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Issue 3 July 2012

Welcome to the City Speak newsletter

In this edition

I was asked the other day to sum up this summer so far in just two words, and the words that sprang to mind were wet, but wonderful (well, ok that’s three)!

Page 2 City Centre Races, Heritage Weekend and Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park Page 3 Olympic Torch Relay day Page 4 Lichfield Food Festival and Fuse Festival Page 5 Three Spires Summer Series and promotional campaign, new shopping, eating and drinking guide and Dash Park Page 6 Heart of England in Bloom and Friary Outer redevelopment Page 7 High Street Innovation Fund, City Christmas Tree Appeal and Rate My Place Page 8 What’s On and Lichfield Literature

Who would have thought a few months ago that the city centre could have been so packed with people on the Olympic Torch Relay day, and who could have imagined the wonderful scenes in the cathedral as part of the Jubilee Big Lunch celebrations, despite torrential rain! The strength of community spirit and the first class behaviour shown by visitors and local people at these events was just superb. We already know from some local traders that these events helped to boost city trade - already cafés have reported doubling and tripling their record daily takings on Olympic Torch Relay day! In this issue of City Speak you’ll find a quick questionnaire asking you to tell us how trade was for you. Knowing whether or not city centre events boost local trade is really important to us, and helps us to campaign for more events to take place, which in turn has a positive impact on local businesses. Please do tell us how business was for you, and you’ll be in with the chance to win a family ticket to the Lichfield Garrick’s Christmas production of Alice in Wonderland. So, here’s to a drier summer from here on in, and we hope you enjoy reading City Speak. Richard Lewis, President, Chamber of Trade & Commerce on behalf of city centre partners

How was Olympic business? Request from Lichfield District Council Inside this issue of City Speak you’ll find a quick questionnaire. We’re really keen to find out how well your business did on Saturday 30 June - when the streets of the city were lined with people watching the Torch Relay and taking part in a range of fantastic events. Part of the reason we hosted the day of events was to encourage people into the city and to stay all day, as we hoped this would encourage people into shops and cafes. To help us find out whether hosting events like this in future is worthwhile, please fill in the questionnaire before Friday 10 August thank you. If you have any questions, please email jenny.golding

We’re gearing up for the City Centre Races Update from Lichfield District Council & Lichfield City Cycling Club We are proud to be hosting Lichfield’s City Centre Races again on Sunday 26 August 2012. The event, which is now in its third year, will attract hundreds of competitors and spectators to the city on the August Bank Holiday Sunday. Last year café traders in particular benefitted from the visitors the race brought into the city. The race route starts on Market Street and follows the road round past Boots, onto Tamworth Street, and left into Lombard Street. It then turns left towards Lombard Street car park and into Reeve Lane. It then travels down Dam Street where there will be last minute jostling for the lead position into the tight right-turn back on to Market Street and to the finish line. It’s likely the first person round this final right turn will win the race! The runners will follow the same route, but will also race round Stowe Pool. The event will include youth and adult cycle races, a mountain bike race and a 5K running race. The first race sets off at 9.30am and races continue throughout the day, until the running race at 4pm. To allow the races to go ahead safely, the whole of the route will be closed to traffic between 8.45am and 5.30pm.

A great opportunity to get your business noticed! From sponsoring races and prizes, to advertising in the event programme or putting up race route banners, there’s lots of ways to get involved. If you would like to really get your business noticed on the day, why not consider advertising a special ’City Centre Races’ offer to visitors and spectators? For more information please contact Phil Kelly, City Centre Races organiser, on 01543 308842 or 1

City Centre Races in pictures

City Centre Races provisional timetable Sunday 26 August 9.30am - 9.50am 10.05am - 10.45am 11am - 11.30am 12noon - 12.40pm 1pm - 1.30pm 1.45pm - 2.25pm 2.40pm - 3.40pm 4pm – 5pm

D & E, Under 8s & 10s Youth A, U16s Youth B, U14s Urban MTB Race Youth C, U12s Cat 3 / 4 E / 1/ 2/ 3 5K Running Race

For more information visit

Lichfield Heritage Weekend

Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park

Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September 2012

Saturday 1 September Children’s activities and food stalls from 5pm, music from 6pm, main concert at 7.30pm. Free entry

Update from Visit Lichfield Lichfield’s Heritage Weekend will celebrate The Queen’s Jubilee with a royal theme this year. The weekend includes free entry to local heritage attractions, royal crafts, fun quizzes, free face painting, the chance to dress up like a prince or princess, royal themed guided tours and more. A full programme will be available in August 2012. Call Lichfield Tourist Information Centre on 01543 412112 to be added to the mailing list, or find out more nearer the time at

