Page 1

Issue 5 February 2013

Welcome to the City Speak newsletter

In this edition

Welcome to 2013’s first edition of City Speak, which is packed full of information - from a round up of this year’s fantastic Christmas events, through to an update on the work on the new Debenhams store.

2 Heart of England in Bloom 2 Friary Outer update 3 Friarsgate update 3 Christmas Festival update 3 Visit Lichfield 2013 guide 4 & 5 Results from City Centre drop in event and next steps 6 Business charity initiative 6 Can you provide business support? 6 Debenhams update 6 Cut your energy bills support 7 2013 Xmas lights plans 7 What is a BID? 8 What’s On 8 Lichfield in the Times 8 Next city traders meeting 8 Great PR & marketing op

Before Christmas over 60 traders gave their views on how they would like to spend £50,000 High Street Innovation Fund money. On pages 4 & 5 of this issue we detail how traders voted and also how the Lichfield Town Team is taking the ideas forward. A popular idea was a town centre manager. A possible way to secure this, and ongoing promotional budget for the city centre is through a Business Improvement District (BID). This is detailed on page 7, along with an invitation to all traders to come along to a BID workshop in March to find out more. On page 6 Lichfield City Council and the Chamber of Trade & Commerce ask for your views on changing the format of the Lichfield City Christmas Lights Switch-On. On the same page Three Spires Shopping Centre reports an overall 4% increase in footfall in the centre in 2012 when compared to 2011, and an increase of 5.5% over the festive period. There’s also some great opportunities for local companies to win business on pages 6 & 8. We hope you enjoy reading this edition of City Speak, and happy New Year to you all. Richard Lewis, President, Lichfield Chamber of Trade & Commerce on behalf of city centre partners.

Dashing Xmas! Update from Lichfield District Council In the run up to Christmas, 25 lucky drivers, who paid for their parking through Dash, were refunded their parking fee as part of a festive promotion. Dash allows shoppers to pay for parking on their mobile phone or smart phone. Registering with Dash takes a couple of minutes, and once registered, you can pay for parking and top-up whilst out and about. Dash users tell us it’s great because you don’t have to go back to your car to top up your parking. We’ve developed a leaflet to help promote Dash. If you would like a stock for your store email elizabeth.thatcher@ lichfielddc.gov.uk

Christmas shopping trail boosts city stores Update from independent retailers, The Best of Lichfield and the Lichfield Town Team In the run up to Christmas, hundreds of local shoppers took part in a shopping trail to be in with a chance to win £1,050 cash and vouchers for local high street stores. Launched by local independent shops, The Best of Lichfield and the Lichfield Town Team, shoppers who took part in the trail visited 20 shops across the city and beyond to get a shopping passport stamped. The draw took place in January and the lucky winner was Linda Webb from Lichfield. She said: “I have lived in Lichfield all my adult life and doing the trail I came across shops I had never been in or even knew existed! I visited 'Room to Inspire' on Sandford Street and was really impressed with the service and found a lovely Christmas gift! I will certainly be going back to all the wonderful shops I have now discovered in the city.” Anna Riley from Cure - a boutique ladies' clothing store, who helped to launch the trail commented: "Twenty independent businesses took part, and we’re all really pleased it went so well. When you consider that over 50 shoppers completed the trail in full, visiting all the businesses to get their card stamped, that’s at least a thousand visits as a result. We know from retailers that many people who took part bought something on their first visit or came back another day.” Louie Clegg from The Best of Lichfield commented: "I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part in the trail, to Design Pit and Lichfield Gazette for helping to produce and distribute the trail leaflets, and to all the traders who donated cash and vouchers. In the current financial climate, initiatives like this are just what we need.” Councillor Louise Flowith, Cabinet Member for Tourism at Lichfield District Council, said: "We were really pleased to support and help promote the Christmas Shopping Trail and I’m glad it’s been so successful. We’re looking forward to supporting other initiatives like this through the Lichfield Town Team this year to help boost Lichfield City centre.” Find out more about the Town Team on page 7.


