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
Melissa is on annual leave today and will be sending a separate video to BID levy payers in due course. Watch this space!
Operations Update from Alison
Christmas Light Switch-On Festival: Saturday 20 November
We are so busy preparing for next Saturday but very much looking forward to the team’s very first Christmas switch-on event as last year’s was online due to Covid! This year we have turned the annual switch-on into a day-long Festival! We have arranged over 20 FREE family workshops and try-out activities and pop-up choirs from 10am – 5pm in various venues ahead of the evening staged entertainment to encourage footfall into town. Free activities include Santa’s Grotto, Meet The Grinch and an amazing variety of free workshops including alternative wreath making and Christmas Tree decorations for all the family to enjoy!
ACTION: Please take a look at the fun-filled programme online here and tell your customers all about it! Newbury Christmas Lights Switch-On Festival | Visit Newbury
The evening staged entertainment in the Market Place from 5pm – 9pm will include the lights being switched on by the Mayor Cllr Drummond, Santa himself and two very special guests – real life Princesses from your favourite film! The evening will also have an incredible line-up of local talent and we will be dancing under the stars in the Market Place for sure! Santa will also have his own parade along Northbrook Street to the Market Place at around 6.15pm ahead of the lights being switched on!
ACTION: Please share and promote the Facebook event listing to your audiences: https://fb.me/e/1lUxxTNc1
ACTION: If you would like a poster, please let us know so we can drop to you –let’s spread the festive cheer as Christmas is back in full vengeance this year!
FYI: There will be a road closure through town (Northbrook St – Bartholomew St – Market Place) following on from the usual day closure. This will be in-place until midnight (or once we have finished safely packing down the event). Delivery vehicles will be able to access Northbrook St ONLY in the day as normal but must egress via Northbrook St – there will be no egress exit at Market Place all day. Please ensure you notify your deliveries and rearrange accordingly
FYI: For businesses located along Toomers Wharf and for those who use the rear car parks there, there will be NO LEFT TURN exit onto Northbrook St – Market Place all day. You will have to exit right out of Toomers Wharf onto Northbrook St only
FYI: There will be STRICTLY NO VEHICULAR MOVEMENT allowed post 5pm along Northbrook St, Bartholomew Street and Market Place.
FYI: Road closure signage will be in place on the day for the above.
Victorian Christmas Fayre: Friday 3 – Sunday 5 December
Plans are coming along nicely for this exciting new event for Newbury! We have now allocated the 2 free stall pitches per day and the lucky businesses will be confirmed next week
ACTION: We would love for all the town centre to support this and encourage all public facing staff to dress in Victorian attire for the 3 days to create a truly immersive and special event for visitors.
ACTION: We also encourage all public-facing businesses to dress up their window with a Victorian themed display for this duration – the more effort we all put in, the better the experience and the more likely visitors will be to return to Newbury!
Vegan Market & Monthly Artisan Market
FYI: The Vegan Market is back the day after Christmas Lights Switch-On Festival on Sunday 21st November from 10am – 3pm in the Market Place.
FYI: Kirsty has been busy delivering the fabulous new Vegan Map to many of you so if you haven’t got copies and would like some, please let us know.
FYI: The next Artisan Market will be the last one of the year and will be on 28 November – I have 2 free stall pitches available so please get in touch with me to request your space – the actual stall hire is also included so you only have to rock up with your goods, set the stall up and tap into this footfall!
Christmas Lights & Tree
FYI: The Christmas Tree arrives on Monday 15th so keep an eye out for myself, Kirsty and Shaun as we will be getting it up! A big Thank You & Well Done to those businesses who have provided a Christmas Tree decoration – if you still wish to promote your business in the town centre, this is a fantastic free opportunity! Please get your Christmas Tree decoration to me no later than Wednesday 17th November.
FYI: The Christmas Lights through town will then also be installed next week from Monday 15th ahead of the switch-on on Saturday!
FYI: For those on the free cardboard collection scheme, Shaun will collect the cardboard on Tuesday 16th between 9am – 2pm so please leave out before 9am. If you are interested in joining this FREE scheme, please contact me directly!
BusinessWatch Crime Reduction Scheme
FYI: The next PubWatch meeting will be on Tuesday 7th December at 4pm at The Catherine Wheel.
FYI: The next ShopSafe meeting will be in January – date TBC.
Halloween – Dragon Show on Friday 29th October
FYI: Hopefully you spotted us out and about two weeks ago with the real-life Dragon who was accompanied by none other than Merlin the Wizard?! The Dragon Show attracted about an additional 1,000 visitors into the town throughout the day for its fun performances that the kids absolutely loved in Parkway, Kennet Shopping, Market Place and Cheap Street. A big Thank You goes out to both Parkway and Kennet for another fantastic partnership event!
Marketing Update from Kirsty
Across the last month, the Visit Newbury website achieved nearly 40k pageviews– which is a positive nod to the recent launch of the 12 Days of Newbury and Christmas in Newbury campaigns. The 36,305 pageviews figure is up by 416.72% when compared with the same period last year, which received only 7k pageviews. The average time spent on a page also increased by 40.39%, from 1 minute 14 seconds this time last year to 1 minute 43 seconds this past month, which is also up another 20% since the previous month this year.