End the summer in style and enjoy an outdoor classical music concert, children’s entertainment and a firework finale at our free Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park. The evening will start when The City of Lichfield Band warms up the crowds from 6pm. This will lead to the main concert, when Touch FM broadcaster, Mark O’Sullivan, and local TV personality, Jane Dayus-Hinch, will take to the stage at 7.30pm to introduce the musical programme. The British Police Symphony Orchestra will play a selection of classical music, including Coates’ Dambusters March, Jupiter from Elgar’s The Planets, and Crown Imperial from Walton’s Coronation March. Soprano Joanne Mayling and Tenor Mitesh Khatri will be in fine voice singing songs from My Fair Lady, HMS Pinafore, as well as the much-loved proms anthems, Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and more. The night will end with a rousing rendition of Land of Hope and Glory to fireworks overhead.

Promote your business at the proms

The Visit Lichfield team get ready for the Heritage Weekend


There are still opportunities to promote your business on the big screens to thousands of proms goers on the night. Contact Rhiannon Purkis on 01543 308774 to find out more. Or, why not entertain your customers with the best seats on the night and reserve a VIP table in front of the stage. Prices start at £40 for a table of four. Call the proms team on 01543 308775 to book.

Torch Relay day in pictures Thousands flocked to Lichfield City to see the Olympic Torch Relay on Saturday 30 June 2012 On day 43 of the Olympic Torch Relay the eyes of the world fell on Lichfield District, when Torchbearers carried the Olympic Flame through local streets. The Torch arrived in the district on time, and was safely handed to Tamworth at 10.10am - four minutes ahead of schedule. The people of Lichfield, along with plenty of visitors, cheered the Torchbearers on from their vantage points lining streets, sitting on walls and looking out of windows. It is estimated that around 25,000 people lined the streets of Lichfield City on the day.

Crowds line The Close

‘The Kiss’ on Tamworth Street Crowds watching Alvin Stardust on the Market Square Torchbearer John May said: "I was so proud to carry the Torch through my local streets and overwhelmed with the response from the crowd. It is certainly a day I will remember forever." Councillor Val Richards, Lichfield District Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure Services, said: "We were so lucky with the weather, as the clouds broke and glorious sunshine fell on the city and district, in time for thousands of people to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity and see the Olympic Flame pass by. The atmosphere was brilliant and we're delighted so many people stayed on in Lichfield City to enjoy the events, shop, eat and drink to celebrate this historic day. Our thanks to the 200 plus volunteers who helped to make sure the event ran smoothly and safely, and to all the organisations and groups that worked so hard to make this a day to remember."

Crowds line Bird Street

John May on Dam Street

Family from Great Barr enjoy the day!


Get involved with the Lichfield Food Festival Saturday 1 & Sunday 2 September 2012 Lichfield Food Festival is Staffordshire’s newest all-weather food and drinks festival. Featuring celebrity chefs John Torode, Antony Worrall Thompson and Nick Nairn, Lichfield Food Festival is set to draw in the crowds in a celebration of all things gastronomic. The Lichfield Garrick will play host to local producers who will show off their wares in the Food Studio, while the main auditorium will become a Food Theatre and play host to a variety of free and paid-for cookery demonstrations. Free demonstrations include the historical cookery duo, local masterchef Simon Smith and Professor Rotherham, Chinese cookery with the Ruby, and the art of bread making with Hindleys. The festival also includes The Best of Local Brewers Beer Festival in the Guildhall, and the much loved Farmers’ Market on the Market Square (on Sunday 2 September only). Celebrity Chef Nick Nairn will also be hosting free cookery demonstrations at Tippers in Britannia Business Park on Sunday 1 September at 10am and 12noon - call 01543 412121 to book your free place.

John Torode

Nick Nairn

Tickets for the celebrity chef demonstrations, featuring Antony Worrall Thompson (1 September at 2.30pm) and John Torode (2 September at 7pm), cost £25 each or £45 for both. They can be booked by calling the Lichfield Garrick box office on 01543 412121 or online at To find out more about Lichfield Food Festival, please visit

Calling all food & drink establishments Become a venue on the Ale & Wine or £10 World Menu Trails We’re inviting restaurants and drinking establishments across the city to get involved in our Ale & Wine Trail and our £10 World Menu Trail.

