Seven_MY_NEWQUAY_searle-1388Following the announcement of the Newquay Business Improvement District (BID) reballot, which will take place in December of this year, and the final list of projects for the 2016-2021 period, a number of key Newquay businesses have been reflecting on what the initial BID has delivered for their business and the resort in general.

Over the past five years, the BID has established itself as an integral catalyst, a constant business and community support provider and a key driver for new businesses relocating to the town.  The BID is also a vital body providing ongoing powerful local, regional and national advertising, media, digital communications, PR and marketing campaigns for Newquay. During its existence, Newquay BID has achieved some fantastic milestones for the town and has conducted a revolutionary rebrand, reviving and re-energising the image of the town into a cool, surf-chic, laidback, family-friendly destination.

In summer 2015, the BID team drove forward a complete renovation of the town’s signage system, erecting vibrant new signs throughout, which add colour and clarity to the previously confusing navigation system. Working together with local Cornish company 20/20, the BID team conducted initial research into the general sentiment around the previous signage system in Newquay, which revealed that many visitors struggled to navigate around the town by both foot and vehicle.

The BID then ran five workshops and consultation sessions right across Newquay to make sure that businesses and locals could contribute to this crucial development. The nearly-completed reformed signs will do a fantastic job of helping visitors successfully find all of Newquay’s retail offerings, plentiful eateries and popular attractions, whilst offering them quirky and interesting facts about Newquay’s town, heritage and culture. This town-wide network of 50 new signposts will significantly enhance the tourist and resident experience of Newquay, promoting further retail interest, driving footfall and increasing the ease of exploration of the town.

The final stages of the signage project are now being installed. These include a set of directional ‘totem poles’ and the Town Council’s notice and event boards. Once completed, the BID will have achieved the delivery of a project and a signage system that is much more extensive than the original Newquay BID business plan of 2011. An additional £20,000 has also been invested by the Town Council to massively increase the scope of the project to beyond the main streets of the town centre and to ensure people can easily navigate right around the resort.

Nicky Phillips, Manager of Weird Fish says, “The new signs in the town are attractive and eye catching. They naturally draw you in which is great. We always have customers asking us for directions to different locations in the town and when we live and work in such a fantastic town with so much to offer it would be a great shame for visitors to miss out because of poor signage.”

Chris Owen, Manager of Surfing Life says, “The new signage for Newquay is really needed and is starting to look absolutely great. We have so many people asking us how to get to Fistral or the Harbour so this is really going to help visitors find their way around the town and hopefully explore new areas. It’s good that we have business listings on them too as this will hopefully help shoppers find the stores that they are looking for.”

The first term of the BID has been challenging. However, it has achieved all of the initial objectives, improving Newquay’s street environment being one of them.  The BID encouraged people to take part in the voluntary bench painting evenings which have proven very successful. More recently, it has worked with First Kernow to produce a series of Love Newquay adverts that have been erected at the bus station and has funded six planters located on Gover Lane to brighten up the street. As one of the key gateways down to Towan Beach, it felt it was important to honour the retailers on Gover Lane and provide greenery that can be enjoyed by passers-by during the evenings.

Other notable work that the BID has completed includes, erecting banners in East Street and the bus station that make the town look appealing and aesthetically pleasing. The BID team has also undertaken extensive work with Newquay in Bloom on additional planting and pictorial meadows in the town centre, as well as erecting beautiful hanging baskets in Bank Street and Fore Street.

In addition to working with businesses and the Town Council, plus a range of individuals, something else the BID is very proud of is securing funding. It was indicated in the 2011 business proposal, that the BID would achieve additional contributions of £50,000 through its first term, but it has in fact secured £67,000 towards numerous projects. Of this sum, £10,000 came from an application to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to become one the UK’s Portas Pilots and was awarded to it to deliver a project to support the high street. The BID used this funding to allocate shop front grants of up to £250, and it was proud to be able to give over 30 shops the funding to revive their frontage before the summer season in 2012.

Melanie Rose of Martha’s Tearoom says, “The match funding that the BID has achieved to support further projects is brilliant, back in 2012 we applied for the grant for the shopfronts and secured £250 towards ours, which helped us during our fit out. We have also seen footfall benefit from some of the BID events such the Festive Festival, we love that we now have a family friendly event in Newquay that brings in people on what used to be quiet weekend. The children love the reindeer and the light parade and now the Music and Ale Festival is the same weekend so the town has a new buzz.”

The additional funding that the BID team has managed to secure has also included grants for staffing and it has also successfully created two graduate jobs via Unlocking Potential (UP). With three months to go until Newquay businesses make the crucial decision as to whether or not the vital support and delivery of the Newquay Business Improvement District (BID) is continued, the BID board, steering group and team have revealed more detail on the final projects for the 2nd term of the BID 2016-2021.

For more information on the ongoing work that Newquay BID has done during its existence, please see the website at: http://www.newquaybid.co.uk/