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Coventry City Centre

BID Bulletin Summer 2011


‘Welcome to the third edition of the BID Newsletter. In this edition we will look at the latest development news in the city, life after CVOne, new BID Committee members and some alterations the committee has made to the business plan for this financial year. I also have the unfortunate duty to inform you that our Chairman Andy Talbot of West Orchards shopping centre decided to step down from the BID Committee earlier in the year. I would like to publicly thank Andy on your behalf for all his hard work and dedication to the BID over the years. This has left us with some big shoes to fill however this has created an opportunity for another BID member to bring a fresh perspective to the committee and we will be introducing you to your new chair Helen Wickett of Kitty’s Sweets and Balloons, City Arcade.’


The BID Committee

Coventry 2012

You may remember we asked members to nominate themselves for the vacancies we had on the committee in the last issue. I am delighted to say we had some fantastic nominations and the new committee had their first meeting at the end of April. (Chair) Helen Wickett - Owner, Kitty’s Balloons and Sweets Mark Dixon - Manager, Lower Precinct Shopping Centre Ann Jeffrey - Manager, Marks and Spencer Dawn McCann - Owner, NuLeaf Florists Janet Cottle - Manager, The Oak Public House John Barrett - Owner, Bar Maison Mick Leape - Owner, Inspire Cafe John Haynes - Partner, ID Partnership Architects Gary Hall - Chief Executive, Coventry Transport Museum Angie Reynolds - Facilities Manager, Skydome Arena

As Coventry prepares to welcome the world for Olympic football next year the Council is investing over £7m (half of which is from the European Regional Development Fund) in several key locations. The impressive plans will see an improved Broadgate, the filling in of two subways

and two new surface crossings to improve the connection from the station and decluttering to improve the settings of some of the city’s most stunning buildings. All this work will be completed in time for the Olympics in 2012.

We still have vacancies on the committee for retailers and I would welcome any member who wish to nominate themselves to contact me on 024 7660 7055.


Gosford Street In the heart of the university campus, the area is dominated by five lanes of traffic despite the fact that people outnumber cars 10 to one. The width of the road will be reduced in both directions and pavements will be widened creating the city’s first shared space. As much ‘clutter’ as possible - including road signs, traffic lights and all road markings will be removed.

The new Broadgate square will include more trees, be traffic free and will feature a granite floor in two colours as well as a new grassed area outside Holy Trinity Church. Work has already started on this and the council has been working hard with its partners to minimise disruption to traders and shoppers. The Lady Godiva statue will be lit to stunning effect and the railings will be removed from around her. The new square will also feature seating, arranged sensibly to enable people to be sociable and to enjoy the event space at its best. Opportunities will be available for people to help decide what events and activities will take place in the square after its completion.

To carry out the work safely it is necessary to close Gosford Street, Jordan Well, Whitefriars Street and Cox Street to through traffic from 25 July 2011 for approximately seven weeks. Access to the closed sections of road will be restricted - but people requiring vital access will be directed at the entry points to the road closures. Access to Whitefriars, Grove Street and Gosford Street car parks will be maintained at all times, although diversions may be in place.

Station to Bull Yard Local people have told the council that they want a greener city centre so the council intend to replace two lanes of road at Bull yard with a large lawn for people to enjoy. This will extend Greyfriars Green into the heart of the city centre. Two subways will be filled in and a new crossing will be installed on Junction six of the ring road.

De Cluttering

Bus Services

Areas around the city centre - outside the old grammar school and Holy Trinity Church - will be de cluttered to improve the settings of the buildings. This means we will get rid of most signs, lines, traffic lights and where we can put street lighting on buildings rather than columns. At Holy Trinity Church we have also responded to the call for a greener city centre and have included a large grassed area and more trees.

Changes to local bus services will be introduced on Sunday 30 October 2011. These changes have come about as a result from the Coventry Bus Network Review which partners Coventry City Council; Centro and bus operators consulted the public on earlier this year. Bus services across the city have been looked at to see if they meet the requirements of the passengers. The aim is to modernise the network, with easier to understand routes and timetables, improved co-ordination between bus services and better opportunities to interchange between the bus and the rail networks. Also, on 30th October Broadgate will close to buses and so bus stop arrangements in the city centre will change. Information exhibitions to tell you the changes will be taking place. These will be advertised in the local press, in bus stations and on buses plus key locations around the city. New timetables will be provided for any services that change or any new services introduced.