Antony Worrall Thompson

As part of the Ale & Wine Trail, you’ll offer a selection of ale and/or wines for customers to sample for £3 a glass. You’ll also provide tasting notes, so customers can learn more about the drinks they are sampling. As part of the £10 World Menu Trail, you’ll offer a fixed price menu of your choosing to customers, focused ideally on one type of world menu - from French, to Moroccan, to Italian. In return we’ll market you at the food festival, and in marketing running up to the event. You’ll also be included on a special food festival map we’ll be giving to festival goers to encourage them into your business.

It’s completely free for businesses to be part of the Lichfield Food Festival trails. To sign up or find out more, email Adrian Jackson, Artistic Director at the Lichfield Garrick, commented: “Getting your business involved in the Ale & Wine and World Menu trails is a great way to get your name noticed, and encourage customers through your door. We’ll be promoting the trail venues widely to all festival goers and in the run up to the weekend!” Lichfield Arts makes Fuse Festival sparkle despite the wet weather Over the weekend of 6 - 8 July, Lichfield Arts once again ran Fuse, the free community festival held each year in Beacon Park. In a summer when many events around the country have been cancelled, due to appalling weather, Fuse went ahead and was a huge success! An estimated 10,000 people attended the event over Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Despite a very wet start on Friday, the weather was kind, with only the odd shower and even the occasional glimpse of sun! All three marquees were busy with music of all genres, workshops, craft activities and even an art exhibition. The whole event had a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere. On Sunday afternoon, hundreds of children performed in the finale of the outreach programme which has become an integral part of Fuse. Lichfield Arts has a proud tradition of holding concerts in the Guildhall and runs five festivals throughout the year. Staffed almost entirely by volunteers, Lichfield Arts is a community led and community focussed charitable organisation actively engaged in the promotion of artistic and cultural events. As such, it is a key player in the cultural life of the area, contributing to the economic wellbeing by attracting locals and tourists alike to its events. Thank you to everyone who supported the Fuse Festival. To find out more visit 4

Three Spires Summer Series and marketing campaign Update from Three Spires Shopping Centre This July and August Three Spires Shopping Centre is offering family fun events across six consecutive Saturdays (see left). From giant games, to a street beach and a pirate day there’s something for everyone. The team at Three Spires have also launched a new marketing campaign to promote the summer series and encourage more and more visitors into the city centre. From advertising on Touch FM to advertising in the Lichfield Mercury and the Tamworth Herald, Lichfield City centre is being promoted far and wide thanks to the team. So, if you are looking for something fun for the family to do this summer, you know where to head!

Email marketing manager

We’re launching a new city shopping, eating and drinking map Update from Visit Lichfield

Don’t forget to dash! Update by Lichfield

Lots of local traders have told us that they would like a free map to hand out to customers that signposts where different businesses are in the city.

District Council Don’t forget that your customers can pay for parking by mobile phone in all city centre district council owned car parks.

The Visit Lichfield team already produces a number of maps including one in our much loved visitor guide, and one in the eating and drinking section of our seasonal editions of What’s On. That said, we’re really keen to respond to what traders want, so we’ll be developing a new city shopping, eating and drinking map over the coming months.

We’ll be offering all shops, restaurants and drinking establishments free listings, but we need businesses to sign up to the free listings, to make sure we publish the right information. In the past we’ve had a really low response rate from businesses when we’ve offered free listings, so we’re hoping businesses will fill in their sign-up form and send them back, so they don’t miss out. We’ll also be offering businesses the chance to advertise on the map. And, as the district council doesn’t have a budget to produce the map, the amount of advertisers we get on board will greatly influence how many copies of the map we can produce and how regularly we can reprint it. Watch out for your sign-up form and fill it in and return it as soon as you can. If you have any questions, please email

How does it work?  Customers register online at or by calling 08456 800 104.  They pay for their parking using their mobile phone.  When our parking officers see a car without a ticket, they enter the registration number into their computer, and it will tell them whether the driver has paid using Dash Park. An additional 10p transaction charge is added to each booking. Visit dashpark to find out more.


