Weekly Update from Newbury BID 14/05/21

Weekly Update from Newbury BID
Welcome to your weekly 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!


Melissa Hughes, CEO, Newbury BID

CEO Update from Melissa

Footfall Update
Please see the footfall stats for last week and the YTD trend below. Thanks to the unseasonably cold and wet weather, footfall was down by 7.5% on the previous week, which is a trend seen nationally in high streets. The good news this week (Mon-Thu) is that footfall is up 9.5% on last week, so it looks like last week’s dip was a short-lived blip. The busiest day of the week was last Friday with footfall of 18,903, unusually exceeding Saturday’s footfall by around 5%. Footfall as a whole sat at 66% of the same week two years ago. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next week as we reach the next stage of reopening!
Footfall by week commencing 03 May-21
Footfall by week year-on-year commencing 03 May-21
General Update

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week this week and I’ve spent some time considering ways in which we, as a business community, can help to champion mental health locally and how we can ensure Newbury town centre is a safe, welcoming and supportive place to live, work and visit. I attended a brilliant Mental Health & Wellbeing Community Forum recently, organised by Greenham Trust, and it was fantastic to hear how local charities and organisations are working together on this important topic. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be meeting with our local MP, Laura Farris, and separately with Greenham Trust CEO, Chris Boulton, to continue the conversation. Please get in touch if you have any ideas about how businesses can collaborate on mental health and wellness, or if there’s a particular need within your business or sector for support in this area.

This week, Kirsty and I have also been closing in on the final details for our three-month integrated marketing campaign to encourage visitors to choose Newbury as their shopping and leisure destination this summer. Launching in early June, we’ll be promoting all the wonderful reasons to re-visit Newbury this summer. Creative will be shared with you once we’re ready to launch!

Yesterday we held our monthly Directors Meeting, with a very full agenda covering legal and H&S matters, governance, finance, procurement, and HR. I’m delighted to announce that Katharine Makant, West Berkshire Council’s new Economy Manager, will be joining the BID Board of Directors from 1st June. Katharine has replaced Gabrielle Mancini in WBC’s Economic Development Team and her presence as a director will ensure we continue to work collaboratively with the council.

Life at the BID is particularly busy at the moment and I’d like to recognise the efforts of Alison, Kirsty and Shaun, who are working their socks off to make things happen. We are all excited to see the next phase of reopening commence on Monday and I very much hope next week is successful for those hospitality and leisure venues which are reopening for the first time this year. Hopefully you will all also enjoy some much-missed hugs from friends and family!

Operations Update from Alison

Following the exciting news that Step 3 of lockdown easing will come into effect from next Monday 17th May, this week has been another incredibly busy week working through arrangements and plans for the summer ahead!

ACTION: Following the fantastic success of both our Christmas trail and Halloween trail, we will be running a Chocolate Trail in partnership with Parkway Shopping and Kennet Shopping during Half Term week (28 May – 6 June). There are opportunities for your business to participate. Each participating business will need to host a giant chocolate bar approximately 1.5m high and a window vinyl. If you are interested in participating,  please email me by 3pm on Tuesday 18 May. These will be allocated on a first come first served basis so don’t delay and get involved!

The Artisan Market is restarting on Sunday 30th May and I’m delighted to confirm that Pete from The Newbury’s 137 Gin Distillery, Colline’s Kitchen, and Willow & Blooms were quick enough to register their interest with me and will have a free stall at the Artisan Market!

ACTION: I’m working through options for a Summer Series music event in the Market Square and have reached out to a few of you for opportunities. If you are interested in discussing this with me, please do get in touch asap so we can chat through!

This week Melissa and I met with the managers of Parkway Shopping and Kennet Shopping to explore further collaboration around summer activities. We also had a meeting with one of the organisers of Newbury Real Ale Festival to explore further opportunities!

