Digital influence – the value of a high ranking for your town

Do you know where your town ranks in the UK Digital Influence Index?

GFirst LEP recently shared the results of the successful #WDYT campaign with the LEP network, inviting towns to find out where their High Streets rank in the UK Digital Influence Index and the opportunity to take part in the campaign.

The #WDYT campaign in both Cheltenham and Gloucester saw each town feature within the top 12 most digitally active towns in the UK, ranking above significantly larger towns and cities. On the back of these fantastic results the GFirst LEP shared their success and invited other towns and LEPs to participate in the #WDYT campaign. Read on for an excerpt of this letter.

We all know the significance of ‘place’ in current policy thinking and we believe that the success of our high streets is vital in place-shaping and influencing the overall economic success of our LEP geographies.

The pilot addressed three of the key recommendations of the DCLG commissioned 2020 Digital High Street report: Digital Skills, High Street Lab, and High Street Digital Health Index.

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At the start of the pilot we researched the digital output of a wide range of High Streets measuring the online presence of local retailers and the use of social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. It revealed that up to 74% of all High Street retailers have no active social media presence, 50% have no e-commerce facility and 40% have no website at all.

These results suggest that local retailers were not taking up the opportunities created by digital platforms, and analysis of current and future shopping habits all point to the increasing importance of these channels in retail purchases. Research from Deloitte makes it clear that close to 40% of all OFFLINE transactions are influenced by digital communications.

To improve the digital output of local retailers the #WDYT (What do you think?) campaign launched last year prioritising the development of digital skills, knowledge sharing, and the creation of a robust nationwide digital index that covers data from 150K retail locations in 1,300 towns.

To date, the pilot program has helped a number of Gloucestershire towns and over 1,000 retailers significantly increase their digital skills. Both pilot towns of Gloucester and Cheltenham now sit in the 12 most digitally active towns in the country.

Stafford, another pilot town, has risen 93 places to 21st in the Digital Influence Index. They have reported a week on week increase in footfall for the duration of the campaign, with footfall increases of over 22% on data from last year.

This campaign has proven to be a catalyst that encourages High Street businesses to begin or accelerate their digital journey. We are extending our ranking technology to include each retailer within each town.

The outcomes of the #WDYT campaign are clear:

  1. Digital output drives local footfall
  2. Ranking data is a great incentive for improvement
  3. Every town is the sum of its digital parts By increasing digital output, High Streets can reach established or new customers and by working together local retailers can increase their collective and individual influence.

Recent headlines have reported the failure of the “Portas” towns and it is interesting to note that all of these towns have a very low Digital Influence ranking. (See press release).

We are also working with other key organisations like BIRA, ATCM and ACS to raise awareness of the Digital Influence Index and to ensure its place as a key economic and productivity driver that must be invested in. We would like to invite you to be part of this by accessing the freely available Digital Influence Index for each of your towns.


Gluten Free Mobile Catering for your Market and Events

Gluten free but your residents and visitors will never know


Why not invite At Arwel to bring gluten free mobile catering to your town
Read about more unique experiences and ideas in Place Magazine

Gluten free food is always a tricky beast to find at markets and events.  Could our new Business Group member fix this issue?

Baking At Arwel is a new start up business that has recently joined Revive & Thrive with the aim to find markets and events around England and Wales to bring their rather cool gluten free mobile catering trailer (pod) to.

Baking At Arwel offers hot and cold snacks for all the family with the very unique slant that everything they sell is gluten free.

However, you don’t need to be a Coeliac or gluten intolerant. All of Baking At Arwel’s produce is for everyone and offers the guarantee that if you can taste the difference between gluten free and non-gluten free, they will give you your money bakery.

As well as their top of the range barista coffee machine, their toasted Gluten free mobile catering for your markets and eventssandwiches and crepes, they also bring an array of home baked cupcakes, florentines, brownies, lemon drizzle cake, victoria sponge and much more.

