CEO Update from Melissa
Please see the footfall stats for last week (19th – 25th July) and the YTD trend below. Visitor numbers were down 1.9% on the week before and represented 76% of footfall for the same week two years ago. We seem to have hit a ceiling at the moment, but this is not dissimilar to the overall national picture and Newbury is still faring well compared to other similar towns. Consumer habits seem to have changed, with visitors making fewer trips but spending more during each trip.
Footfall so far this week is up 6.6% on the same period last week, which is pleasing to see. Hopefully this trend will continue throughout the weekend.
The busiest day of last week was, as always, Saturday with footfall of 24,322, with peak numbers of visitors seen at around midday.
What a week it’s been so far, with the first of our Summer Series of Events launching in the town centre! The weather hasn’t been on our side, with a wet and grey Sunday for our DJ Jams event in the Market Place and a day of unpredictable downpours for our first Family Fun Day on Wednesday. The weather didn’t dampen our spirits though and it was wonderful to put smiles on lots of people’s faces (including ours!).
The work that Alison has put into organising these events is incredible, and Kirsty’s marketing support has been first-class. I am very grateful to have such a strong team to help draw visitors into Newbury and benefit our levy-paying businesses. Thanks must also go to several of our directors and board members who have volunteered at this week’s events – Alastair Chapman of A-Plan Insurance, Richard Farley of Kennet Shopping, and Ian Batho of Cow & Cask. We’ve also had willing volunteers from Parkway Shopping and Kennet Shopping’s wider teams and they have been a fantastic help. It definitely takes collaboration and teamwork to deliver events and we’re always happy to accept help!
We’ve had some fantastic news from the Department for Work and Pensions this week, as our application for a Kickstart Grant has been approved. This means we can employ a young person who’s currently out of work on a 6-month, 25-hour per week contract. Their role will be a Project Assistant, helping us to deliver the many projects we’re currently working on. In return, we’ll help them develop the skills they need to secure long-term employment. The recruitment process will take a short while and we’ll look forward to introducing our new starter once appointed.
If you’d like to find out more about the Kickstart Scheme, please do get in touch. The process has been quick and straightforward so far. I’d be very happy to talk you through it and share what I’ve learned to help you get approved for a grant. Applications are open until the end of 2021.
A reminder that our BID 2022-2027 “Taking Newbury to the Next Level” consultation will begin next week. Please look out for your personal email which will link to the consultation document and the survey.
Operations Update from Alison
Second to Melissa’s comments about our first week of events, it has been amazing to see Newbury come to life and I’m so excited for our next live music event this Sunday 1st August, with Jazz and Acoustic Anthems taking place in the Market Place between 1-5pm.
If you would like to get involved or provide an offer or in-store activity, please do get in touch asap!
Today I chaired our monthly ShopSafe meeting as part of our BusinessWatch crime reduction partnership. The next ShopSafe meeting will be on Friday 27th August at 10.00am
ACTION: Don’t forget – Newbury’s Vegan Market is BACK on Sunday 8th August and the next Artisan Market is on Sunday 29th August and we have FREE STALLS available for both of these amazing markets. Please do get in contact with me asap to register your interest before it’s too late!
ACTION: We will also be delivering a Food & Drink Festival on Saturday 4th September and BID members have a 50% discount on stall hire so please do get in touch asap and get involved!
Don’t forget we offer a FREE weekly cardboard collection service and if you would like more details, please contact me.
ACTION: Please share our next events coming up in Summer Series across your social networks! The Facebook event links are below:
Marketing Update from Kirsty
It’s certainly been all hands on deck for our events this week! From preparing a-boards, hand-delivering promotional posters across the town centre, updating copy and design digitally where necessary, to attending our first day-long Family Fun Day on 28th July, it’s been go go go and this will only continue as we work this Sunday for our Jazz and Acoustic Anthems Summer Series event! Alison and I have been working on ordering a new gazebo for our upcoming events, I have provided artwork for this below. I have also created several digital adverts to help promote the event this week, and it would be great if you could also share this event across your networks by clicking here. You can also look through the first Family Fun Day photos on the Visit Newbury Facebook page by clicking here.
