Business Support & Emerging Projects

An independent survey was carried out in early-2017, which asked town centre businesses about creating a BID in central Shirley. Responses were received from over 100 businesses, almost 70% of which supported a project of this type being taken forward.

The survey responses suggested a series of improvements for Shirley, all of which would be in addition to any existing activities. These suggestions included

 

Profile & Promotion:

  • Create high-quality town centre branding and imagery to support a series of year-round promotions targeted at key audiences and catchments
  • Carry out market research to identify how local people and visitors think the town could be improved and to identify potential new visitor sources
  • Develop marketing campaigns to highlight the strengths of Shirley, to include promoting events, food & drink venues, the retail offer, independent businesses and key trading periods
  • Create targeted promotions to increase footfall during currently quieter trading periods
  • Oversee targeted Social Media campaigns to draw significantly more people into the town centre
  • Establish links with partner organisations to develop collaborative and coordinated projects which better promote Shirley’s image, both locally and regionally

Events & Vibrancy

  • Develop at least two major new town centre events, with business suggestions being sought on the themes for these
  • Develop a comprehensive programme of new street entertainment to cover different areas of the Stratford Road corridor at different trading periods
  • Introduce an annual calendar of street markets
  • Make ongoing investments to improve the Christmas light displays

Visitor Experience

  • Oversee the introduction of vinyl transfers and other measures to improve the appearance of long-term empty units
  • Introduce activities to create pop-up shops
  • Work with partners to deliver improved visitor wi-fi
  • Lobby for improvements to existing car park facilities and the introduction of parking meters where required
  • Work with partner organisations to improve street paving maintenance
  • Enact a rolling programme of street furniture painting
  • Introduce a customer loyalty or discount scheme
  • Employ a BID Warden to react quickly to problem issues, such as litter or graffiti

Supporting businesses

  • Enact a number of initiatives to support independent businesses in the town
  • Implement group purchasing initiatives to save day and night-time economy businesses money on overheads such as energy, telecoms and waste disposal
  • Develop and lead a system of business championing and representation to lobby for further improvements to, and investment in, the town centre
  • Produce & distribute a regular newsletter to businesses, to include key performance information for the town
  • Work with partners to develop and deliver campaigns to encourage new businesses into Shirley
  • Foster close and collaborative relationships with local organisations, including the Council, the Chamber, the Local Enterprise Partnership and the Combined Authority

Any other ideas are being encouraged as part of the extensive ongoing consultation with businesses and a wide range of views will be taken into account to create a Business Plan for Shirley.

We also urge any business to contact us at any stage of the BID process to register its views, ask any questions or request a business visit.

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