Bloomin’ Lichfield

Friary Outer update - a look behind the hoardings

Update from Bloomin’ Lichfield The inaugural meeting of Bloomin’ Lichfield took place this Update by Lichfield District Council January. Bloomin’ Lichfield is a group of enthusiastic councillors, officers, traders and more from across the city, who are committed to driving forwards this year’s entry into the Heart of England in Bloom competition. Lichfield City entered the competition last year for the first time on a shoestring budget, and we were over the moon to be awarded a coveted Silver Gilt award. Richard Lewis, from the Chamber of Trade & Commerce, who led last year’s entry, together with Lichfield city and district councils and partners, commented: “We know from cities up and down the country that they spend tens of thousands of pounds to achieve similar results, which just goes to show what real partnership working can do, when you set your mind to it.”

When you consider how attractive the city looked last year, with bunting and red, white and blue hanging baskets, it goes without saying that making the city centre beautiful can have a positive impact on footfall. At the first meeting lots of ideas were discussed, including a wheelbarrow parade, a theme for this year’s floral displays, such as ‘vintage’ or ‘memories’. The group also identified the partners they need to work with, such as local allotments, recycling teams, traders, parks teams and more. The team is also going to ask if judging can take place on 4 July 2013, to coincide with Lichfield’s Farmers’ Market, and we’ll be asking traders to join in and decorate their stalls for judging day. The date of the next meeting is 6 February 2013. If you are interested in joining the group, or in sponsoring this year’s entry, please email Richard Lewis at lewis_rm@yahoo.co.uk Cllr Mrs Janet Eagland accepts the Silver Gilt award

Promote & network for free Update from Visit Lichfield Does your business offer something for visitors to our city and district? If it does, why not book a free table at this year's Swap Shop at Drayton Manor? Swap Shop attracts a wide variety of tourism businesses from across the Heart of England region. It is an ideal and cost effective way for you to network with a number of businesses under the same roof, as well as share literature with other venues across the region. Swap Shop takes place on Friday 15 March, 10am – 1pm, Drayton Manor Theme Park. To find out more email rachael.evans@lichfielddc.gov.uk or call 01543 308216. 2

View from the top deck of the new car park Work on the Friary Outer development site is progressing well, despite the recent bad weather. When complete the £14 million development will boast 60 homes, a Premier Inn hotel and restaurant, public toilets, electric car charging points, and a multi-layer car park with around 400 spaces. Last November over 200 local people got to take a look behind the hoardings as part of an Open Doors event. Since then, a lot of work has taken place. Here’s a quick update:     

The car park steelwork is now complete. The last of the concrete planks will be installed by mid/late-January. Works to the retirement apartments are progressing well and the roof is nearly done. Windows have been fitted and the masonry works are nearly complete. Works on the apartments are also progressing well.

Coming up, the works to the car park, including CCTV and lighting fittings lift and barrier installation will also take place. Works on the roofing will also be finished soon. This will mean the scaffolding on The Friary can be removed, which will give a great view of the development’s façade for the first time. Landscaping works will also take place in Festival Gardens, including new planting and the creation of a new footpath. Work on the Premier Inn hotel is expected to start this spring. To keep up to date on the works visit www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/ friaryouter

Congratulations to the Loafers team Congratulations to the Loafers team for relocating their store from The Corn Exchange to Bore Street. The new store offers customers a lot more space to wait for their delicious lunches, which means the famous queues out the door may become a thing of the past, or indeed may get longer! Loafers was born and bred in Lichfield and is a real success story. We wish the Loafers team the best of luck in their new home. To order your corporate lunches from loafers call 01543 417678 or to order your lunch online visit www.loaferslunches.com


