Welcome to your fortnightly update from the Newbury BID team, including the latest news from the business community, Newbury Town Council, West Berkshire Council, Thames Valley Police, and the Government. Look out for actions highlighted below!
CEO Update from Melissa
Please see the footfall stats for last week (22nd-29th August) and the YTD trend below. Last week was the busiest week we’ve seen in the town centre since March 2020, with visitor numbers up 3.4% on the week before.
The busiest day of last week was Saturday with footfall of 26,660, with peak numbers of visitors seen at around midday.
The 2021 line is slowly creeping up towards the 2019 line and it will be interesting to see what happens now we’ve reached the end of the summer holidays. I know some office staff will be returning, albeit as part of a hybrid working model in many cases, and hopefully the influx of visitors we’ve had from further afield over the summer will continue. It helps that a number of new businesses have opened and are soon to open, with Next in Parkway launching successfully last week, an HMV opening on the horizon, and Blues Smokehouse getting set to welcome diners this month. Kokoro will be opening in Northbrook Street in October, and there should also be further changes at Parkway coming soon.
ACTION: We have extended the deadline for our BID 2022-2027 “Taking Newbury to the Next Level” consultation to 30th September 2021. Thanks to those who have responded so far; your feedback is invaluable! You can view our consultation document online here. Please let us know via email if you are a levy payer and you have not received your personalised email to take part in the consultation survey (it’s worth checking your junk folder first, just in case it’s made its way into there!).
Please accept my apologies for the continued delay in sending out our Annual Report 2020-21. I am very hopeful it will be with you next week!
I’ll be helping to man our Visit Newbury stall at the Food & Drink Festival tomorrow between midday and 4pm. If you’re around, please come and say hello! We’ll be located near to St Nic’s Church in Bartholomew Street.
A huge thank you to Andy and Alex at Parkway Shopping, who arranged and paid for this fab vinyl to be displayed to rear of the Next building, facing La’De Kitchen. It promotes our Visit Newbury website and supports the messaging of the brand campaign we’ve been delivering in recent months. Make sure you check it out the next time you’re walking through Parkway!
New Measures to Protect Businesses Against Fraud
ACTION: The increase in the use of online and contactless payments for businesses looking to maintain business continuity throughout the pandemic has meant an increase in opportunities for fraud.
In December last year, businesses across Ireland, as well as much of Europe, saw the introduction of new measures focused on customer authentication to protect businesses by reducing fraud. On the 15th September, these same measures will be introduced in the UK.
Visa have helpfully put together some useful information on what you need to do to ensure you’re ready for the change. Below is a 3 minute video which explains what the change is followed by a simple 4 point checklist which explains the steps you need to take to ensure you are ready to go.
Operations Update from Alison
After delivering our incredibly busy but fun Summer Series of Events including the hugely popular Family Fun Days, I’m now planning for Halloween and Christmas! Halloween plans will be announced next week so keep your eyes peeled!
ACTION: Our Christmas Light Switch-On event is on Saturday 20th November and I’m looking for venues to host family activities throughout the day so please do get in touch asap if you would like to get involved in the festive spirit with us!
Don’t forget our Food & Drink Festival is taking place TOMORROW Saturday 4th September along Northbrook Street and Bartholomew Street and will have a stage and food court area so please do pop along if you are in town and enjoy! If you would like us to promote your business, please feel free to drop any promotional material to Shaun our Town Ranger on our stall which will be located on Bartholomew Street near the Church between 9.30am – 10am tomorrow morning!
Our 3-day Victorian Christmas Fayre from 3-5 December is finally agreed as we have now reached an agreement with Newbury Town Council for the use of the Market Place. More information will follow shortly as we are hoping we can get all public facing businesses behind this and create something really special and new for Newbury this Christmas!
The revised CCTV tender was issued last week and the submission date is Friday 17th September so further news will be announced shortly after then!
The weekly cardboard collection will be collected next Tuesday between 11am – 5pm so please leave out by 11am!
