CEO Update from Melissa
If we compare Newbury’s relative footfall performance over the last three months, we can see that we are vastly outperforming the average UK high street (Springboard data). This bodes well as we move into this next stage of recovery.
Please watch the 5-minute video below to understand what to look out for, how to vote, and what to do if your ballot paper doesn’t arrive. You’ll also see below an image of the ballot paper envelope and the green ballot paper so you know what they look like!
Operations Update from Alison
ACTION: After incredible successes over the last two years and taking onboard positive feedback from so many of you, we shall organise an Easter Trail over the Easter holidays! It will run from Saturday 9th – Sunday 24th April and will be run in-conjunction with local charity Swings & Smiles. I’m looking for up to 10 businesses to get involved and hide an Easter treat within their business (or at the very least in your front window). Ideally you will be open 7 days per week as the aim of the trail is to encourage footfall into your business so that you can engage with the visitors. Participating families will complete either a paper or online trail sheet so we will also need a venue for the trail sheets to be collected from and dropped off to (this venue must be open 7 days a week). Please contact me ASAP if you are interested in participating as these trails are hugely successful and will bring in lots of footfall directly to your business!
We’re also planning an Easter Fest for the town centre from 15-17 April (Easter weekend) with an Alice & Mad Hatter theme! This will be a family focused event with market stalls and staged entertainment plus meet & greets with characters. There will be 2 free stalls for BID levy payers per day so please let me know ASAP if you are interested in a free stall.
Don’t forget to let us know if you have any events or activities planned for this year so we can add you to our events calendar!
Key event dates for your calendar for 2022 for you to note and think how you can benefit from are:
- 9-24 April – Easter Trail
- 15-17 April – EasterFest
- 15 May – Vegan Market
- 2 June – NTC’s Queens Platinum Jubilee Beacon Ceremony @ Victoria Park
- 12 June – NTC’s Family Fun Day @ Victoria Park
- 25 June – Greenham Trust’s 25 Year Anniversary Event
- 2 July – Newbury Pride @ town centre & Northcroft Park
- 9-10 July – Food Festival – TBC as will only happen if we get re-elected!
- 21 August – Vegan Market – TBC as will only happen if we get re-elected!
I’m delighted to advise that the brand-new WIFI based CCTV system that we procured and installed just before Christmas is already triumphantly capturing issues and therefore Thames Valley Police are successfully capturing any culprits! The signage should be installed this afternoon by the supplier Scion.
Making the Town Look Pretty!
In-line with our current Business Plan deliverables we have successfully applied and been awarded some of the ERDF Welcome Back Fund to purchase planters to beautify the town centre! I undertook a site survey last week and out of the 22 spaces I identified as suitable locations around the entire BD area, West Berkshire Council are unfortunately only able to agree to maybe 10 locations due to various restrictions and safety considerations. We are currently liaising with WBC so hopefully we can reach an agreement ASAP and proceed with ordering some pretty planters and floral displays for the town centre! As the funding does not cover staffing or manpower to actually manage the planters, I’m currently in discussion with several of you to water the plants outside your business once a week so you benefit from some green-fingered beauty directly outside your business!
As part of the ERDF Welcome Back Fund, I’m also about to purchase a couple of gazebos so that BID levy payers and new businesses can use our gazebos to trial trading outside or a new business venture in the town.
Markets & Free Stalls Update
The Artisan Market is back after its Christmas break this Sunday 30th January and we have over 50 traders booked in which is incredible for a cold January market! Don’t forget we have 2 free stalls available for BID levy payers every month for this so please do get in touch to request your free stall – why not try out your products on a different audience! What have you got to lose after all?!
The Vegan Market is back next month on Sunday 20th February and a big well done to Inn at Home, The Globe and Colline’s Kitchen for successfully requesting the free stall provision from us!
For those on the free cardboard collection scheme, Bri will collect the cardboard next Wednesday 2nd February between 9am and 1pm so please leave out before 9am unless otherwise agreed with us.
BusinessWatch Crime Reduction Scheme
The next PubWatch meeting will be on Wednesday 2nd March at 10am.
The next ShopSafe meeting will be on Monday 21st February at 10am so watch this space for further details!
Marketing Update from Kirsty
Please see below for an overview of results for our ’12 Days in Newbury’ Christmas Campaign:
December’s Visit Newbury Loves Local Newsletter:
- 61.1% open rate (vs. national average of 19%- 26% – sector dependent).
- 10.6% click-through rate (vs. 2.5% national average).
- 0 unsubscribes and +1.5% increase in new subscribers since Dec newsletter
NEW blog: ‘The best vegan (& veggie!) restaurants in Newbury’ Please share this across your networks to help raise awareness of Newbury’s vegan offering and to raise the profile of these 20 fab local venues!
NEW Visit Newbury Loves Local Newsletter: This month’s newsletter promotes over 13 local businesses (are you one of them this month?), as well as linking up to all health, hair and beauty businesses in the town centre and 20 hospitality venues in our vegan restaurant blog! Share the love and hit ‘subscribe’ here and share across your networks!