Friarsgate Update Update from Lichfield District Council Following requests from local traders, we've put together a quick update on the planned Friarsgate retail and leisure complex. For the past few years we have been working with the development company S Harrison, and their joint venture partner Development Securities, to bring a new retail and leisure complex to the city, on the site of the current bus station, multi-storey car park and police station. The vision is to revitalise the Birmingham Road area of the city in a way that will link with and complement the rest of the centre. The planned £100 million scheme includes an anchor store, a cinema, around 25 mixed sized retail and catering units, new public spaces and a car park. It also includes some apartments. Whilst trading conditions are tough nationally, there is still continuing interest in the Friarsgate scheme from the retail and leisure sectors, which is really positive news for the city. That said, due to the current economic conditions, there is no scheduled start date for the development. The council recently agreed to give S Harrison more time to rethink the design and, in particular, to secure an anchor store, which is vital if the scheme is to proceed. Despite the challenges ahead the developer remains committed to the delivery of the scheme. To keep up to date please visit www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/friarsgate

Visit Lichfield 2013 guide out now An update from Visit Lichfield - Lichfield District Council’s tourism team The new Visitor Guide for 2013 is out now. Produced by Lichfield District Council’s tourism team, with the support of organisations across the city and district, including hotels, restaurants, attractions and more, the visitor guide features over 60 glossy pages. The aim of the guide is to encourage visitors to the city for a day-trip or an overnight stay. It features sections on shops, events, accommodation and more. 60,000 copies of the guide are printed each year and distributed to venues across the district, county and region. Copies are also sent to tourist information centres up and down the country. To read this year’s visitor guide online visit www.visitlichfield.co.uk/download To find out more about how to get involved in next year’s visitor guide, call Jonathan Oates in the Visit Lichfield team on 01543 308216 or email jonathan.oates@lichfielddc.gov.uk Groups’ Guide The team is working on this year’s Groups’ Guide, which is sent to over 2,000 group tour operators. The aim is to encourage coach parties to visit the city. We know traders notice the benefits of groups visiting the city and tell us that they boost sales. If you want to find out more about the Groups Guide, call Jonathan Oates in the Visit Lichfield team on 01543 308216 or email jonathan.oates@lichfielddc.gov.uk What’s On The spring & summer edition of What’s On, featuring events up to August is due out in February. 50,000 copies of each edition are printed. The aim of What’s On is to encourage local people and visitors into the city and district to enjoy the wide range of events on offer. To find out more about how to get involved call Emily Robinson in the visit Lichfield Team on 01543 308215 or email emily.robinson@lichfielddc.gov.uk

Christmas Festival Update from Visit Lichfield Every year Visit Lichfield, the district council's tourism team, works with local organisations including the Chamber of Trade & Commerce, Lichfield City Council, local shops, market traders, attractions and businesses, and even a local scout group, to host a Christmas Festival weekend. The aim of the weekend is to encourage visitors into the city, as well to give shoppers a festive welcome. This year's festival took place on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 December. On Saturday the Market Square hosted an entertainment tent, face painting, craft activities and more. On Sunday, the Chamber of Trade & Commerce Christmas Market and local and farmers’ market traders took to the streets, and welcomed hundreds of shoppers keen to pick up a Christmas treat. Thanks to all the market traders who relocated to make the weekend possible and to all the traders who opened specially for Sunday. In the run up, the event was featured in the Tamworth Herald, the Sutton Observer and the Lichfield Mercury. It also featured in the Lichfield Gazette, our What’s On brochure, Destination Staffordshire’s Groups’ Newsletter and in Staffordshire Living. Touch FM also promoted the event. E-shots were sent to over 3,500 subscribers and it was tweeted and posted on facebook. Hundreds of shoppers visited the Market Square over the weekend and six coaches, bringing over 300 passengers booked in to attend the event. Overflow coach parking was provided. Over 50 families took part in the Christmas market trail and over 100 children had their faces painted. Lichfield 1st Scouts, Walsall Operatic Society, Cannock Salvation Army Band and other local musicians and dancers entertained the crowds, and the Lichfield Mysteries performed The Nativity to a large crowd on Sunday. Over 300 people enjoyed carols and birthday cake at Erasmus Darwin House and over 250 people visited the Guildhall cells. Many more enjoyed a traditional Christmas, carol singing and flower arranging at The Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum. Local feedback has been positive, and we'll be carrying out a quick survey later this spring with shops and businesses about how we can improve next year’s event. The next event we’re starting to plan is 2013's Heritage Weekend. If you want to get involved, please email emily.robinson@lichfielddc.gov.uk or call 01543 308215. 3