BID Breakdown The BID Budget comprises the BID Levy your business pays in addition to substantial funding from Coventry City Council. The Levy generates in the region of £316,000 per annum with additional voluntary contributions from city centre landlords.Coventry City Council also pledge income from some Car Park contracts and Street trading. This brings the total budget to roughly £550,000 per annum. As a levy payer this means we can spend £2 for every £1 you contribute on improving the city centre through additional cleansing, greening, marketing and security. The BID budget is ring-fenced and decisions on expenditure are made by your elected committee A review of the current business plan was undertaken by the BID Committee in April. The majority of you also completed our midterm survey earlier this year. We received over 200 completed questionnaires and this gave us a fantastic insight into the how the BID is performing. Most replies were happy with the BID spend on security, cleansing and greening. Suggested improvements revolved around Marketing and Events. Most of this year’s budget has already been committed to the Feel Alive magazine so the committee decided to continue with the publication this year. We will review this later in the year and look to spread next year’s budget to cover events and other promotional activity.

Marketing As stated above the Feel Alive magazine will continue for this year at least, however, we have reduced the number of pages from 52 to 42 and reduced the circulation from 150,000 to 100,000. We have done this rather than compromise on the quality of the magazine in the light of rising production costs. September sees the launch of the 2012/13 visitor guide for the region. To appear in front of thousands of visitors to the city, advertise today with some fantastic BID levy payer rates 024 7660 7003.

UK Terrorism The Counter Terrorism Unit held a briefing in Coventry at the end of July. We were updated as to the current UK wide threat level which has been downgraded to “Substantial” from “Severe”. In simple terms it was explained that Severe means an attack is highly likely and that substantial means an attack is a strong possibility. The team stressed that there is no evidence to suggest that Coventry would be a viable target but that these briefings are to raise awareness and for the local community to take responsibility for alerting the police to any strange activity. They asked that any suspect activity be reported to them on 0800 789 321. Anyone who may need advice on emergency planning or for details of upcoming courses should contact Dave Whittle on 024 7683 2066.

New City Centre Liason Group Some of you may already meet regularly with Council representatives at the Broadgate Stakeholders meeting. We will be working to make sure that all areas of the city centre are represented. If you want to be involved with this group please contact Faye Cockayne on 024 76 83 2391 or e-mail faye.cockayne@coventry.

City Centre Help Point We are trialling an emergency help point at precinct cross which offers direct access for members of the public to our 24hr CCTV Control Centre. If we receive positive feedback during the trial period we may introduce them at further key areas in city centre.The help points are also powered by solar energy, making them a truly green option.

Coventry in Bloom Judges from Heart of England in Bloom were in Coventry at the end of July to consider our entry in this year’s competition. Judges visited the War memorial park, Sherbourne Fields School, Coundon Allotments and the University of Warwick grounds before being taken on a tour of the city centre. Mr Garwood, Chairman and Judge of Heart of England in Bloom, said: “The competition isn’t just about how many hanging baskets a city has got but it also takes in recycling, biodiversity and community development.” The BID joined forces with Coventry City Council, Whitefriars Housing Group, Coventry University, Jaguar Land Rover and Ikea to enter the competition. The winners will be announced in mid-September and then put forward towards the national Britain in Bloom competition.

New Sign Making Service We now offer an in-house sign making service with special rates for BID members. These range in size from A2 to A5; we have the facility to produce these on a number of backgrounds Foamex, Aluminium, luminescent, Reflective or simply just a vinyl sticker. Pictured right is a small sample of what we can produce for you. We guarantee to beat any other price you may be quoted and all proceeds are re-invested and spent on marketing the city centre. For more information please contact one of the BID team on 024 7660 7055

Crime Update August sees the arrival of Inspector Alastair Orencas as the new Neighbourhood policing inspector for the St Michaels Ward (City Centre and Hillfields). Alastair will also retain the responsibility of delivering neighbourhood policing for the south side of the city which include Binley & Willenhall, Cheylesmore, Wainbody, Earlsdon and Westwood. Alastair has built an impressive reputation for his communications through social media

websites such as Facebook and in particular Twitter where he has over 1500 “followers”. This novel way of policing has given local people an opportunity to express their opinions on the neighbourhoods they live in to a relevant decision maker. You can follow Alastair on twitter @coventry_police Telephone: 0345 113 5000 ext 7933 6610 Email: a.orencas@west-midlands.

