june I AM PLEASED TO PRESENT TO YOU, SOUTHEND BID’S
NEWSLETTER In the past two months, the Southend BID team have been as busy as ever and so there are many areas to update you on.
From ongoing community projects with local organisations, to streetscape improvements, from business-specific database additions, to the start of the film event season, it has been a very busy time indeed. May saw the return of the Southend Film Festival which included the Mary Poppins Outdoor Cinema event as part of the festival’s fringe activity and following in June was the live adventure game and puzzle trail, Southend Casefile: The Mystery of the Star Eaters. Plus - taking place at the end of June and beginning of July is Southend Food Fest, details of which you will find as you read on. As promised, we will be working closely with HARP, Southend’s homeless charity - a partnership that will explore ways to reduce the number of rough sleepers and street drinkers with a particular focus on long term solutions. In addition, the support of the Street Ranger team with ongoing schemes will continue. As renewal fast approaches, Southend BID will continue to focus on the delivery of current projects and events as well as the implementation of new initiatives – additions include communication groups exclusive to BID members and an events calendar.
This is a crucial time and therefore communicating Southend BID’s activity to you is more important than ever, which is why we will be sending a newsletter to you every month hereafter. I hope you enjoy reading about what we are getting up to. Best Wishes,
Alison Dewey BID Manager
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street ranger projects As well as assisting businesses and the police to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, the Street Ranger team will also continue to participate in community projects. These initiatives are aimed at enhancing and improving the area in order to create a better place for both businesses and visitors. They recently took part in a project that saw streetscape improvements to both Pier Hill and Victoria Circus which was a huge success and gained various local media coverage. The emphasis on cleaning, brightening and
improving the streetscape will be a continual focus for Southend BID. In May, the Street Rangers also partook in visits to Project 49, a local community based resource for adults with learning disabilities. The rangers took part in a brief session outlining their role and providing assurance in efforts to expand community inclusion whilst also helping Project 49 service users to develop confidence and independence whilst around the town centre.
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Users of the DISC system can now send Instant Messages (IMs) to one another in order to share urgent and important messages quickly on mobile devices.
Similar to what is offered by WhatsApp, users have overall control of messages sent because they are stored in the DISC system and not on devices. Unlike WhatsApp, however, the DISC instant message service can be used for sharing personal data in businesses without contravening the Data Protection Act. It has already been used successfully in identifying prolific individuals and their activity. For those of you who are new to the application, DISC is a secure, members only database designed to share valuable data and provide awareness amongst individuals or organisations whom share a common purpose. It is used widely across the UK to ultimately
reduce a town’s level of crime and anti-social behaviour in relation to both the day and night time economy. It is beneficial not only to you as a business but the police, local social services and wider community to encourage greater participation and engagement. DISC also provides police alerts and includes details of prolific or targeted persons, identification images and procedure documents, as well as ensuring users have access to the most relevant information, including news and events. In addition to this, the Street Ranger team participate in a Community Safety briefing every morning to share sensitive and highly valuable information with these groups.
Final Consultation In preparation for Southend BID’s renewal and prior to distribution of the next business plan, a printed four-page Final Consultation document has been sent to you. It analyses the feedback you have provided us with over the past year from the research we have carried out and outlines future plans for Southend BID. This can also be viewed online at www.southendbid.com.
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Occupancy Report From January to March 2017, Southend-on-Sea saw the loss of two independent retailers - Easy Coffee and Sugar & Co - along with the national retailer, Poundland, in addition to the Post Office which relocated to WHSmith. However, it has
welcomed the addition of three independent businesses - Bridal 4 Less, Home and a pop up clothing store in the High Street. More recently, we have lost national retailer ICandy but have in turn, gained two new openings - Revolution and Molo Lounge.
Our recent report shows that the occupancy figure for the High Street and town centre is 89.5%. This is just below the average national town centre rate of 90.7% as of April 2017, according to the British Retail Consortium.
In response to the feedback and comments provided to us at our workshops, Southend BID will be creating and managing an exclusive communication group for levy paying businesses. Operating in working hours from 9am until 6pm, it means any comments and suggestions can be received quickly and visibility is guaranteed.
southend food fest Southend Food Fest takes place from Thursday 29th June to Sunday 2nd July. Showcasing Southend’s diverse culinary offering, the brand new event incorporates a food trail with taster menu offering up to three dishes priced at a maximum of £5. Visitors will be provided with a booklet and receive a stamp after sampling each participating eatery. Once three or more
stamps have been collected, they will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 voucher for any one of the businesses involved in the event. An exciting addition to the growing list of Southend BID hosted events, it will aim to increase footfall and draw new visitors to a range of establishments throughout the town.
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film season In conjunction with Southend Film Festival, The Festival Fringe ran from mid-May until the beginning of June, marking the start of Southend’s film season prior to Southend Film Festival’s main programme taking place. The Mary Poppins Sing-A-Long event at The Forum’s Big Screen also occurred in May – it
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received a great turnout and was a huge success amongst visitors. The Big Screen events will return on every Saturday in August for Summer Cinema – four films airing at 6pm. There will also be the addition of an opera on Friday 14th July.
WORKING TOGETHER WITH HARP Southend BID will be working very closely with Southend’s homeless charity, HARP, to explore ways in which to operate together in order to deploy long term solutions and encourage engagement with HARP’s services. We will also be looking into alternative ways of addressing homelessness and rough sleeping and the associated issues affecting the town on a daily basis. Southend BID will also be funding an educational booklet to provide information on these issues and how members of the public can help with their involvement in future projects. In addition, Southend BID, in partnership with HARP, will host an outreach day in early August to spread these messages further and gain exposure of this partnership. This event will receive significant media coverage and other local organisations are encouraged to take part.
Floral planting At the end of May, the large floral hanging baskets were added to the streetlight columns throughout the High Street and on adjoining side streets. The arrangements make the area look more appealing, brighter and are an instant visual improvement to Southend’s streetscape. It is one of the many Southend BID funded enhancements and consistent measures carried out in order to raise the standards of the town. These include the repainting of bins and Pier Hill and Victoria gateway planting projects.
new branding for southend high street online Take a look at the new logo and branding for Southend High Street Online. Formerly Yoohopp, the website is the destination for shopping and browsing the High Street online and offers a free platform allowing you to maximise the commercial value of your
business. Create personalised shopping pages and draw people into your premises with the use of a click-and-collect service. A step-bystep how to guide on how to use and fully utilise the service is available at www.southendbid.com.