TOWN CENTRE REVITALISATION

 

NOTES OF THE KICK OFF MEETING 18th OCTOBER 2005

 

HIGHLIGHTS
 

Tony welcomed the 22 attendees, representing local traders, Community, Church, Voluntary Groups, residents/Whitchurch Association(WA) and gave a slide presentation, which can be seen here - if your browser can't access or run the Powerpoint presentation, the slides are here

 

Overall Town Centre Revitalisation programme outlined - Broad agreement reached on overall ‘programme’ aims and scope and support to (re) establish a Whitchurch Traders Association

 

Potential partners and possible external future funding sources also outlined

 

There was enthusiasm for WA initial ideas for a COLLABORATIVE Christmas 2005 initiative that promotes (and packages) existing individual initiatives – three flip chart pages of additional ideas suggested during the meeting (see below)

 

Agreement to move forward with the Christmas 2005 initiative – suggested name is ‘Christmas in Whitchurch’ – and to ‘spread the word’

 

Press Release issued to Basingstoke Gazette and Andover Advertiser 19th October.

 

Home Page feature already on www.thewhitchurchweb.org

 

Follow up meeting scheduled for 6.30pm 25th October – all welcome, especially those traders and community group representatives unable (or unaware!) of the 18th October kick off meeting

 

(Copies of the PowerPoint slides used to convey the above were distributed and will be available on the new www.thewhitchurchweb.org website) 

ACTIONS for attendees
 

Please spread the word (be ambassadors)

 

Details of your event for the www.thewhitchurchweb.org calendar (and potential leaflet) to Phil Cooper 893264 (evenings) or

 

Come to next meeting with your thoughts on what you heard/other ideas

IDEAS
 

www.thewhitchurchweb.org - Promote this more widely to local residents (few know) – create a forum (to exchange ideas) and an (e) mailing list – create a Calendar of Christmas in Whitchurch events. (Important that each group/business involved has someone who can respond to email/access internet)

 

Potato Day cited as an example of when  ‘collaboration’ between different groups had already worked.

 

Focus – Could centre upon ‘choirs’ walkabout on 17th Dec Aim is for ‘Christmas in Whitchurch’ to refer to the variety of events and activities. Decision needed on late night shopping or a specific Christmas themed day.

 

Traders - should consider a presence at such as the Testbourne PTA Craft Fayre and other Community/Voluntary group events. Need to have more GIFTS in their shops

 

Talk to/Promote each other - all individual events should have a leaflet that ‘promotes’ other ‘Christmas in Whitchurch’ events. Shops should display these leaflets too.

 

Town Council Involvement – important to the success of the programme (since the meeting, Town Clerk has confirmed the desire of the Council to support the initiative as best as they can)

 

Publicity – Key element should include the local papers, posters, Parish Magazine and Town Council Newsletter. The new 1/4ly Community Magazine  (thewhitchurchweb) will be launched in early December and can also feature ‘Christmas in Whitchurch’

 

Churches Together – opportunity to link/utilise this volunteer led leaflet drop

 

Murals or Similar – Perhaps school children drawn, to cover ‘decorate’ empty shop unit windows (access permission needed/possible H&S issue)

 

Light Up Whitchurch – Lights and trees are essential elements – source/costs needed for brackets. Encourage everyone to put up lights. Involve scouts re sales and recycling of trees (Cllr. Steve Robbins)

 

Competitions

 

  • ‘Best window design’ – JP has a shield and was a previous winner.
  • Shop Window based treasure hunt – children’s competition with a prize needed for winner
  • Christmas in Whitchurch Photo Competition - again prize donator needed.

 

Perhaps one of the larger traders such as Newbury Building Soc, Redwoods, Somerfield’s Tesco can be approached?

 

(N.B. WTC has offered to be a ‘post box’ for forms/entries etc. Larger traders should be approached. Have also suggested ‘commandeering of a fire engine’ popular in previous years)

ISSUES
 

Tried Before! – Yes, but the challenge is do it differently and better,  but consider previously successful elements

 

Parking (Off Street) – better signage needed (‘shoppers car parks. Whitchurch Association but particularly Retailers Trade Association could lobby for this.

 

Conservation Area Restrictions – the BDBC website includes information, attempts need to be made to obtain simple guidance (checklist/do’s and don’ts)

 

Empty Shop Units – a ‘visual blight’, need to step up pressure on owners (e.g. Ashfields). Perhaps recruit the support of Sir George Young in addition to Conservation Officers.

 

Charity Shops – what are the rules/maximum numbers etc?

DATE OF NEXT MEETING
  6.30pm
25th October
Town Hall