New Brands There have been several new openings in the city centre of note since the last newsletter. • Coventry welcomes Quiz Clothing to the Lower Precinct. Quiz was founded in 1995 and began trading with 3 stores in Scotland. The business model proved to extremely successful and more stores have since been opened year on year. Quiz has now grown to include 70 stores in most of the major shopping centres and high streets across the UK. With 30 franchises in the Middle East, Ireland and Europe the Quiz brand has also grown worldwide. The company employs more than 400 members of staff in the UK alone and prides itself on the calibre of its online operations. • Paddy Power has opened their first store in the city centre in Cross Cheaping. Primarily reliant on their online empire, the company has made the transition to the high street in recent years. • Ex catalogue value retailer Furniture Express have also recently took on the old MK1 site in Market Way, offering a low cost alternative for your furniture needs. • Popular fashion retailer Jack & Jones look set to open their first store in the city at the old Adams site in the upper precinct. The company founded in 1989 currently have 27 stores throughout the UK and growing. • Keep your eye out for a return to the city by the Wimpy restaurant chain. Taken over in 2007 by South African based “famous brands group” the franchise looks to cement its status as the largest independently owned franchise chain in the UK. • The latest craze in foot care has hit Coventry with the openings of two fish spas. Rufa Fish Spa in City Arcade and Appy Feet Orchard Link. • Priory Place welcomes the Opening of Baby Buddha (previously Dogma). Alongside Maison Bar and the refurbished Escape bar which reopens as Seven Nightclub it seems this part of the city has a bright future. • Laser Quest has moved into the site of the old Irish Centre building in Watch Close in time for the school holidays. Adding to the overall entertainment value of the city centre they seem to have picked a great location with the proximity of the ice rink and the Odeon cinema.

Business and Retail Networking Forum

Pubwatch The Pubwatch committee have planned a fresher’s fayre for 24th September in Millennium Place. The purpose of the event will be to promote the evening economy to the universities newest intake. Active Pubwatch venues will be entitled to promote themselves on the day. We have a limited number of stalls should venues require them. The event will also benefit two local charities, city centre based Tiny Tim’s and Relate. Pubwatch would appreciate the support of the retail community and any donations for prizes would be greatly received. Please contact Marc Dwyer on 07500 821492 if you can help.

The next BRNF will be held on August 31st at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum from 5.30. We have a city development presentation planned as well as an update on plans for Christmas and the management of the BID. Our Joint Procurement team at Zone4 Biz will also be on hand to keep you updated on the project. This is an excellent opportunity to let relevant decision makers know what you think on key matters that affect your business and to network with other businesses in the city centre. You will also note that the time has been changed to early evening. This was due to feedback we received in the BID mid-term questionnaire. The change in time means that those of you who don’t have time during the day don’t miss out.

Helen Wickett - BID Chairperson Helen took over the position of BID Chairperson from Andy Talbot in July and here’s something of her background. Helen began her career with an 8 year stint in the civil service before moving into the Leisure and Hospitality Industry. Over the 10 years she spent in this sector she was front of house manager for Coombe Abbey Hotel in addition to spells at The Hilton and the Royal Court Hotel. Helen’s career took a new path when she made the decision to set up her own business and trained as a balloon decorator. Newly qualified, Helen opened Kitty’s sweets and balloons in Bulkington with her partner and her 4 daughters who also work in the shop. This led to her nomination for best new business in the Godiva Awards 2010. Helen narrowly missed out on this honour but was persuaded to move her business to Coventry after speaking with guests at the awards show. Helen is enthusiastic, pro-active and genuinely passionate aboutproviding an experience for all those who visit her business. We have no doubt Helen will represent the interests of her fellow BID members well and be a force for positive change. We have two vacancies on the Committee for National retailers, if you are interested in applying please contact Marc Dwyer on 07500 821492.

Joint Procurement Update • Energy To date we have spoken to over 100 city centre BID members and assessments on gas and electric tariffs are underway and we are achieving some significant savings. It’s very important in view of recent price rises by the energy suppliers that when your renewal letter from your energy supplier arrives you contact us so that a further assessment can be completed. If we haven’t already completed an initial assessment please contact us and we will arrange a free no obligation consultation. • Insurance All BID members are entitled to a free no obligation business insurance assessment from our insurance partner. They guarantee a saving of at least 10% on your renewal offer from your current provider. Please don’t hesitate to contact us. • Telecoms A recent assessment for a city centre business has shown a 60% saving can be achieved on their overall telecoms package. Our partner offers great savings on calls, line rentals, mobiles and business broadband. There is no necessity to change any current systems or hardware and it is a simple and seamless process. For more information on the free products and services available from the BID please visit

Monthly E-Newsletter For all the latest news and developments, please sign up for our upcoming monthly BID e-newsletter. Please email your contact details to