Results from the city centre drop in event Update from Lichfield Town Team Over 40 traders came along to a drop in event in December to give their views on where we should spend £50,000 High Street Innovation Funding to boost the city. Develop a retail brand for the city More seasonal events in the city More city promotion and advertising Develop a city (shop, eat, drink) website Appoint a town centre manager (max 12 months) A mobile phone app for the city More Covent Garden style entertainment More social media for the city More business and networking Appoint street champions More parking offers in the city A loyalty card scheme / shopping passport A city map for visitors and shoppers More and better communications 600

500

400

300

200

Based on the top 14 ideas generated at the open meeting in November, traders were again asked to rank the ideas from 1 - 15, with 1 being their least favourite and 15 being their favourite idea. Voting took place at a drop in event in December. Over 40 traders came along on the day and another 20 voted online. The next two pages explain how we will take the ideas forwards, as well as how to get involved.

1. A retail brand for the city Traders voted again for a retail brand for the city that appeals to shoppers, restaurant and bar goers, not just to tourists. Here’s how we are going to take this forward:  We’ve set up a Branding Task Force from members of the Lichfield Town Team.  Invite locally based design agencies to pitch ideas.  The pitches will include a visual of the brands they might develop.  The Branding Task Force will pick a top three ideas.  These will be presented to the next Traders’ Meeting in March (see back page) and traders will vote on their favourite brand. If you are a city business and are particularly interested in the branding and marketing of the city centre retail offer and want to get involved in the Branding Task Force please call Lizzie Thatcher on 01543 308781 or email elizabeth.thatcher@lichfielddc.gov.uk Please note anyone on the task force will not be able to pitch for the work.

Rough costs estimates: £1,500 - £2,000 max 4

100

0

The graph above shows the combined rankings after all the traders votes were brought together - with ‘develop a retail brand for the city’ being the most popular, and ‘more and better communications’ being the least popular.

2. More city events Traders voted again for more events in the city centre, that work to boost footfall and trade in local shops and restaurants. To do this, we are going to make a pot of £6,000 available for new events and will invite organisations to bid for a share of the money. As part of the application process we will be asking organisations to show how their event will boost footfall, how it will help to convert footfall into trade, how it will add to the established yearly events calendar, how it will work with partners, and how they will aim to make the event sustainable in the future - even without further funding. We have a well established application process we can adapt and lots of expertise in the council to help run this kind of selection process, which the council will deliver free of charge. We’ll also invite traders to form part of the assessment panel. We’ll present the process to traders at the next Traders’ Meeting in March.

Rough cost estimate: £6,000 If you are a city business and would like to be involved in the assessment panel, please call Lizzie Thatcher on 01543 308781 or email elizabeth.thatcher@lichfielddc.gov.uk Please note that


3. More advertising and promotion

Our spend-o-meter!

We’re going to set aside a £6,000 budget to fund a programme of advertising and promotion in 2013. This could see Lichfield being advertised on trains, buses and more. Because the adverts will need to be branded with the new city retail brand, we won’t make any decisions on where we are going to spend the money until the brand is approved. We’ll bring a range of options to the next Traders’ Meeting in March (see back page). If you are a city business and have any ideas on the kind of marketing you think we should be doing, please call Lizzie Thatcher on 01543 308781 or email elizabeth.thatcher@lichfielddc.gov.uk

See what we’ve agreed to spend so far, based on your votes:

Budget set aside: £6,000

4 & 6. A website and mobile app for the city We already have a website (www.visitlichfield.co.uk) and mobile phone app (www.visitlichfield.mobi) for the city that lists over 70 city shops, 18 coffee shops, and over 30 pubs, bars and restaurants, and offers all of these free basic listings. The sites are also maintained by the Visit Lichfield team. Rather than starting again from scratch, we plan to create sister sites, branded with the new brand. This will help to keep the costs down and ensure the content is looked after.