Yet again, our most popular webpage for September was our Events page, receiving nearly 11% of all pageviews, and what’s interesting to see is the next most popular pages all link to the Christmas campaign with the Christmas landing page (3rd most popular after the homepage, with nearly 7.07% of all pageviews) and specific Christmas events. Newbury’s Christmas Lights Switch-On is 4th receiving 4.6% of all pageviews, and the Victorian Christmas Fayre is 5th with 4.15% of pageviews, followed by Newbury Shopping (6th), the Christmas Fayre press release (7th), and Halloween in Newbury (8th- page no longer available as the event has passed).
This month we surpassed 21,000 followers on social media. Following recent advertising activity on Facebook and Instagram, we’ve also reached 65,235 accounts across the last month, and have achieved 14,573 engagements on our social content (+264%). We’ve also reached an extra 9,165 accounts organically on Instagram.
For our new 12 Days of Newbury Digital Display Adverts which went live in October, we have delivered 88,296 impressions, receiving 6,433 clicks through to the Visit Newbury website. This is a CTR of 7.29% which is a great response. 36k of these impressions have been delivered on web, 37k on mobile, 9k on video and 6.6k native. A breakdown of this month’s impressions can be found below. Please note, there is no data available for social media via Digital Display as we are doing this ourselves.
Our Christmas in Newbury TV advert, which went live on 19th October, has delivered the below impressions (up until 31st October), with updated analytics available very soon! If you haven’t seen it already, please watch Newbury’s first TV advert below:
I wanted to share with you these fab images of adverts for our 12 Days of Newbury campaign. One of which was clearly visible and parked up at Reading Half Marathon, which receives in excess of 30,000 visitors. The other is a busy looking reading station and our fabulous MP4 adverts on the digital billboards!
Our fourth Visit Newbury Loves Local newsletter went out to our email marketing subscribers in October. This month’s e-letter received a 52.8% open rate- a phenomenal stat compared to the national average which varies from 19%- 26% (sector dependent). The email also received a 15.1% click-through rate compared to the 2.5% national average, and an increase of 1% since our previous newsletter. We’ve also achieved 60 new subscribers this month.
Remember, you can read the email here and please hit subscribe to receive our monthly newsletter.
These past two weeks I have been heavily planning and prepping for Christmas! Please click here for our official Events Programme for the Christmas Lights Switch-On Festival!
I have also finalised our Christmas tree banners and promotional banners and town centre correx boards to display at our Christmas Lights Switch-On event.
Please see our latest press release online here: Newbury BID declare Newbury ‘Vegan-friendly’- and not just for World Vegan Month! This was sent to all media and BBC Berkshire responded and I had a radio interview with them live on air at 3:35pm today! I hope I managed to spread a positive message for Newbury and that we see an influx of footfall and custom as a result! This week I have also started delivering our Vegan Maps to participating town centre businesses.
Rangers Update from Shaun
This week I have collected the cardboard and attended this month’s PubWatch Meeting on Tuesday 9th.
Business Community Updates & Shout Outs
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
Remembrance Sunday- Message from Newbury Town Council
“Remembrance Sunday sees our armed forces and youth organisations come together to commemorate those who lost their lives at war, with more members of our local community paying their respects every year. This is one of Newbury Town Council’s largest civic events in the calendar, and it is anticipated that this year’s event will be very busy following a reduced service that took place in 2020.
This year’s Remembrance Sunday Parade will take place on 14th November 2021, where the parade will step off from Pelican Lane at 10:25, make its way down London Road, The Broadway, Northbrook Street, Bridge Street and Mansion House Street. The parade will be brought to attention in the Market Place from 10:50am for the service which will run until 11:20am. Please be advised that there may be possible disruption to your regular service for a short period of time with large crowds forming in the Market Place and around the War Memorial where it intersects with Bridge Street, Mansion House Street and Bartholomew Street. Preparations in the Market Place will begin from 08:00am until approximately 12:00pm.
We hope this doesn’t cause any inconvenience. Should you have any questions or require further information please don’t hesitate to get in contact with Elisa Mullen at Newbury Town Council, email@example.com”
Mayor's Festive Afternoon Tea
The Mayor of Newbury is inviting the town’s elderly residents to join him for a Festive Afternoon Tea. With the Mayor’s Drive and Tea Party unable to take place for two summers in a row due to coronavirus, the Mayor wanted to make the most of the opportunity to be able to give back to Newbury’s oldest residents during his mayoral year. You can read the full press release here.
West Berkshire Council Update
London Road in the Parish of Newbury will be closed on the night of the 18th November 2021, between the hours of 20:00 – 04:00, from its’ junctions Unnamed Road from London Road to B&Q and Comet and its junction with A339 and Kings Road Roundabout. This closure is to enable Volker Highways to install a new culvert on behalf of West Berkshire Council.
A plan of the closure and diversion can be found here.
What's On Newsletter
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:
- National flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports published – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Life-saving adrenaline auto-injectors could become available in public places – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- UK confirms pledge for zero-emission HGVs by 2040 and unveils new chargepoint design – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Open letters: arrangements for GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2022 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Covid-19 confirmed in pet dog in the UK – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- GOVERNMENT ISSUES ONLINE MARKETPLACES PRODUCT SAFETY MESSAGE – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- World-leading Environment Act becomes law – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- International travel update, 9 November 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Government to introduce COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of deployment for all frontline health and social care workers – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Time is running out for customers with Post Office card accounts – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- New laws and code to resolve remaining COVID-19 commercial rent debts – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- New campaign to ‘Stop COVID-19 hanging around’ – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- FSA launches allergy and intolerance reporting tool – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Furlough number at a record low in final month of operation – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Finance Bill 2021-22 published – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Changes to HM Land Registry’s fees – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- ESFA: Business Update – 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