Six months into Newquay Business Improvement District (BID)’s third five-year term, the not-for-profit organisation is reflecting on its far-reaching achievements across this rather unusual business period.

Newquay BID’s overarching vision, which underpins everything the organisation does, is ‘sustaining Newquay as a leading visitor destination for tourism, business and living to create a progressive, adaptable and resilient economy’. The BID’s third term themes, which were strategically developed following a rigorous consultation process with the Newquay member businesses in Autumn of 2020 are:

  • Marketing
  • Events
  • Cleaner, greener, and safer
  • Business support and representation.

Therefore, the BID’s work throughout 2021 has been carried out with these key themes and plans in mind.

When the BID’s new five-year period officially commenced in April 2021, Newquay, along with the entire country, was still under strict restrictions and navigating through increasing uncertainty in the covid landscape. The BID was keen to do all it could to boost morale for businesses, help create confidence, promote reassurance and alleviate concerns whilst offering something tangible for members to take from their membership. With this in mind, in March, the BID funded and organised a series of free upskilling sessions for its member businesses covering various topics from e-marketing to hypnotherapy. The interactive group sessions were fully open and free to all Newquay BID levy paying businesses and took place digitally to support the transition from lockdown to reopening.

BID continued to work closely with the Town Wide Re-opening Safely Platform and have assisted with various grant funding applications from both Welcome Back funding and more recently Round 2 of Cornwall’s pre-allocated welcome back ERDF funding.

BID continued to lead and share communications around town wide safety messaging, plus supporting businesses with up-to-date re-opening information, government changes and legislation, helping and signposting with various financial and grant aids via Cornwall Council. BID summarised all key announcements in a series of weekly emails to levy payers, which became a key source of support to the business community, providing some simplicity and brief summaries in an often noisy landscape.

Monthly newsletters have been reinstated and these land in email boxes on the last Friday of each month and provide a summarised view of all BID led projects works within that month, along with business opportunities and signposting to free or part funded events, upskilling or promotional opportunities.

BID have continued to work closely with town centre businesses to lead on all local, regional and national PR communications, having assisted in organising and securing TV, radio and media features in (EE to add some content here – highlights, what features, some readership or view stats, aimed at the business led PR we have been doing at each step of re-opening).

BIDs social media platforms have been active with relaying government guidance, sharing of businesses re-opening messages, promotions of shop local campaigns, (Perry to add some content here – what has been on socials, reach, some stats etc)

In addition, prior to the arrival of the busy summer season, the BID collaborated with tourism body, Visit Newquay, to enable all BID levy-paying businesses access to a free, online listing via the visitnewquay.org platform. The official destination marketing platform for the town, with a large international reach, Visit Newquay is currently the number one ranked website on Google across a number of key Newquay-related search terms. Visit Newquay’s website, accessible worldwide, has almost 200,000 unique monthly browsers, mainly consisting of new visitors to the site looking for suggestions on places to stay, eat and spend time in Newquay.

Also, to guide its members into a safe and fruitful summer season, the BID worked closely with local authorities and Newquay Safety groups to collate useful reporting information for its levy-paying business members. The ‘business contact listings’ guide was designed into a colourful fold-out document, as well as a poster size list which many businesses have pinned up in their premises. It acts as a simple, quick reference guide throughout the season to ensure a safe and well managed town, and helps ensure Newquay maintains its year-round appeal as a key destination to live, work and visit. The guide, which provide a whole range of contact details for all manner of organisations and bodies to report issues is to act as a quick refer signposting. The topics range from the suitable contacts to report dog-fouling or noise nuisance to, right through to the body that deals with the reporting of more serious hate crimes or allegations of sexual abuse.

Other work carried out since April to support and represent the best interests and voices of levy paying businesses include the re-instatement of the town’s footfall monitoring counter on Bank Street, and the installation of a new second device on Cliff Road. Both monitoring devices are actively collecting a wealth of data for the town, which will help inform future decisions aimed at improving the town and will allow BID to assess the impact of any campaigns or initiatives on people’s movements. Newquay BID is the only organisation that is collecting this data on behalf of the town and this is the first time since 2013 that Newquay is collecting such in-depth intelligence.

The devices offer 24/7 footfall monitoring of both pedestrian and vehicular traffic, which will provide a wealth of data for businesses, authorities and future investors, including seasonal averages, variations, daily and monthly footfall reporting. This then allows comparisons to be made to other coastal towns and also grants BID to qualify to take part in other quarterly reports that can be accessed through Springboard; including a town wide vacancy rate survey and access to an advanced dashboard from High Streets Task Force.

Through theme two, the BID strives to sustain and grow the vibrant Newquay events scene through supporting, funding, facilitating, and coordinating events that encourage footfall in the town. This year, it has organised and funded a brand-new-for-2021 town entertainment schedule for the sheer enjoyment of visitors to the town. The line-up of quirky immersive entertainment has been organised to help boost local trade and restore confidence and enthusiasm in the high street. Aiming to increase visitor dwell time, the street performers are providing some fun interaction for visitors across key footfall areas every Saturday until 4th September.

So, those who visit Newquay town centre this summer will see it alive with impressive stilt walkers, startling statues, awe-inspiring circus acts or possibly even an interactive Dragon! There are up to three different acts per day running in sets adding an element of pleasant surprise, all of which have been sourced from Cornish based entertainment organisations including Hotch Potch Performance and Higher Beings Circus.