We’re hoping to be blooming lovely! The Lichfield Chamber of Trade & Commerce has entered Lichfield into the Heart of England in Bloom competition for 2012. The competition is run by the Royal Horticultural Society and is widely recognised as the standard bearer for such competitions. Amongst other Heart of England towns that have entered this year’s competition are Tamworth, Solihull, Stourbridge and Burton, along with cities such as Birmingham, Hereford and Coventry, and smaller places such as Ludlow, Bilston and Tutbury. Lichfield District Council and Lichfield City Council, along with other organisations and local businesses very much support the chamber’s entry, and they will be making every effort to ensure Lichfield is ‘blooming lovely’ for the judging day on Tuesday 24 July. The judges will be met by City Mayor, Councillor Janet Eagland, and will then be escorted around the city by Chamber President Richard Lewis. The tour will visit city centre streets, including Three Spires Shopping Centre which will be decorated with red, white and blue floral hanging baskets, provided as part of the celebrations for the Jubilee. The judges will then visit Minster Pool Walk, Museum Gardens, Beacon Park, and the Garden of Remembrance, which have all benefited from Heritage Lottery Funding. Businesses in Dam Street will be adding extra colour on the route up to the cathedral, which will also be putting on stunning floral displays. The judges will be shown around the Darwin House Herb Garden and the impressive work which has been carried out at St John’s Hospital Garden. Bromford Housing has also made improvements to properties in Friday Acre by introducing floral displays, and it is hoped there will be time to take the judges to local allotments and to business and community schemes across the city, including Dave’s Community Allotment at The Plant Plot garden centre on the Western Bypass (A51), floral displays at Tempest Ford on St John’s Street, and the work of Chadsmead School on Friday Acre. But, it’s not all about the flowers! Only 50% of the marks are awarded for horticultural achievement. A further 25% of marks will be awarded for environmental responsibility, which includes street cleanliness, local heritage, recycling, conservation and biodiversity. The remaining 25% of marks will be awarded for community participation, including involvement of local councils and community groups. The awards are bronze, silver, silver gilt and gold. High performing entries from each of the 18 regional competitions will go on to compete in the UK’s finals, the winners of which will then have a chance to compete for European glory in the Entente Florale! For more information contact Richard Lewis 01543 250016 Don’t forget

The Visit Lichfield Special Offers Card is a great way to promote your business to thousands of card holders Contact to sign up to the free scheme 6

View from Festival Gardens

Friary Outer redevelopment Update from Lichfield District Council Work to build 60 homes, a hotel and restaurant, replacement toilets and 170 extra parking spaces on the current Friary Outer car park (opposite the university), is now underway. Here’s the latest update:  The updated planning application for the 79 bedroom Premier Inn hotel will be considered by Lichfield District Council’s Planning Committee on Monday 23 July.  The toilet block has been demolished.  The piling, which will support the buildings, has now been finished.  The team has started the ground works, including digging foundations.  Services, including drainage and electrics, have been routed into the development site.  The permanent site offices have been set up. Upcoming works in next month:  The team will start to dig the foundations for the six apartments on Swan Road.  The frame for the sheltered apartments will start to appear above the hoardings soon.  Drainage works will continue and site investigation works for the culvert upgrade will take place.  Ground beams will be laid and masonry ground works will begin on the main part of the site. What is the Friary Outer redevelopment? The £14 million development will feature 54 supported housing association homes for older residents, as well as six shared ownership homes, to give first time buyers a chance to get on the housing ladder. Who is involved in the project? Lichfield District Council is the landowner and will manage the new car park and toilets. Bromford Support will own and manage the supported accommodation. Bromford Homes will be the agent for the sale of the six affordable shared ownership homes. The Homes & Communities Agency invested £2.4 million in the scheme. The developer of the scheme is S Harrison who is also developing the Friarsgate shopping and leisure complex. Miller Construction is the main contractor.

City centre consultation

High Street Innovation Fund An update from Lichfield City Centre Coordination Group In April, Lichfield District Council was awarded £100,000 as part of the government's High Street Innovation Fund. The aim of the money is to help councils, local businesses and partners revive local high streets. £50,000 of the money has been set aside to boost Lichfield City centre, and members of the Lichfield City Centre Coordination Group have been looking into ways to spend the money to increase local trade. Richard Lewis, Chairman of the Lichfield Chamber of Trade & Commerce, explains: “Lichfield City Centre Coordination Group includes over 20 local traders, who all said they were keen to see something take place in the city centre to boost trade over the summer months, and halt the decline of high street businesses. Based on this, the team came up with a number of ideas, including bringing entertainment - from an ice rink, to bungee jumping trampolines - into the heart of the city, which have worked really well attracting the crowds in other city centres.

“The beauty of both the ice rink and bungee trampolines was that we could have charged people a nominal fee (£1 a go for example) and, over the summer months, we could have replenished the £50,000 pot of funding, ready for future projects. “Because we would have had to use a section of the Market Square for the entertainment, we first spoke to the market traders to see if they would be happy to relocate. Whilst some liked the ideas, others were understandably concerned that moving off the Market Square might impact on their vital trade. Some other local shop keepers also expressed doubt about the ideas. Because we didn't get overwhelming support for the idea, we have decided to think again, and invite traders from across the city to some consultation events to craft ideas to invest the £50,000 that everyone will support.” The consultation events will be hosted in the Lichfield Garrick later this year (September/October TBC) and will take place in the early evening, after shops close. Everyone who trades in the city centre, or has a view on how the funding could be invested to boost local trade, is invited to attend the events.