Rough costs estimate: £3,000 Website: design (£800), plus development cost (£1,500 max). Mobile website: design (£200), plus development cost (£500 max).

5. Appoint a town centre manager This is not an easy one, especially with only £50,000 in the kitty and lots of other projects to deliver! That said, we have worked out a possible way forward (see page 7). The article explains why a town centre manager might not deliver as much as we hope within the context of the High Street Innovation Fund, and also maps out a way we could secure funding for a permanent town centre manager and other city projects through a Business Improvement District (BID). The article also invites you to attend a BID Workshop, which the Lichfield Town Team have agreed to spend £1,000 on hosting.

Budget set aside: £1,000

7. A summer of Covent Garden entertainment Traders voted again for more Covent Garden style entertainment in the city centre, that will boost footfall and trade during summer weekends. To do this, we are going to make a pot of £5,000 available for entertainers. We will first ask local arts organisations to pitch for the funding. The Town Team will create a diary of entertainment days, and agree the venues where the entertainers will need to perform, and a maximum budget per day. Local arts organisations will then be asked to pitch to deliver the entertainment. The pitches will be assessed by Lichfield Town Team, which includes lots of traders. If we don’t get enough pitches, we’ll get competitive quotes from street entertainment companies.

Spent so far: £1417.60 - Xmas lights, shopping crawl and & traders’ events Planned spend: £2,000 - branding £6,000 - events £6,000 - promotion £3,000 - Mobile app £1,000 - BID workshop £5,000 - Entertainers £24,417.60 - planned spend so far £25,582.40 - left for other ideas

Networking, street champions, better communications and parking offers Lichfield Town Team will be looking at these in more detail in early 2013, and will bring some ideas along to the next Traders’ Meeting in March (see back page). Some of them could be delivered for no extra budget. For more details call Lizzie Thatcher on 01543 308781 or email elizabeth.thatcher@lichfielddc.gov.uk

We secured an extra £10,000 when we became a Town Team. We’ll use this money to deliver:

12. Loyalty card scheme

Rough cost estimate: £5,000

We’re going to jointly brand the Visit Lichfield special offers card scheme, as well as create window stickers for local shops to promote the mobile app and loyalty card.

If you are a city business and would like to be involved in the selection of the entertainers, please call Lizzie Thatcher on 01543 308781 or email elizabeth.thatcher@lichfielddc.gov.uk. Please note that anyone on the selection panel will not be able to pitch for the work.

14. A map for city visitors and shoppers

8. More social media - costs: £Free With a new website, hooked up to twitter and Facebook, more social media will be simple to deliver. In the short-term, this will be delivered by the Visit Lichfield team on behalf of the Town Team. Long-term this may become the role of the Town Centre/BID Manager (if appointed) or we may look to recruit a volunteer social media champion from within the Town Team.

We’re going to create a map for city visitors and shoppers that sections the city into areas and promotes the types of shops in those areas. We’ll wait until the new branding is ready before taking this forward. For more information on these projects, please call Lizzie Thatcher on 01543 308781 5


Businesses and good causes come Can you provide business support? Update from Lichfield District Council together Lichfield District Council is looking for an organisation to deliver Update from Lichfield Business & Charity Network A new Lichfield-based networking group held its first meeting on 31 January. Lichfield Business & Charity Network, established by local PR consultant Lucas Coe, aims to give organisations the opportunity to share expertise and build strong working relationships with good causes in the community. Speaking of the group, founder Lucas Coe said: “There’s so much businesses and charities can learn from each other, and we’re hoping the Lichfield Business & Charity Network will be the perfect place to do that. “For example, charities might be able to pick up vital cost saving strategies from some of the city’s leading businesses, while businesses may be able to enhance their own reputations by forging long-term charitable partnerships. “The possibilities really are endless, and an active network where businesses and charities work together is fantastic news for Lichfield.” If you want to attend future meetings or find out more about the network, please email hello@lucascoe.com

