CEO Update from Melissa
Please see the footfall stats for last week (12th – 18th July) and the YTD trend below. Visitor numbers were again a little down on the week before, although still sitting at 80% of the footfall for the same week two years ago, so we’re not losing ground in relative terms.
Footfall so far this week is almost identical to the same period last week, so the 19th July easing of restrictions hasn’t yet translated to more people in Northbrook Street. It is worth bearing in mind that our footfall counter doesn’t capture the full picture of evening trade though because of where it’s situated. I was in the town centre on both Monday and Tuesday evening and there were a significant number of visitors sitting outside in the Market Place and other hospitality venues enjoying the warm summer weather. It was certainly busier than I would expect for the beginning of the week. It reiterates the need for us to look at other data to help understand visitor behaviour and this is something we’re looking to work on as soon as time allows.
The busiest day of last week was, as always, Saturday with footfall of 24,394, with peak numbers of visitors seen at around 11am.
This week I did my first in-person presentation since joining the BID, attending Newbury Town Council’s Policy & Resources Committee Meeting to talk about our proposed plans for the future. In six months’ time, we’ll take our Term 3, 5-year Business Plan to ballot for you to decide whether you would like to continue working together as a business community to improve Newbury’s trading environment.
There are two important documents to be aware of which you’ll soon be receiving:
- Our Annual Report 2020-21, which summarises our work in each of the project areas during the financial year ended 31st May 2021. It also includes a financial summary. A link to the online version of this document will be circulated within the next two weeks and a hard copy version will be delivered shortly afterwards.
- Our BID 2022-2027 Consultation Document – “Taking Newbury to the Next Level”. This is the first step towards agreeing our 5-year Business Plan and will be accompanied by a survey to get your views on what our priorities should be. The consultation will be open from 2nd-30th August and we’d love all of you to take part to help shape the plan. A link to the online version and the survey will be circulated on the 2nd August.
Regular Covid-19 Testing for Employees
West Berkshire Council’s Project Officer for Outbreak Control, Catherine Greaves, has provided us with the useful information below about Covid-19 testing for employees to share with you:
The Government policy is that all adults should be testing twice a week, using a LFD test kit. Anyone who is identified as a close contact of a confirmed case should seek a PCR test https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, as should anyone with symptoms of Covid-19.
Your staff can pick up LFD test kits from their local pharmacy, order online https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests, or have an assisted test/ pick up home test kits at one of the Council’s testing sites – details here: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/lateralflowtesting
More information here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/get-tested-for-coronavirus/
We’re aware that several businesses in the BID have needed to close for periods of time due to staff shortages because of self-isolation requirements. This is an issue being seen nationally and is of course a real concern for businesses. Catherine has provided the following information, which clarifies how close contacts are identified:
For the purposes of contact tracing, a high-risk encounter is classed as one where an individual has been within 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus for at least 15 minutes. The risk threshold for the app has been set to identify high-risk encounters based on this principle along with infectiousness (of the individual testing positive) on the day of the encounter; balancing the need to slow the rate of infection by identifying high-risk encounters whilst mitigating the risk that those at lower risk may be notified to self-isolate.
The best way for your employees to be protected at work is for you to retain safety measures to help them avoid being in high-risk encounters. It’s also really important to keep indoor settings well ventilated. The Government has updated its guidance about ventilation this week and this can be read here.
Operations Update from Alison
This week we have been busy preparing for our FREE existing upcoming summer events – the first starts this Sunday 25th July with our Summer Series- DJ Jams in Market Place from 12-5pm and our first Family Fun Day is next Wednesday 28th July from 10am–5pm! I’ve also Chaired our monthly Events Meeting with the town’s stakeholders and managed to meet the new proprietor of Blues Smokehouse, a restaurant opening soon in the Market Place that we are very excited about – watch this space! If you would like to display any of our cool posters for the events in your window so you can help spread the word to your customers, please drop me a line and we shall drop one to you!
Shopsafe – for members of our BusinessWatch crime reduction scheme, our monthly Shopsafe meeting will take place next Friday 30th July at 10am on Zoom – details will be sent out nearer the time via email.
ACTION: Our Vegan Market is back on Sunday 8th August and I’ve agreed 3 x FREE stalls for BID members. If you are interested please contact me ASAP to register your interest!
ACTION: Please share our upcoming Summer Series of Events across your social networks! The Facebook event links are below:
Superhero Shows: Tuesday 24th August facebook.com/events/4323108617750185/
Upcoming dates for your diary
- Family Fun Days – Wednesday 28 July, Wednesday 11 August & Tuesday 24 August
- Summer Series – Sunday 25th July, Sunday 1st August, Sunday 15th August & Sunday 29th August
- Artisan Market – Sunday 25th July
- Vegan Market – Sunday 8th August
- Shopsafe – next week’s ShopSafe meeting is scheduled for Thursday 30th July at 10am.
- Pubwatch – next month’s Pubwatch meeting is on Tuesday 17th August at 10am.