The events funding applications for 2021 are soon to be live and BID are encouraging all those wishing to hold events (be it large, small, business led, commercial or community driven) to apply to try and secure a piece of the £12,000 events funding pot. Plans for Christmas are soon to be in the pipeline where BID will hopefully be working alongside Newquay Town Council to deliver and support a range of alternative events throughout the festive period. Keep an eye out too at Halloween for some seasonal fun and frolics in the form of spooky street entertainers, a ghouly town wide shop window competition and family fun trails.

Courtesy of Newquay BID, the town centre also had a colourful facelift leading up to summer 2021 and is now adorned with a selection of multi-coloured #LoveNewquay branded banners and new, vibrant aesthetic bunting in Gover Lane. Thus far, this has created a welcome morale boost to the local community and visitors to the town and the injection of vibrancy has also been warmly welcomed by businesses of all sectors. BID have worked collaboratively with Newquay Town Council to fund, install and maintain the provision of 40 trader hanging baskets throughout town centre streets which both residents and visitors alike delight in watching come to full bloom throughout the season. BID have committed to the provision of these baskets for the next 3 years. BID was proud to continue to work alongside Newquay In Bloom this year and additional funding for some new, identified, greenspace areas will be coming soon. We would like to take the time to thank NIB for maintaining existing, previously funded spaces (such as East Street’s wildflower patch, Sainsburys and Aldi’s car park entrance) and various town centre planters (Cliff Road seating area, Piazza planters and beds) to the usual high level.

Newquay BID’s Big Spring Clean, new for this term, held earlier this year fell under the remit of Newquay BID’s ‘Cleaner, Greener, Safer’ activity strand within its five-year business plan. The team organised and funded several cleansing schemes across the length and breadth of the town prior to the May 17th lockdown lifting milestone. Working with local external agencies and suppliers, the organisation identified the gaps that exist in current statutory obligations and sought to plug these as well as embellish the provision of cleanliness works through adding additional service elements. It proactively took the lead on organising and funding graffiti and sticker removals, sign washing (new for this year) and business shop frontage cleaning, including windows, external signage and gutters, all of which solely funded by the BID and was so well received by all, plans are coming into place to launch BIDs Big Autumn Clean so that the town can receive even more investment and works to keep it a place we are proud to live, work and visit, all year round, not just the summer months.

Also falling under this theme, the BID has been continually working closely with partners on Newquay Clean to ensure a successful two-way communication and works between both local authorities, community groups and the business community. BID have aimed to bridge the gap between partners and have recently launched and issued a one-off pre-season special Newquay Clean takeover newsletter full of useful info, business opportunities and signposting information. Out of this platform BID have established a direct partnership working opportunity with Cornish Community Interest Company, Land & Sea Cornwall, to activate a number of environmental initiatives that will directly benefit the town and wider community. The Newquay-born organisation, Land & Sea Cornwall exists to help raise awareness of the connection we all have to the natural environment that surrounds us and how vital it is that we work together to protect it at all costs.

The BID provided a sum of £1,000 to the group who will use it to implement a number of eco-focused projects.  This collaboration will tangibly benefit the wider town and seek to provide stronger links with the business community, whilst also putting some of the funding back into the town in a circular economy of green goodness. Using the BID funding, the organisation will provide 47 refill water bottles for the entire Newquay Fire Service team, making this the first force in Cornwall to do this. Along with twice a year town litter picks to compliment BIDs cleaning regime, some of the funding has also been allocated towards purchasing branded high visibility vests for the group’s team of dedicated volunteers, who will wear these during their regular ‘inland’ litter picks, making them instantly recognisable along with monies to be spent back into BID levy paying businesses for refreshments as an incentive for the participants of these cleans.

BID have continued to sit and represent the views of businesses on all key platforms including, but not limited to: Newquay Safe, Newquay Town Team, Newquay Clean, Newquay COVID updates, Newquay Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure, Newquay Railway Forum, Street Trading and various other planning, travel, regeneration and events committees as and when requested to do so. We are also proud to be partner members of both British BIDS, SW BIDs and Cornwall BIDs and work alongside other key business support links and groups such as Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, FSB, Visit Cornwall and Visit England.

Newquay Business Improvement District (BID) Manager, Carla-Marie said, “It has been a challenging yet really rewarding time to kick off our third term given the ongoing pandemic situation but despite this, it has been quite remarkable and such a whirlwind. It’s so great to have brought to fruition so many new projects and initiatives and we thrive on best finding new inventive ways to work and deliver the key themes so it’s exciting to keep new ideas rolling in. We’re super proud of what the business community in Newquay has achieved against the odds and how resilient and resourceful it continues to be despite all the challenges. You’re all ace and all of what the BID achieves and delivers, could not be done without the support of our levy paying business community, without the time and dedication given by the voluntary BID directors and other organisations active within the town. It’s great to be at the centre of this and we thank you for your continued support. We look forward to the rest of 2021, carrying out more proactive work, further supporting businesses and continuing to position Newquay as an exceptional town to live, work, visit and do business.”

Quote from Director? Something about how great, beneficial, reactive and adpatable BID as an organisation can be in 6 months? Perhaps a note from Jonathan as Chair for new term would be fitting?

For further information on any of Newquay BID’s work or to get more involved with us, or to sign up to our newsletter, please email info@newquaybid.co.uk or visit the website to view full PR for each project at: https://www.newquaybid.co.uk/.