Debenhams & Three Spires update

support services to businesses across the district between 1 April 2013 & 30 June 2014. The organisation we select will help to deliver business growth and development, employment growth, workforce development, improve access to finance, and improve general business skills through a range of initiatives. If you are an organisation with a track record of providing excellent support services to businesses and helping to deliver business growth, we want to hear from you! How to get involved To help us select a company to work with, we are asking companies to submit a tender application by 28 February 2013. To find out more visit www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/businesstender

Cut your business energy bills Update from Lichfield District Council We're working with Marches Energy Agency to offer help and support to local businesses so they can cut the amount of fuel they use, reduce their bills and boost their profits. If you are a small or medium sized business, as part of the new scheme, you can access a range of services for free including:    

An energy awareness telephone support line. A bespoke report on how your business can make savings, and how much you could save. A great offer on LED lights. Five local businesses will also be chosen for a visit from an energy expert who will carry out a free energy audit.

So, if you would like to start saving on your business energy Update from Debenhams bills this winter, call the support line on 0800 677 1543. and Three Spires Shopping Centre Work on the new Debenhams store in the former TJ Hughes unit is progressing well. Signage has started to go up (pictured), which is bringing a Update from Lichfield City Council real buzz and sense of excitement to the centre. Last year’s Christmas decorations and No firm date has been set for the opening yet, but the team is lights may only just have come down, pleased with the progress so far, and is looking forward to but Lichfield City Council and the Chamber of Trade and opening the doors to the new store soon. Watch this space, or Commerce are already planning 2013’s event, and they are keep up to date at www.debenhams.com/new-stores thinking of making some changes to the format. Elsewhere in the Three Spires centre, Vision Express and Peter Young, Town Clerk at the City Council, explains: “The Romans have moved to new units (congratulations to them!), Christmas Lights Switch-On attracts hundreds of people, but whilst we bid farewell to Jessops, following the parent traders have told us that because it is held on a school-night, company’s recent closure. Retailer interest in the centre’s after normal opening hours, it doesn’t boost their business as vacant units remains high and the centre’s landlords are much as they would like. This is why we want to trial moving the working hard to encourage well-known high street names into event to Sunday 24 November at 5pm this year. We’ll host a day the centre. The imminent arrival of Debenhams has boosted of festive events and entertainment on the Market Square the attractiveness of the centre and the city, and the team is during the day, and encourage shops to open their doors. We’ll positive it will continue to do so. make sure we promote the changed date widely, with leaflets in Recent footfall figures in the centre are also positive, with school bags, adverts and information in What’s On.” figures from this Christmas period beating last year’s figures by We are keen to give traders a chance to have a say on our 5.5%, and overall 2012’s figures were up by 4% on 2011’s. plans, so please email your thoughts to us at For more information visit www.threespireslichfield.com enquiries@lichfield.gov.uk

2013’s Christmas Lights Switch-On

6


What is a BID? Update from Lichfield Town Team The fifth top idea voted for by traders at the recent High Street Innovation drop in event (see pages 4 & 5) is a town centre manager. The problem with appointing a town centre manager with the High Street Innovation funding is that we could probably only afford to appoint a person for 6 - 12 months, and when the money is gone it's gone, and so the post would go too. The benefit a short-term town centre manager could deliver to the city is limited. Realistically, the post holder could spend a few months getting up to speed, a few more doing projects, and the last few months winding down.

