University's nearby campus each Friday evening.

Five-aside football, drama workshops, discussion groups, beauty therapy sessions and IT facilities have been on offer for free in an attempt to get young people off the street.

The huge take-up by more than 200 local teenagers, saw a massive 80 per cent fall in reported incidents of anti-social behaviour in some parts of Childwall.

The ten-week Hope project was devised by Liverpool City Council's South Suburbs Neighbourhood team and comes to an end next week.

Councillor Marilyn Fielding, Liverpool City Council's executive member in charge of Neighbourhood Management, said:- "This shows how the city's Neighbourhood Teams are making a real difference. Our officers on the ground noticed a problem and acted to create an innovative new project, which has been a massive benefit to everyone in the Childwall area. The fall in anti-social behaviour is a direct result of this project."

Inspector Dave Fox, Merseyside Police's Childwall neighbourhood inspector, added:- "We will continue to work with our partners in tackling anti-social behaviour and the negative impact it has on the lives of local residents. This project, along with high visibility policing, has helped remove the problem over the summer, rather than simply moving it elsewhere."

Summer @ Hope was funded by Liverpool City Council, Merseyside Police, Hope University and Connexions, which provides help and advice to teenagers on education and careers.

All the young people who took part will be presented with a certificate of attendance.

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