Marketing Update from Kirsty
I can finally share with you all a sneak preview of our full pages of editorial within Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Living Magazine, and Round and About Berkshire Magazine’s upcoming publications. I also managed to secure the editorial for Living Magazine within their Wiltshire issue, too! This is great news as we aim to spread the word of Newbury and all that’s going on in the town centre this month and beyond. The below editorial focuses on the promotion of our Summer Series of Events and Family Fun Days, as well as our Vegan and Artisan Markets, while always encouraging readers to ‘take advantage of the variety of eateries across the town centre, catering for both lighter lunches and post-retail therapy dinners. Market go-ers are also advised to take a walk-up Newbury’s quirkier quarter for a taste of all the independent businesses on offer in the town that line historic Bartholomew Street during their visit.’
I’ve been busy working primarily on our events this week. I had a radio interview with community radio station, 4Legs Radio. Based in Lambourn, this is yet another channel to help spread the word about Newbury further afield. We also placed another half page advert within this week’s Newbury Weekly News.
I’ve provided examples of some design work from this week below. Digital versions of our adverts will now be appearing on Parkway Shopping’s Big Summer Screen Piazza, and also in the community noticeboards in the Wharf and outside the Old Town Hall. Parkway and Kennet Shopping have also kindly agreed to display our posters around their shopping centres, too. Keep an eye out wherever you are in Newbury, as I’m sure you’ll spot one sooner or later! More importantly, please share these events on the Visit Newbury social media profiles across your networks to help boost awareness!
I’ve produced two press releases this week, Visit Newbury this Sunday for a Day of DJ Jams and Artisanal Treats, which you can also find online on Newbury Today by clicking here, and ‘Support Local Businesses in Stage 4’, which I will share with you once it’s with the press next week.
I’ve also been working closely on branding this week with the market operators for our Food and Drink Festival and Christmas Markets, as well as arranging printing for the Vegan Market posters with Vegan Fairs. As per last week, I have been project managing our upcoming Town Centre Trails project and have just about finished the interactive maps for the Visit Newbury website. I also liaised closely with West Berks Camra on the design of our joint Newbury Pub Guide Leaflet. Further to this, I’ve provided regular business support, booked in town traders, and stayed on top of daily social media updates and communications!
ACTION: Is your retail or hospitality business keen to offer any vegan-specific promotions or provide an increase of vegan-friendly products in-store exclusively for Vegan Market day? If so, please email me so these can be promoted in our Visit Newbury marketing and also on the Newbury Vegan Market events page and Vegan Fairs website.
ACTION: We’re looking for businesses happy to promote our Vegan Market by displaying posters in their store front / shop window. These will be distributed once the market operator has the copy finalised, and so please get in touch with me if you’re keen to get involved!
ACTION: A reminder that I’m looking to host a professional photoshoot within the town centre to capture a series of lifestyle imagery to promote Newbury going forward. I’m looking to cast between 10-15 people from all ethnicities, genders and ages to be in these images in the town centre. Shoot day is TBC but is due to be sometime in July. This is not a paid opportunity. I’m looking primarily for the following:
x 1 couple aged 26-32
x 1 couple aged 35-45
x 1 young family of four with primary aged children
x 1 older family of 3 or 4 with secondary school aged children
x group of 4-6 women aged between 26-45
Thanks to those who have already expressed an interest. Please get in touch with me if you’re keen to be involved. Participants must be willing to provide photos and answer a series of questions upon expressing their interest.
Rangers Update from Shaun
Sadly Shaun is still off on sick-leave and we are not sure when he will be back at this stage. However if you have any queries please contact Alison directly.
Cardboard collection for those registered on the scheme will be collected on Tuesday between the hours of 9am – 5pm so please leave out as you normally do by 9am and it will be collected by close of play. If you are not on the free scheme and would like to find out more please contact Alison directly.
Business Community Updates & Shout Outs
ACTION: It’s fantastic to see a number of businesses within the BID shortlisted for Muddy Stilettos awards! Please, please, please take the time to vote for these local businesses which all well and truly deserve to win top spot!
For all businesses, please do let us know anything about your organisation that we can shout about – we absolutely love to hear and share good news!
West Berkshire Council Update
Mental Health Support
Thames Valley Police Update
Here are links to the latest updates from the Government:
- One week left to renew for 300,000 tax credits customers – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Further action needed on EV charging to meet Net Zero – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Millions of families to benefit as government acts to drive down energy bills – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Minister Zahawi update to the House on step 4 and NHS COVID Pass – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Public urged to continue protecting family and friends – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- National Apprenticeship Week 2022 date announced – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- UK to seize Brexit opportunities and unleash innovation by overhauling approach to red tape: 22 July 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Promotions of unhealthy foods restricted from October 2022 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Fiona Dickie, PCA, answers questions about the Pubs Code and her work, as we reach the 5th year anniversary of the Pubs Code – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- FCDO issues top tips for travel this summer – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Updated guidance for areas with additional COVID-19 measures in place – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Government announces simplified tax reporting for self-employed and small businesses – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Final Covid loans data reveals £80 billion of government support through the pandemic – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Fully vaccinated critical workers to be able to leave self-isolation in exceptional circumstances – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Minister Nadhim Zahawi Oral Statement on step 4 of the road map – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- PM statement at coronavirus press conference: 19 July 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Prime Minister urges caution as England moves to Step 4 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Biggest flu programme in history to roll out for winter 2021 – 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