One way of giving the job real focus, and potentially securing ongoing funding to support a town centre manager and other city centre projects, is to appoint someone for a set time period to see if a BID could be developed for the city. What is a BID? BID stands for Business Improvement District. In simple terms a BID is a business-led and business funded organisation that works to improve a defined commercial area, such as Lichfield City centre. The BID is voted for and set up by local traders. Where does the money come from? All businesses within a certain area (such as the city centre) pay a little bit more (known as a levy) on their business rates. The usual levy is 1% - so if you pay £12,000 in rates each year, that’s an extra £120. The extra money businesses pay is looked after by the local council. It is then spent by the BID board (formed of business representatives) in line with an agreed business plan (written and agreed by local businesses). The council doesn't keep any of the extra money - it just looks after it like a bank. Does the council pay anything towards the BID? That depends. If you include car parks in the BID boundary, then the council will pay a levy on its rates as well. What kind of things can BIDs pay for? It's entirely up to the businesses involved in writing the business plan, but other BIDs have paid for projects such as business support and training, improved infrastructure, branding, promotion, events or even projects like shop front improvement, CCTV and signage. How long do BIDs last for? BIDs can be set up for a maximum of five years, but can be less. How are BIDs set up? The first thing you have to do is agree the BID boundary. Then you have to speak to all the businesses within the boundary to explain what a BID is all about and encourage them to support it. You can choose to exclude certain businesses, such as the smallest/newest businesses and charities from the BID.

What then? After a period of consultation, businesses within the BID boundary are asked to vote on whether or not they want to pay into a BID. All eligible businesses within the BID boundary area are asked to vote. For a BID to be successful, at least 50% of the businesses within the boundary, and 50% of the total rateable value of the area, has to vote yes. This makes sure both large and small businesses have a say. This is great, but it also means BIDs can be challenging to get off the ground, as you have to persuade a lot of people to want to pay an extra 1% on their rates! After the vote If the BID vote is a success, the BID business plan becomes a legally binding document and sets out how the BID will operate. An operating agreement is entered into between the BID board and the local council that governs how the BID money is paid out. The BID board then delivers on the business plan, usually through a BID Manager or town centre manager, over the agreed timeframe. How could it help your business? These are not exhaustive, but some of the benefits reported by businesses in BID areas include: "We get to decide what we want and can pay for it." "We have a really powerful voice locally and can do something about issues we just moaned about in the past." "Our BID money is ring fenced and we are completely in control of how it's spent." Most BIDs lead to proven increased footfall. "We've all cut our costs - our staff turnover has gone down, crime has gone down, and we've also started joining with other businesses to buy common services." "We work better together as businesses and with local partners such as the police and council."

You are invited to a BID workshop Setting up a BID is no small task, and deciding whether or not we want to invest a large proportion of the High Street Innovation Funding in a BID Manager to try and set one up in the city centre, is an important decision. To help you to understand more about BIDs and whether or not there is enough support in the city to invest some of the High Street Innovation Funding in a Bid Manager’s post, the Lichfield Town Team will be holding a BID workshop for all city traders. The BID workshop will be led by someone who has set up a BID in the past and we’ll also invite along businesses from other BID areas, so you can get to hear about it from a traders’ perspective. The Town Team has agreed to spend up to a maximum of £1,000 of the High Street Innovation Funding on the workshop, but we’ll try to keep the costs as low as possible. We’ve not set a date for the workshop yet, but we hope to hold it in late March, after trading hours. We’ll send an invitation to every business in the city. If you want to send us your thoughts in advance, please email elizabeth.thatcher@lichfielddc.gov.uk or call Lizzie on 01543 308781. 7


February events 12

Shrove Tuesday, Shrovetide Fair Market Square, City Council Pancake Race, 11.45am, Bore Street.

14

Valentines Day.

19

Chamber of Trade & Commerce meeting. 7.30pm , George Hotel. Call 07890 805563 for details.

22

Lichfield Rugby Club Networking Meeting at 7.30am Guest speaker Police Commissioner Matthew Ellis Call 01543 414451 for more details.

March events 10

Mothers’ Day.

