Winchcombe has seen an enormous rise of 753 places in the Digital Influence Index this year since working with #WDYT.
They have risen 37 places this month and 11 places this week overtaking towns such as Redruth (583) and Droitwich (566) which are much larger towns to a position of 561 out of 1300 towns and cities nationwide.
Highlights in Winchcombe this month include:
The #WDYT Workshop to help retailers with their social media took place on the 13th November at the White Hart. #WDYT were delighted to welcome along Emporium Gifts and Experience Winchcombe as well as representatives from the museum.
Cotswold Bone, Dandelion Blue and Banbury Home have been tweeting out some great Christmas ideas, alongside Maybe collections that showcase items in their stores which generated 95 votes and 52 comments, all helping to build their digital brand awareness and footfall to Winchcombe.
On December 6th the #WDYT team took a walkabout on the Winchcombe high street to chat to retailers and address any social media queries. The team explained how joining the campaign will boost the town’s footfall.
CH1ChesterBID’s CheSTAR has returned to the city centre this year, and with it comes a photography competition where the lucky winner will bag £250 worth of vouchers
The dazzling CheSTAR is back in the city centre this Christmas and to celebrate its return, the city’s Business Improvement District, CH1ChesterBID, has launched a competition to find the best photograph of the giant sparkling star.
Standing 25ft high and 25ft wide, the star is based in the grounds of Chester Cathedral on St Werburgh Street and will be lighting up Chester city centre this festive season as part of CH1ChesterBID’s annual Christmas celebrations.
The show-stopping decoration features almost 19,000 twinkling lights and made its debut in Chester last year, after being handcrafted especially for the city to add to the festive illuminations.
To mark its return, between 16th November – 7th January, CH1ChesterBID is encouraging city visitors and local residents to snap their best photograph of the star and share it on Instagram or Twitter. The contest will be judged by the team at Camera Solutions on Frodsham Street and is open for anyone to enter.
The chosen winner will take home £250 of vouchers to use at Camera Solutions in Chester.
Judy Tagell, marketing manager at CH1ChesterBID, said: “We’re thrilled to see the CheSTAR make its stunning return to the city centre this year. It’s an eye-catching addition to our Christmas activities and we’re really excited to launch our new photography competition alongside it. The competition is open to photographers of all abilities so we’re really excited to see all the creative angles people will capture images of the CheSTAR from.”
To enter, simply take a picture of the CheSTAR and post it on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #CheSTAR and tag @CH1Chester on Twitter or @CH1ChesterBID on Instagram. Alternatively, entrants can also email their photograph to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ray Fisher, owner of Camera Solutions, said: “We’re really excited to be working with CH1ChesterBID on a Christmas photography competition this year and we can’t wait to see all the entries. We’re looking for something unique for our winning shot, so we’d encourage people to be bold and creative with their photographs and come up with something that really stands out from the crowd.”
The winner will be announced by CH1ChesterBID on 19th January 2018.
Christmas has well and truly arrived in Chippenham after Chippenham’s Christmas in Colour – a two day festive extravaganza in the town centre by Chippenham Connected in partnership with Chippenham Town Council, and with support from the Bristol Hippodrome, Awdry Bailey and Douglas, and Emery Gate Shopping Centre.
Friday 24th November saw the town come to life with walkabout characters bouncing, dancing, hooping and strutting around the streets of Chippenham, free arts and crafts for children, and a beautiful artisan market in Chippenham’s oldest building, the Yelde Hall. There was a stage packed with local and headline entertainment, hosted by Heart FM’s Ben and Mel, and the classic Chippenham abseiling Santa, who came down from the very top of Chippenham Museum to the delight of the crowds below.
The Mayor of Chippenham, Councillor Mary Norton said, “I was delighted to see so many people come to see Chippenham’s Christmas in Colour lights switch on event with entertainment for all the family including arts and crafts activities, which added to the festive atmosphere.”
Local acts took to the stage to entertain the buzzing crowds before the town’s Christmas lights were officially turned on by the ever-entertaining Joe Pasquale who chatted to Ben and Mel on stage before encouraging the people of Chippenham to join him in a rendition of his famous (and potentially annoying) song! The lights went on, and the sky was filled with beautiful, bright fireworks to kick off the festive season in style.
This year’s event was extended to two days with further street entertainment and the artisan market. The giant snow globe and glitter face painting, all free to the public, saw over 1,600 visits throughout the day, and Chippenham Street Pastors (Chippenham Connected’s chosen charity) were on hand to chat to the crowds throughout the day as well as collecting for the work they do in the town in the runup to Carols Around the Christmas Tree.
Kathryn Crosweller from Chippenham Connected said, “It’s wonderful to be able to offer the town an event on this scale. We want everyone to love Chippenham as much as we do, and seeing so many people come to support their local Christmas light switch-on shows that community spirit is alive and well in Chippenham.”