WBC held a Reopening Webinar earlier this week for the Hospitality sector ahead of Step 3 and it was great to see so many of you on the call! I have emailed the presentation and Q&A’s to the Hospitality sector, but if you would also like a copy please email me directly.

I’ve also been working on our proposal to WBC for the Welcome Back Fund and have attended Reading’s Pubwatch as an observer to share best practice with them.  I have also held Business 1:1’s with Elephant at the Market, Hive and Walkabout and it was a real pleasure to finally put faces to names and see the inside of these fantastic venues in our town centre! Today, I also brushed up on my counter terrorism knowledge and attended TVP’s ACT online training which was very informative – further details are below for these that are interested in attending the next course

ACTION: I’m keen to set up an Events Committee at the end of summer looking ahead to the future to explore how we can work collaboratively with many of you to share ideas and look at delivery and funding viability for future events. If you’re interested in joining this Committee, having a say, and making a real difference to the town centre, please email me to register your interest!

Dates for your diaries for next week – for members of our BusinessWatch crime reduction scheme, please don’t forget that Shopsafe is on Monday 17th May at 11am and Pubwatch is on Thursday 20th May at 11am. We very much look forward to seeing you at these!

Marketing Update from Kirsty

This week, as well as my regular social media updates and business support, I have been busy raising invoices and working on the BusinessWatch Scheme, producing content for our Chocolate Trail and Vegan Town Centre Trail Map, as well as producing my social media schedule ahead of me being off next week. 

I will be returning to work on the Tuesday 25th May, so if you need anything from me please bear this in mind and you can always contact Alison or Melissa in the meantime. 

NEW Press Release: Newbury BID celebrate the return of the Artisan Market

This week I produced a press release and correlating social media to announce the return of our highly-anticipated Newbury Artisan Market. This was published in the Newbury Weekly News newspaper and can also be found here. I also had a meeting with the new operators of the Artisan Market, LSD Promotions, to discuss our marketing strategy, which includes future press releases, videos and announcements. 

NEW Press Release: Support Local as Stage 3 of re-opening commences

I produced a second press release this week, this time to align with our Re-Visit Newbury Campaign. Titled ‘Support Local as Stage 3 of Re-opening Commences’ this was published in the Newbury Weekly News newspaper and can also be found online on by clicking here. 

NEW Blog: 20 Things to Do in Newbury this month and beyond

As part of our Re-Visit Newbury campaign to encourage residents to rediscover all Newbury has to offer, I created another blog post titled ’20 Things to Do in Newbury this month and beyond’.  Please check this out and feel free to email me if there is anything of note I may have missed! It’d be great if you could share this across your own social media platforms to help spread the word and raise awareness of all that’s going on in Newbury this month! 

Digital Advertising

This week, alongside regular advertisements across Facebook and Instagram to promote our hospitality and leisure sector for Stage 3 of lockdown easing, I also produced creatives and copy for two further campaigns. One set of adverts that is up and running is to promote our NHS Discount campaign, to make NHS staff in our wider area aware of our town centre businesses who are offering exclusive promotions. The other is to promote the Re-Visit campaign as a whole, through advertising things to do in the town via my new blog post.

ACTION: If you have not yet sent over your business update for reopening, please email the details to me via kirsty@newburybid.com as soon as possible. Please help to support the campaign and drive visitors back to Newbury by sharing our content and engaging with our @VisitNewbury social platforms and website.