17

St Patrick’s Day.

19

Chamber of Trade & Commerce meeting 7.30pm, George Hotel.

22

Lichfield Rugby Club Networking meeting at 7.30am.

29

Easter school holidays (until 12 April).

31

Easter Sunday.

31

British summer time begins (clocks forward 1 hour).

April events 1

Easter Monday bank holiday.

16

Chamber of Trade & Commerce meeting, 7.30pm. Venue tbc. Call 07890 805563 for details.

23

St George's Court, celebrations on the Market Square.

25

LDTA AGM, The George Hotel. Call 01543 308210.

May events 6

May Day bank holiday.

21

Chamber of Trade & Commerce meeting, 7.30pm. Venue tbc. Call 07890 805563 for details.

25 -27 Lichfield Greenhill Bower celebrations.

Lichfield City centre in The Times Update from Lichfield District Council Lichfield City featured in the first of a series of articles on Britain’s smallest cities. The piece, written by journalist Carol Lewis was titled ‘A little place with a big plan’ … Historical Lichfield is readying itself for a £100 million revival. The piece mentions the Friary Outer development and planned Friarsgate scheme. It also mentions the city’s weekly markets, the arrival of Debenhams and local historical figures including Garrick, Darwin, Seward and more. The article states research that shows when the new Friarsgate development is delivered, it will push Lichfield up the town centre retail rankings from 184th to 76th, putting it above places like Banbury, Winchester, Worcester and Woking. To read the article, visit www.thetimes.co.uk or call elizabeth.thatcher@lichfielddc.gov.uk

You are invited to the next city centre Traders’ Meeting Update from the Lichfield Town Team Following on from last year’s really successful open meeting in October, we’re holding another Traders’ Meeting this March. Come along to find out how the Lichfield Town Team is getting on delivering the projects voted for by traders, have your say on new city centre branding, and give your views on other emerging High Street Innovation Fund projects (detailed on paged 4 & 5). The meeting will take place on:

Wednesday 27 March 2013 5.45pm - 7.30pm Lichfield Garrick Studio Food & drink Because there was oodles of food left over after the last meeting, we’re just going to put on a simple spread of cheese, biscuits, bread and chutneys. We’ll also offer teas, coffees and soft drinks. The Garrick bar will also be open. Please confirm your place If you want to come along, please email elizabeth.thatcher@lichfielddc.gov.uk or call Lizzie on 01543 308781. Please put the date in your diary and we’ll send out a reminder invitation nearer to the date. We really hope to see you there!

Calling all PR & marketing agencies Update from Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP We are looking for a marketing and PR firm who can help us to promote a range of business support services to local businesses. If you are a forward thinking, dynamic and creative organisation, who can help us reach hundreds of SMEs across the Greater Birmingham and Solihull region, we want to hear from you. The deadline for tenders is 6 February 2013 at 4pm. Find out more at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/marketingandprtender

The editorial team Partners and organisations across the city provide articles for City Speak. These are brought together and published by the communications team at Lichfield District Council. If you would like to add anything into future issues of City Speak, email elizabeth.thatcher@lichfielddc.gov.uk

Distribution City Speak is distributed free to businesses across Lichfield City. If you are not on the mailing list and would like to be added, email elizabeth.thatcher@lichfielddc.gov.uk

When is it distributed We aim to issue six editions of City Speak a year, and if it’s well received, we may issue more. In between these times we’ll update www.cityspeak.info

Feedback We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading City Speak and that it’s been useful to you. If you have any feedback on City Speak, or want us to include particular topics in future editions, please email the editorial team at elizabeth.thatcher@lichfielddc.gov.uk 8

City Speak is brought to you in partnership by Lichfield District Council, the Chamber of Trade & Commerce, the TownSafe Partnership, Lichfield City Council and other city partners.


City Speak - February 2013  

City Speak is a newsletter (relaunched in Spring 2012) for retailers, traders and organisations in Lichfield City centre. It aims to bring y...

Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you