Our next PubWatch meeting is on Tuesday 21st September at 10am at The Catherine Wheel. This month we have warmly welcomed new members The Nags Head, Cobrizo Lounge and The Hive nightclub!
Our next ShopSafe meeting will be confirmed asap now that Shaun is back to work.
ACTION: 2021 Radio Audit – for those of you who have a radio, Shaun will undertake the annual Radio Audit w/c 27th September so please liaise with him directly to confirm your appointment that week.
ACTION: Talk of the Town / Meet the Board
It’s not too late to register to meet our BID Team and Board of Directors and input into our future and the future of Newbury town centre! Please register for one of the sessions as we would love to finally meet those of you who we haven’t yet met face to face!
Tuesday 7th September, 5pm-6pm at Regus House Business Lounge, 12-20 Oxford Street RG14 1JB https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/talk-of-the-town-meet-the-bid-board-tickets-167609645963
Wednesday 8th September 10am-11am at Chequers Hotel, 608 Oxford Street RG14 1JB https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/talk-of-the-town-meet-the-bid-board-tickets-167610723185
A massive Thank You to both venues who have generously provided their venues and refreshments free of charge – we salute you!
Marketing Update from Kirsty
It’s that time of the month where I can share our latest marketing analytics with you all! Once again, we exceeded our website KPI target of 10,000 users for a consecutive month! We reached over 11.2k users (11,281 vs. 2,743 for the same period last year), which helps evidence that we are establishing a clear Visit Newbury brand and helping to raise awareness of Newbury. Similarly, we’ve also seen an incredible 339.50% uplift in pageviews on the Visit Newbury website across the same period, increasing from 7,400 to 32,523, when compared to the same period last year.
Our events page topped viewing figures this month with nearly 5k pageviews, followed closely by our homepage, demonstrating once again the hunger for activities and things to do in Newbury. The page with the longest read time was ‘Parking‘, with over 8 minutes spent on the page on average. The second longest page read was for Newbury Pubs (5 min 30 sec), closely followed by Independent Shops (4 min 16 secs). It’s great to see that website users evidently take an interest in learning more about Newbury events, places to eat and drink, shop, and of course- where to park here!
This month we’ve received 153 new followers across our social channels and have very nearly hit 20,000 followers (19,954). On Instagram, we’ve reached 8k accounts, including 5.5k non-followers. We also received 1k profile visits to our Twitter page this month, and reached 42k people on Facebook.
In total so far for our Digital Display Adverts, we have delivered 196,668 impressions and had 13,189 clicks through to the Visit Newbury website. This is a CTR of 6.71% which is a great response. 81,064 impressions have been delivered on Web, 80,044 on mobile, 17,903 video and 17,657 native.
For August we received 93.3k impressions for our Digital Ad Exchange Advert with a 90.5% listen-through rate.
I was on annual leave last week, so this week has been a short but full-on week back!
Please see our latest press release online here, which made the front page of the Newbury Weekly News newspaper this week: Victorian Christmas Fayre announced for Newbury. Please help us to promote this by sharing the articles across your networks.
I have been working on the Newbury Real Ale Festival, including creating and ordering banners for the event as below, and have been busy working on our Indie Networking event, and content for the Food and Drink Festival this weekend, alongside managing various different projects and overseeing my usual social media, business support and town centre booking enquiries.
Rangers Update from Shaun
I’m now back to work following 6 weeks off on sick leave which is why you won’t have unfortunately seen me patrolling recently. I’m really happy to be back and get stuck in and start seeing you all again! Due to my recent sickness however I’m mainly desk-bound for the next couple of weeks. If you would like to arrange a 1:1 with me at any time to catch up or raise any issues or queries with me directly, please do contact me.
I will be undertaking the 2021 Radio Audit w/c 27th September and have emailed all of you who have a radio so please get in touch asap to confirm your appointment that week with me
Business Community Updates & Shout Outs
Thank you to all of you who nominated your outstanding members of staff to win a free pair of tickets to Newbury Real Ale Festival! We have notified the people who nominated the winners and will be delivering the tickets next week. We’ve been asked to keep the winners names a secret until they have been presented with their prize, so we will announce their names next week!