If you would like a classy looking and unique food pod at your event call 07590 005692 or email

Please visit for more information

PinPointer Boss Grilled on 2017

MayNineteen Brings Major Changes to PinPointer in 2017

January was a sober time for some of us! Personally, I opted for a damp January but for the rest of you, well done! The new year is often a time for reflection on the previous one, the highs and lows, successes and failures, the Alison Bowcott-McGrath is MD of MayNineteen and PinPointertime-track of our lives, the things we’ve learned and our ambitions for the future. It’s a new year, new you, a fresh start, out with the old and all that jazz.

At PinPointer we’ve seen some major changes throughout 2017, it’s been a roller coaster ride since we took the strategic decision to acquire another business to evolve our own. We doubled the number of employees overnight which brought about some challenges but overall there have been more positives than negatives. We’re 9 months into the deal now and things have settled down. As a team, we’re a united front with our sights firmly set on the future.

Our marketing manager, Jo Prosser questioned me over coffee about 2017, so I’d like to share my responses with you.  And, for a personal insight on what it’s like to work here from one of our own, you can read the Maynineteen blog. 

If you had to describe PinPointer’s 2017 in 3 words, what would they be?

Invigorating, petrifying and intoxicating 

What single achievement are you most proud of?

Probably winning the Hammerson pitch with Maynineteen. It wasn’t something I was directly involved with and that’s not something I’m used to. Typically, I’m instrumental in all business dealings and it made me feel incredibly proud of my team that I was able to take a step back. I feel like the conductor of an amazing orchestra!

What was the most important lesson you learnt in 2017?

How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours. It’s a quote from the American psychologist, Wayne Dyer but it’s stuck with me. It’s all about values for me and not feeling the need to compromise.

Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?

I stressed out over how I might align the new business acquisition with my existing company. Maynineteen had a very different culture to PinPointer and I wasn’t sure how they’d fit but it wasn’t as bad as I’d anticipated. With great leadership and a loyal team, you can achieve the impossible.

What one thing would you do differently and why?

I’d put more emphasis on communication, even when there’s nothing to say because it gives others an opportunity to voice their opinions. I’ve realised that frequent communication is key and something I’m more focused on.

What experience would you love to do all over again?

Honestly, and if you knew the details, you’d call me crazy, but I’d love to do another business acquisition. I have no regrets, I loved it, it was thrilling, a real buzz and can’t wait to do it all over again.

What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?

Investment in the team. Definitely. The new hires have brought a different skill-set to the table and a whole new dynamic to the office. It’s great to see them settle in and develop the business.  

What was the biggest problem you solved?

I suppose aligning the two businesses as I mentioned in question 4. The changes have been subtle, Maynineteen and PinPointer operate independently of each other for now but the teams get along well, complimenting each other and we’re starting to see a cross-over in terms of our clients. It’s exciting.

What was the funniest, burst out laughing, moment of 2017

There have been lots, but you had to have been there for most! I think the social aspect of agency life has generated the most laughter. The office Secret Santa gifts had us all cracked up and our treasure hunt quiz around Manchester city centre resulted in some hilarious video footage that will never appear on YouTube!

What are your goals for 2018?

I want to increase our portfolio of managed towns even further and I want more direct engagement with brands and experiential agencies.

It’s also important for me to enable my team with everything necessary to be the best they can be. We’ve adopted a policy of doing something different every day just to shake things up. It might as simple as listening to a new radio station or taking the stairs instead of the lift, but I firmly believe that we adapt and grow more easily when we embrace change. MayNineteen says bring on 2018

Here’s to 2018, I wish you all a wonderful one!

Alison Bowcott-McGrath

Founder and Managing Director

PinPointer UK and MAYNINETEEN Ltd

Building 8

Exchange Quay

Salford M5 3EJ


T: 0161 850 1400

M: 07870 176949

A colourful window display is for everyday not just for Christmas

Made you look are members of the Revive & Thrive Business Group

Isn’t it lovely to see all the colourful festivities as Christmas approaches?

Everywhere we go we see high streets festooned with awesome lights luring us into the town Made You Look is a member of the Revive & Thrive Business Groupcentre – taking us past decorated cafes and restaurants; exciting shop window displays with tempting gifts to buy; buzzing markets where Christmas songs ring out and where enormous Christmas trees bejewelled with lights invite us to meet our friends and spend time together.  If only it could be Christmas all year round!