NEW press release: ‘Newbury BID prepare for Ballot and ask businesses to vote YES! for a further 5-year term.’ Please have a read and help support Newbury by sharing on your social networks!
NEW BID Supporter Testimonial Videos: I have been editing and recording videos of our BID supporters who are voting YES in our upcoming ballot. You can find the full length features on the BID Ballot Support web page here, and the edited versions on our social channels! If you’re happy to do a short 30-second video to show your support for our YES vote, please get in touch!
ACTION: Are you in the health, hair or beauty sector? We recently contacted you about a series of blogs we are producing to share online, within our Visit Newbury Loves Local monthly newsletter and across our social media. If you did not receive this email, please contact me. Alternatively, I urge you to reply to our original email so we can start to work on this new series ASAP and promote your business!
UPCOMING: Alongside campaigning for our BID Ballot, I will be producing our marketing, PR & comms strategy to cover us until 31st May, including creating the branding and design framework for our Easter events and aligning campaigns. I have social media adverts up and running for January, and have already booked a prime inside front cover position within the Berkshire Primary Times Magazine- Easter edition, looking ahead for Spring! I will soon be allocating marketing spend to our proven successes such as, DISPLAY: Digital Everywhere adverts, and working on our upcoming town trails for which I have a meeting for next week.
Vote YES in our Term 3 Renewal Ballot NOW so that we can continue full steam ahead with the Visit Newbury brand to establish a future-proof marketing, PR and communications strategy for Newbury this summer and beyond!
Projects Update from Bri
After a very positive meeting with Thames Valley Police this week, we are now well underway with the revamp of our DISC system. Our main goal is to ensure that the information reaching businesses is as useful and up-to-date as possible. Part of this includes the re-introduction of our BusinessWatch newsletter. All DISC members will receive weekly updates that will include all new incident reports, exclusions, events, news items, and now Thames Valley Police updates. If there are any businesses who are a part of the scheme who do not currently have access to DISC, please get in touch!
If you’ve read this far, you’re undoubtedly aware that Newbury BID has gone to ballot this week. I -alongside Kirsty, Alison and Melissa- will be getting in touch with you to ensure that your ballot papers have reached the correct people!
Tracking the impact of the BID across Newbury is as complicated as it is important. Melissa and I are currently working on a database that will track various KPIs across the upcoming months and – all going well – the next 5 years. The goal being that, over time, we have a broad set of data with a clear positive impact shown. Some of the data being collected includes:
- Footfall across Newbury, Market towns and UK
- Crime stats
- Sales trends
Business Community Updates & Shout Outs
Are you planning on voting ‘YES!’ to a further BID term? If so and you would be happy to provide a quote in favour for the BID remaining in situ for 2022-2027, please get in touch with us!
bstFitness has recently announced their merger with Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL), the largest leisure social enterprise in the UK. You can read the full press release here.
Newbury Town Council Update
Newbury Civic Awards 2022 Nominations Open Now!
The Newbury Town Civic Awards have been launched for 2022. Nomination forms are available for collection from Newbury Town Hall, can be completed online or can be printed off from the Newbury Town Council website.
Newbury Town Council January Newsletter
West Berkshire Council Update
Additional Restrictions Grant Challenge Fund
The deadline is fast approaching to submit your application for the ARG Challenge Fund scheme launched by WBC before Christmas. The scheme offers local businesses the opportunity to bid for grant funding to pay for a project that will contribute to the recovery, growth and resilience of the business in an environmentally-friendly way. For more information and to apply before 13th February, click here.
Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant open for applications
Covid-19 - Plan B to Plan A, Testing and don't forget to get your jab
West Berkshire Council announces 2021 Community Champions
WBC is delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 Community Champion Awards. The awards recognise people who have done something special for their local community over the past year. There are awards for Junior Citizen, Volunteer and Community Group of the Year as well as a special Lifetime Achievement Award. You can read the full press release and see the winners, here.
Charities awarded £17,000 from West Berkshire Community Fund
Charities and good causes across West Berkshire have been awarded more than £17,000 from the West Berkshire Community Fund. You can see the list of charities receiving the funds and read the full press release here.
Mental Health Support
Here are links to the latest updates from the Government:
- National flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports published – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Holocaust Memorial Day Message 2022 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- New jobs mission to get 500,000 into work – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Government eases social care restrictions after booster success – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- England returns to Plan A as regulations on face coverings and COVID Passes change today – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Highway Code changes set to take effect this weekend – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Prime Minister declares UK one of the most open countries in Europe and ready for an international tourism boom – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- UK open for travel with all restrictions removed for eligible vaccinated arrivals – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Four million still to file ahead of Self Assessment deadline – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Government backs UK entrepreneurs with tech support and software to help them grow – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- The PCA is launching its annual tenant survey – 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