The event saw an increase in footfall of 11% on the previous year’s event, and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The Christmas season is now well underway in the town, and the Christmas in Colour event will stretch to Saturday 2nd December with the New Road Christmas Trail (more details can be found at www.chippenhamconnected.com)
Revive & Thrive’s Matthew Powell is the interim Manager of Chippenham BID.
According to PPS, placemaking is both a process and philosophy, strengthening the connection between people and the places they share. It capitalises on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential with the intention of creating public spaces that promote health happiness and well-being. Stimulating public artworks play a key role because they offer more than just passive observation. Culture is the perfect vehicle to engage communities and promote conversation about heritage, identity and sense of belonging. Great art makes great places, great places attract great talent, and great talent creates great jobs!
How UK BIDs can work with cultural organisations
Improving Places, a new report produced by Arts Council England, examines how culture is key to the success of UK BIDs. By collaborating with cultural organisations, they can drive economic growth and help local communities thrive. In the uncertainty of post-Brexit Britain, they can also offer a potential solution to falling public funding and rising business rates. BIDs and cultural organisations that are positively connected can share information and plan joint marketing campaigns for maximum reach and impact. The report identifies six ways in which they can work together:
Placemaking, by using local knowledge to help develop innovative neighbourhoods.
Place branding, by promoting an area as distinctive and attractive for locals and visitors.
Business development, by helping industry professionals and entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
Providing affordable spaces.
Involving local people will build stronger communities.
Design a programme of creative activities to highlight a location’s unique offer and raise the public profile.
Obviously, there is no one-size-fits-all solution and local challenges will require local responses. But, to ensure coherent policies there needs to be an element of joined-up thinking with private enterprise, local government, BIDs, and cultural organisations all involved at the early planning stages.
Commissioning public artworks
The Great Places conference last month, launched a year-long programme of initiatives from the BFP (British Property Federation) to examine the dynamics of successful places. The project aims to showcase the real estate industry’s collective role and social impact across the UK to clients, communities and government. Coinciding with the conference was the joint publication of A Guide to Commissioning Public Art by BPF and Contemporary Art Society which highlights how art contributes to a sense of place and identity.
Ian Fletcher, Director of Real Estate Policy at the BPF said:
“The real estate industry provides value to society beyond its economic contribution, but it needs to communicate the benefits that flow from long-term investment if it’s to win the hearts and minds of the people it serves. We hope our Great Places campaign hardwires placemaking into the real estate industry’s contribution to the nation’s social well-being.”
Fabienne Nicholas, Head of Art Consultancy at the Contemporary Art Society said:
“Truly ambitious public art is now a key component of cultural placemaking, animating public realm and creating encounters that humanise and create meaning for places. It is often the art that contributes the most to that unique sense of place, supporting the identity and visibility of new developments and creating thriving sustainable communities.”
Cities of Culture
An example of how the arts can shape modern placemaking. Inspired by Liverpool’s 2008 European Capital of Culture status, the concept continues in the UK and in 2013 Derry/Londonderry reported that for every £1 of the £100m investment, £5 was earned for the city.
The University of Hull is about to release statistics on its tenure as 2017 City of Culture and the benefits to the economy. Key findings from the first 3 months include:
90% of Hull residents attended or experienced a cultural event or activity as part of the UK’s City of Culture.
70% of resident agreed it had a positive impact on the lives of local people.
342,000 visitors came to ‘Made in Hull’ during opening week and 94% of the audience agreed the event made them feel more connected to the city, the stories of its people, the history and heritage.
Of the 1.1m people passing through Queen Victoria Square during the Blade installation, over 420,000 interacted with the artwork. 50% said it was the main influential reason for their visit that day and 46% said they would not have come if the Blade wasn’t there.
Last month, Manchester joined a network of 180 world cities recognised by UNESCO for their commitment to the arts. With over 10 UK cities already accredited by the organisation, Manchester follows Nottingham, Norwich and Edinburgh in becoming a UNESCO Creative City of Literature. Winning is a real accolade and not just a title for one year, that reflects the depth of community involvement. Cities must have plans in place that continually improve access and participation in cultural life, especially for marginalised or vulnerable groups and individuals.
Earlier this week, at STC2017, I met Jean Cameron, Project Director for Paisley’s BID to be UK City of Culture 2021. A town of contrasts, Paisley’s heritage is stunning, thanks to its transformation into a textile hub during the industrial revolution, it is home to the largest concentration of listed buildings outside of Edinburgh. World-class business and international talent sit side by side with some of Scotland’s most deprived communities. Winning UK City of Culture 20121 is a chance to change that by reinventing the place and transforming the lives of locals.
Investment in culture has the power to do all that.