CEO Update from Melissa
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!
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 email@example.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
Ranger's Rota for w/c 17th May 2021
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
Business Community Updates & Shout Outs
Update from Great Western Railway
The Base: Upcoming Exhibition
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.
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
Mental Health Support
Thames Valley Police Update
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com ASAP. This information will be shared with Thames Valley Police to help them plan their resources over the coming weeks and months.
- How many people are you currently turning away from your pub due to being at full capacity?
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange to speak to her or the police about any persons of concern.
Here are links to the latest updates from the Government:
- COVID-19 vaccines: 11,700 deaths prevented – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Landmark laws to keep children safe, stop racial hate and protect democracy online published – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Employers unite to encourage over a million staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- New measures to boost response to the B1.617.2 variant – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Working from home? Customers may be eligible to claim tax relief in 2021 to 2022 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- ESFA: Business Update – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Findings from latest COVID-19 REACT-1 study published – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- CMA open letter to package travel sector – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- PM House of Commons Statement on COVID: 12 May 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Calorie labelling on menus to be introduced in cafes, restaurants and takeaways – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Support for renters continues with longer notice periods – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- New powers to tackle unfit directors of dissolved companies – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Environment Agency launches new flooding Action Plan – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Traffic light system: safe return to international travel – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- New ‘We Offer Testing to our Staff’ scheme launched – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Queen’s Speech 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Prime Minister to revolutionise skills and training opportunities – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- PM statement at coronavirus press conference: 10 May 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Promoting corporate partnerships for arts and culture – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Further easing of COVID restrictions confirmed for 17 May – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- COVID-19 vaccines: further evidence of success – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Transport Secretary’s statement on coronavirus: Friday 7 May 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Guide for students released today by Ofqual – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Government confirms traffic light list ahead of cautious return to international travel – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- JCVI advises on COVID-19 vaccine for people aged under 40 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Events, Resources & Industry News
- 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