Traders in the city centre will all receive an invitation, which will be sent to their business directly. If you want to put your name on a list to receive an email notification of when the events will be held, please email Brian Carruthers, Managing Director of Tempest Ford, commented: “I would encourage everyone in the business community in Lichfield to come along to one of the two events we will be holding. These meetings represent a perfect opportunity for everyone to put forward their ideas on how the £50,000 should be invested in the city centre. We want to hear the opinions of as many people in the business community as possible, so that we have a real consensus when we come to implement the High Street Innovation projects that received the greatest number of votes. If you can’t attend either of the events, then we would be delighted to receive your ideas by phone, letter or email, so that we can allow attendees to vote on them.”

To find out more email or call 01543 308781.

What is the Lichfield City Centre Co-ordination Group? Lichfield City Centre Coordination Group brings together representatives from the district and city councils, local businesses, including Friary Shoes, Tempest Ford, Tudor Row and others. The group meets monthly to discuss ways to improve the city centre, through projects and other ideas. If you would like to attend the meetings, please email

The search is still on for a city Christmas tree! Appeal from Lichfield Chamber of Trade & Commerce You’ll be forgiven for thinking it’s too early to be contemplating Christmas, but Lichfield Chamber of Trade and Commerce has launched its ‘Search for a City Christmas Tree’ appeal! Last year’s tree was kindly donated by a local resident. The beautiful tree was displayed in all its Christmas glory on the corner of The Friary and St John’s Street. Richard Lewis, from the Chamber, commented: “Buying a 30 to 40ft Christmas tree is really expensive. If anyone has a tree they want to remove, that isn’t covered by a tree preservation order or in a conservation area, we can help with the felling and transportation to the city centre. We’d also promote the kind donation in the local press.” If you or someone you know has such a tree to offer, please contact Richard Lewis on 01543 250016.

Boosting food safety The website which has been helping to raise the standards of food businesses right across Staffordshire, re-launched with a brand new and improved site during Food Safety Week (11 to 17 June). Lichfield District Council, in partnership with other Staffordshire councils, has redesigned the website to tie it in with the Food Standards Agency's national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. Instead of stars for good practice, the council's food safety inspectors are now awarding businesses a rating of between 0 and 5, with 5 being very good. Find out more at


July events 20

Schools break up for summer holidays


Heart of England in Bloom judging day

August events 1

Lichfield Arts - Canada’s Finest Kind at The Flamingo Tea Room, 8.30pm


City Centre Races


Late summer Bank Holiday Monday

September events 1&2

Lichfield Food Festival


Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park


Schools go back

14 & 15

Lichfield Arts - Oktoberfest at Lichfield Guildhall, 12noon 11pm


Chamber of Trade & Commerce meeting, 8pm, venue TBC


Lichfield Arts - Tim Edey & Brenden Power at Lichfield Guildhall, 8.30pm

22 & 23

Lichfield Heritage Weekend

30 Sept

Lichfield Literature (until 7 October)

October events 12

Lichfield Arts - Maddie Prior at Lichfield Guildhall, 8.30pm


Chamber of Trade & Commerce meeting, 8pm, venue TBC


Lichfield Arts - Kate Robbins at Lichfield Guildhall, 8.30pm


British Summer Time BST ends, clocks go back one hour


Half term (until 2 November)

November events 2 -4

Lichfield Arts - Roots & Folk Festival at Lichfield Guildhall and The Flamingo Tea Room


Remembrance Sunday


Lichfield Arts - Time Gentlemen Please at Lichfield Garrick, 7.30pm


Chamber of Trade & Commerce AGM, 8pm, venue TBC


Christmas Lights Switch On, Market Square, 7pm

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. To contribute to future editions email

Distribution City Speak is distributed free to businesses across the city. To be added to the mailing list, email

December events

When it is distributed We issue


Chamber of Trade & Commerce meeting, 8pm, venue TBC

six editions of City Speak a year. In between these times, we’ll update

15 & 16

Lichfield Christmas Festival Weekend


Christmas Fayre, Lichfield Market Square, 10am - 4pm


Lichfield Mysteries Nativity, 2pm, Market Square


Schools break up for Christmas

Feedback We hope you’ve enjoyed reading City Speak and it’s been useful. To feedback on City Speak, or to request we include certain topics in future editions, email

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.

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