London 2012 Olympics

Figures show Coventry and Warwickshire has received a major boost to the local business economy as a result of the 2012 Games being hosted in London. With just over a year still to go until London 2012, a total of 303 organisations in the West Midlands region have already landed London 2012-related business contracts with a total value in excess of £515 million. Coventry and Warwickshire has won 80 contracts, with more likely in the future, after businesses registered through the CompeteFor portal - the system by which organisations can apply for 2012 tender opportunities. Every parliamentary constituency in the Coventry and Warwickshire region has landed at least one 2012-related contract across a range of industries – the most high profile being the announcement that Exhall-based Premier Group will manufacture 8,000 Olympic Torches for the 2012 Torch Relay. The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games provide a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Coventry and Warwickshire to join in and be part of the biggest sporting events in the World. Coventry is immensely proud to have the honour of being an Olympic co-host City after being selected to be the Midlands Venue for Olympic Football in 2012. Our vision to be part of London 2012 is to maximise this once in a life time opportunity and provide everyone in Coventry & Warwickshire with their own Olympic experience. London 2012 is more than just a sporting event and more than just a Games for the capital. London 2012 is Everyone’s Games and outside of London, Coventry and Warwickshire is leading the way to be part of and join in with London 2012. As an Olympic co-host City, 2012 will be a special year for Coventry as we welcome the world to the region and people from across the UK. No other sub-region outside London will be the focus of so much Olympic related activity through: • Hosting Olympic Football at the Ricoh Arena, (to be renamed the City of Coventry Stadium for the Games) 12 matches over 8 days culminating in the Women’s bronze medal match. • One of 66 Evening Celebration locations for the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. • Hosting world-class athletes and visiting teams as training camps at the University of Warwick. • Staging community events and screening the 2012 Games live on our London 2012 Live Site, a big screen in Millennium Place and one of 20 screens across the UK. • Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the consecration of Coventry Cathedral - a key event in the city’s history, and one which will also attract national and international interest. • Showcasing the very best of Coventry’s creativity through Godiva Awakes, the West Midlands winner of the Legacy Trusts Artists Taking the Lead Cultural Olympiad project. • Celebrating Shakespeare through the London 2012 World Shakespeare Festival. • Looking and feeling like an Olympic host City through the London 2012 Look and Feel street dressing programme.

Contact Numbers

City Centre Footfall For the year so far (up to week ending 17th July) Coventry’s total footfall is 2.2% down compared to the first 28 weeks of 2010 reflecting the overall national trend. Cleansing score for the week 1 to week 28 is 11.1% which is 1.8% improvement on the first 28 weeks of 2010. Police figures for June are not published yet however for January to May, overall crime in the city centre is down 10.8% compared to Jan to May 2009. We are unable to compare 2010 figures due to a change in police reporting methods. Research from the 2011 Feel Alive Survey supports the work done by Feel Alive magazine in promoting the city centre and, more importantly, encouraging the irregular user to the city centre more often. 20% of this year’s survey readership were classed as infrequent users and 25% were medium users of the city centre. The survey also supported the belief that the magazine promotes purchases and visits to the city centre, with a third of readers looking to buy a specific product as a result of reading the magazine and just under two thirds (58%) intending to visit a specific shop or bar as a result of reading the magazine.

Coventry By-the-Sea Being situated in the centre of the country, it is impossible for Coventry residents to get their families to the seaside in less than an hour so the Council is bringing the beach to Coventry city centre! Delivered by Heart of England Conference & Events Centre, the Beach Event will feature a sandy beach, Punch and Judy, market stalls, barbecue and lots of games and competitions for children to join in and have fun.

General Queries Marc Dwyer 024 7660 7065 Promotions/Leaflets Toni Pittaway 024 7660 7009 Crime Issues Adrian Woolford 024 7660 7054 Ambassadors Chris Knott 024 7660 7054 Marketing Darren Taylor 024 7660 7003 Coventry BID 8 Hay Lane Coventry CV1 5RF Phone: 024 7660 7055 Email:

The Beach Event will be coming to Shelton Square from Monday 15 August till Thursday 25 August 2011 inclusive, and will be open from 9.30am to 4.30pm every day. Coventry Retail Market traders will be joining in with the fun and selling a variety of products, including seaside treats like rock and candyfloss and buckets and spades to make sandcastles. “Since its inception in 2005, the city centre BID has been managed and serviced by CV One. With the planned closure of CV One in 2012, however, we are now working closely with the BID’s management Committee to find a suitable alternative home for the BID for the remainder of its current term and one which we hope will guide it through another successful renewal ballot.I am pleased to advise that as a result of these discussions the City Council has indicated its willingness to both host the BID’s operational team and to provide them with the necessary support services to allow a seamless transition upon CV One’s closure. Senior Council officers have also expressed a desire and enthusiasm to promote the BID’s evolution and continuous improvement within the context of the exciting new redevelopment schemes planned for the city centre.Consequently Marc Dwyer and his team will be transferring into the employment of the City Council with effect from 1 October and I am confident that BID levy payers will continue to enjoy the same excellent service from their new service provider.” LIZ MILLETT Chief Executive CVOne Limited

BID Newsletter Summer 2011  

The official newsletter for members of the city centre of Co...