This week I’ve also mocked-up several artwork designs for the Grand Finale of our Summer Series of Events on 29th August, which I will finalise early next week. Please see examples of these below. Furthermore, I am delighted to share with you a photo we managed to capture of one of our Re-Visit Newbury adverts as a bus was pulling away in Newbury this week! We think it pops, what do you think?
Continuing with our summer advertising campaign, I sent another advert to Round and About Newbury magazine to go within their September issue, and started working on another page of editorial to go alongside our full page advert in the Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Living Magazine’s September issue. I have also been busy organising the feature for inclusion with an upcoming Muddy Stilettos Berkshire feature. I look forward to sharing all of these with you shortly!
This week I also finalised and published our NEW press release: Support Local in Stage 4, which went to press early this week. We feel passionately about Newbury’s visitors and residents respecting the rules of each individual business here in Newbury, and we strongly wanted to spread awareness of this. Please help us to share this essential message and support Newbury businesses in Stage 4, by sharing the article across your networks.
As Newbury Vegan Market draws ever closer, I’ve been organising printing and finalising edits for the Vegan Trail Map, as well as working closely with Newbury Town Council to finish the design for our joint Public Art and Heritage Trail. If all goes to plan, we should have physical copies of the map to share with you in town next week- fingers crossed!
ACTION: If you’d be happy to display our Summer Series of Events, Family Fun Days, or Vegan Market posters, please email me and I will drop these off to you!
Rangers Update from Shaun
Unfortunately Shaun is still on sick leave so if you have any queries please contact Alison directly in his absence – we wish Shaun a speedy recovery and send him our very best!
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
Huge shout out to Mio Fiore and The Flower Pot Cafe for achieving the 2021 Travellers Choice award on Trip Advisor! Such great achievements during the most difficult time for the hospitality industry.
Kudos also goes to The Globe for winning the Muddy Stilettos Berkshire 2021 award for Best Bar and also to The Base, Greenham for winning Best Art Gallery! A special well done to those of you who were nominated-you had our vote!
Newbury Town Council Update
Newbury Town Council has been named a finalist in the National Association of Local Council’s (NALC) Star Council Awards 2021 and is in the running for the Council of the Year award. You have the chance to determine who wins this category by voting on the NALC website: Star Council Awards 2021 (nalc.gov.uk).Voting will run from 26 July to 23 August 2021. You can read the full press release here.
A coffee morning will be held at the Town Hall Chamber, Market Place tomorrow, on Saturday 31 July from 10am to 12 noon. The Mayor of Newbury, Cllr Billy Drummond will be raising funds in aid of the Mayor’s Benevolent Fund and Newbury Speakability.
The Town Council’s public consultation on the proposal to raise a loan of up to £300,000 for a new community café closes this week, on 31 July. NTC would like to hear the views of the people of Newbury, so to have your say click here.
West Berkshire Council Update
Mental Health Support
Here are links to the latest updates from the Government:
- £338 million package to further fuel active travel boom – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- PM speech at the Global Education Summit: 29 July 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Build Back Better Business Council meeting: 29 July 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- South East flood protection receives record government investment – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report published – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Weekly national flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports published – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Numbers on furlough fall to lowest level since start of pandemic – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Majority of schools sign up to boost education over the summer – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Government nearly half-way to recruiting 20,000 more officers – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Treasury Direction made by the Chancellor under Section 76 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- UK begins donating millions of COVID-19 vaccines to countries overseas including the Philippines – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- UK travel update: government waives quarantine for arrivals fully vaccinated from Europe and USA while also confirming international cruise restart – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- New advice hub to help disabled people understand their rights at work – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Government sets out ambitious plan to tackle drivers of crime – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Campaign launched to help public get healthy this summer – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Biffa caught exporting banned waste again – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Red tape cut for wine imports to save British wine lovers £130m a year – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Daily contact testing rolled out to further critical sectors – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Food industry Covid testing rolled out to support sector – 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