A message from Mandy, the owner of Pageant Party in Cheap Street: We all know what a tough year it has been for hospitality and events based businesses, us included! I would love to reach out to all pubs, cafes, hotels, or any business really, who will be hosting a Christmas party or event. I understand with everything, that budget limitations may apply for many of you, which we are more than happy to work around, to see what we can offer to make you stand out. I love being able to help my customers celebrate better, and I just feel that I can also help my fellow businesses as well! If you are interested, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01635 552244 or even send a social media message. If you are able to include your ideas on colour schemes, budget and any location preferences in your message, that would be appreciated.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Newbury Town Council Update
Newbury Town Council’s fourth Climate Change Workshop will be held on Saturday 25 September 2021 at St John’s Church and Hall at 2pm. Everyone is welcome and no booking is required.
The Workshop will have a number of guest speakers including Dr. Mike Morecroft, an ecologist working for the nature conservation agency for England, and Kofi Adu-Gyamfi, Waste Manager at the Environment Department for Waste Management at West Berkshire Council. Further information can be found here.
The future of the competition standard Skatepark in Victoria Park is under threat by continued vandalism. The Skatepark was officially opened in 2012 and it is extremely popular with not only local residents but BMX and Skateboarders who come from miles around to use the facility. Please click here to read the press release highlighting this important issue.
West Berkshire Council Update
The pedestrianised roads through Newbury Town Centre will be closed from 5am until approx. 10pm on Saturday 4th September to allow a Food and Drink Festival to take place. The alternative route for all through traffic is via London Road, A339, Cheap St/Bear Lane and vice versa. Emergency access will be maintained through the event.
The unnamed road to the Council offices along its entire length (where the road branches toward and along the east side of the council building) will be closed during the hours of 05.00 and 22.00 on Sunday 12th September 2021, or the following Sunday should high winds prevail. Access will be maintained from Market Street to the Eight Bells car park. The purpose of this closure is so contractors can dismantle and remove the Tower Crane from location described above. Please Note: Blue light access should not be affected. All enquiries should be directed to: Falcon Tower Cranes Services on 01303 265 700. A plan of the Unnamed road to council offices closure can be found at: (click on link) https://one.network/?tm=GB122708045
Covid-19 News Update- 3rd September
Mental Health Support
Coronavirus Lateral Flow Testing for Businesses
The government are encouraging businesses to take regular lateral flow tests in the workplace. It’s easy to get a lateral flow test. Your staff can simply order kits online here, or find their nearest collect site using this link. Tests are free, and the whole process only takes a few minutes. Let’s work together to act responsibly and stop the spread!
Here are links to the latest updates from the Government:
- Third quarterly report on progress to address COVID-19 health inequalities – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Pet abduction to be made new criminal offence in crackdown on pet theft – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- UK to provide £30 million of life-saving supplies for Afghan refugees – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants identified in UK – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- New study to test third COVID-19 vaccine for people with weakened immune systems – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Weekly national flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports published – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- ESFA Update: 1 September 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- HMRC can help with childcare costs as children head back to school – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Speak up and help beat coronavirus (COVID-19) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Companies urged to file accounts early and online to avoid delays – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Fuelling a greener future – E10 petrol available at pumps from today – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- £8.6 billion for affordable homes to give boost onto housing ladder – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Voucher scheme boost to help thousands more families resolve disputes away from court – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Next steps to tackle plastic waste – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Events, Resources & Industry News
Business support during the COVID-19 crisis is available from the following organisations:
- West Berkshire Council – COVID-19 information for businesses – https://info.westberks.gov.uk/coronavirus-business
- Public Protection Partnership – advice and support on COVID guidelines and regulations – https://publicprotectionpartnership.org.uk/covid-19/
- Business Growth Hub – free COVID advice and support for businesses in Berkshire – https://www.berkshirebusinesshub.co.uk/
- Government – summary of COVID support available for businesses – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support