Sadly (or thankfully) it isn’t.  

However, that doesn’t mean that once the last piece of tinsel has skimmed along the gutter in January winds and all the Christmas lights have been taken down that we can forget about ‘making an effort’ until same time next year.  Quite the opposite in fact!  The time we spend preparing our displays throughout the rest of the year are even MORE important to entice people out of their homes and away from their computers.  Colourful, brightly lit window displays save a high street from looking drab and uninviting, helping to prevent people from shopping elsewhere.

But what about the rest of the year? Where do you start? Christmas displays are easy in comparison. Decorations, lights and gifting for most people is the solution.  Job done!  But what DO you do with that shop window – how do you get your message out to your customer?

This Christmas in Bournemouth article can be found in Revive & Thrive's Place Magazine
Read more stories like this each month in Place Magazine

Well we can help! We run talks, presentations and workshops teaching the basic guidelines of display. Just where to start and how to do something creative within a tight budget based upon simple key steps.  We work with a variety of groups and Trade Associations, but especially with BIDs who can provide our training to the smaller business, many of whom need our help most.

From one of our recent workshops Katie Kinsella had this to say:

“I sourced some funding to host some window display training for retailers in Calderdale in the run up to Christmas and I sourced Made You Look’s details from a google search.  The businesses on the training were many and varied which included higher end independents to smaller charity shops.  Helen’s approach was interactive and creative.  The businesses learnt how to make small changes on a budget and also how to create a more impacting wow factor.  All understanding the wants and needs of the customer.  Businesses completed the training feeling inspired and motivated.  Many thanks to Helen for her inspiration and creative thinking”

Choose Revive & Thrive for your Business Improvement District Feasibility servicesSo as the New Year approaches, and the twinkle disappears into the gloom, let’s see if we can help your high street shine not only now, but all year round.

Helen Goodwin   Made You Look! (please include link)

01904 654933

More stories like this one from Made You Look can be found in Place Magazine each month

Felltarn Friends Are Busy This Christmas Creating Town Trails!

After the resounding success of the Summer Trails produced by creative duo Claire and Amy of Felltarn Friends, the Lake District based design company have been commissioned to get back to the drawing board to come up with some fun, festive family trails.

Felltarn Friends are members of the Revive & Thrive Business GroupStatistics showed an increase of nearly 500% in hits on the visit-kendal website throughout the duration of the Summer Trails, so for Kendal BID to employ Felltarn Friends to come up with something for locals and visitors to enjoy was a natural choice.

But Felltarn Friends don’t only operate in their local area – oh no! A commission from as far away as Basingstoke Together came through for a Christmas Family Trail with a Peter Pan theme to tie in with the town’s annual panto.

Felltarn Friends want to create a trail for YOUR town – and it doesn’t matter where you are, we can still plan and design something to help engage the general public with the businesses and services on offer across your BID area.

So, what do we do?Choose Revive & Thrive for your Business Improvement District Feasibility services

  • First, we need a simple brief from you regarding the theme or objective you want to focus on. You may want to promote evening trade in your town with a trail featuring places to eat and drink, or tie-in with a local festival, or simply keep it seasonal – Easter, Summer or Christmas for example. It’s up to you!
  • Next, we liaise with businesses within the BID area to give each one the opportunity to take part – asking them if they’d be happy popping something in the window to look out for on the trail, place an advert on the trail map, or provide a special offer for trail participants.
  • Then it’s time to get creative and design the trail! The Felltarn Friends style is quite distinctive and instantly recognisable, yet we produce something bespoke and unique with each project.
  • Once you’ve approved your trail design, we send it to print, or send you the artwork to print yourselves, the choice is yours.
  • We can help with social media marketing too by designing the graphics for an advertising campaign for your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and website.

Also – include a selection of adverts on the trail map to promote additional services, projects and incentives in your town to get people into the BID area.

Get in touch!

  • Contact Amy or 07846805602 and have a chat about how we can help you achieve a higher footfall and an increase in business awareness around your BID zone.

We are currently looking at projects for Spring, Easter and even Summer – take a look at the pictures to get a feel for our services.

More stories like this one from Felltarn Friends can be found in Place Magazine each month