Rangers Update from Shaun

Shaun has been on annual leave this week, but he’ll be back patrolling the town centre from Monday 17th May and his cardboard collection will recommence on Tuesday 18th. If you would like a dedicated 1:1 business visit with Shaun, please email him via rangers@newburybid.com to arrange.
Ranger's Rota for w/c 17th May 2021
Monday: Cheap Street & Bartholomew Street including Inches Yard
Tuesday: Kennet Centre, side of Bartholomew Street, Market Place & Wharf Street
Wednesday: DAY OFF
Thursday: Northbrook Street including Weavers Walk
Friday: London Road & Oxford Street including Saddlers Court
Saturday: Mop up day and all over town
Newbury BID Board

Business Community Updates & Shout Outs

Update from Great Western Railway
There continues to be disruption to GWR services which affect Newbury. From tomorrow, a limited number of services will be running, but customers are being asked to only travel if their journey is essential. Online journey planners have been updated to reflect the services that will be operating. You can check your journey before you travel here or read the latest updates here.
The Base: Upcoming Exhibition

On loan from the National History Museum in London, buy tickets for The Base’s upcoming Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition by clicking here. This one is not to be missed! 

Newbury Town Council Update

A Public Consultation was carried out by NTC to seek the opinion of local residents on how Greenham House Gardens could be improved with provisional suggestions for suitable facilities which would complement the area and improve biodiversity. You can read the full consultation review by clicking here.

Newbury Town Council is pleased to announce the unveiling of a blue plaque to Police Constable Albert Alexander (1897-1941), who was the first person in the world to be treated with Penicillin. You can read the full press release about this here. 

A team of volunteers led by Newbury Town Council has planted a commemorative garden at Old Hospital Green, Andover Road, dedicated to the NHS. You can read the full press release here. 

Cllr Billy Drummond was elected Mayor of Newbury at the Council’s Annual Meeting on 4 May 2021. He takes over from Cllr Elizabeth O’Keefe who was warmly thanked by the Council for her exceptional service as Mayor over the past two years. Cllr Gary Norman was elected Deputy Mayor. You can read the full press release announcing the change, here

West Berkshire Council Update

Coronavirus Weeknotes
You can view West Berkshire Council’s latest Coronavirus Weeknotes here.
Mental Health Support
You can find sources of help and support for mental health on West Berkshire Council’s website here.
TVP Logo

Thames Valley Police Update

TVP are running a Have Your Say & Bike Theft Awareness activity outside M&S tomorrow Saturday 15th May from 10am-2pm. Your Neighbourhood Policing Team will be offering FREE Bike Marking and offering Crime Prevention Advice and you can also inform them of any issues you may have.

ACTION: TVP are running a FREE Counter Terrorism ACT Awareness training course online on Thursday 20th May at 1.30pm. Find out more here. There are currently 20 spaces available and these will be offered on a first come first served basis. If you are interested in attending, please send an email and include your name, role and email address to kim.mayo@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk  and if successful, you will be sent the MS Teams link.

The latest Protect Bulletin outlining new guidance designed to prevent commercial vehicles, including vans, lorries, buses, coaches and even cranes, from being used as weapons in acts of terrorism can be read here.

Electric Scooter Crackdown

Further to our previous update and to clarify, it is also illegal to use electric scooters on pavements, cycle lanes and in pedestrianised areas as well as on public roads. Thames Valley Police will be clamping down on the use of them throughout the town over the coming weeks.

ACTION: Please could all pubs send answers to the following questions to alison@newburybid.com ASAP. This information will be shared with Thames Valley Police to help them plan their resources over the coming weeks and months.

  1. How many people are you currently turning away from your pub due to being at full capacity?
  2. Are you planning to broadcast the Euros football matches?

ACTION: Thames Valley Police are working on a Top 5 Shoplifters project to crack down on repeat offenders in the town centre. Please email alison@newburybid.com to arrange to speak to her or the police about any persons of concern.

Government Logo

Government Update

Brexit Resources
The Cabinet Office have gathered together the new rules that food and drink businesses need to follow since the UK left the EU, from Food Labelling and Rules of Origin, to Export Health Certificates. They are urging all businesses to visit GOV.UK/transition to check any actions needed. You can also get personalised and prioritised actions for your business by using the Brexit Checker Tool.

Here are links to the latest updates from the Government:

Enjoy Newbury Events

Events, Resources & Industry News

Business support during the COVID-19 crisis is available from the following organisations:
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