Summer is nearly here and along with warmer temperatures and longer days, we continue to see a period of unprecedented political and economic change as well as big changes to business rates across the town. While these things are unsettling and not easy to influence, there are things we can do to navigate change and create opportunity by working together in the town centre.
Building on our strong DNA, we continue to actively promote our beautiful town centre. Extending into the digital space, we have attracted over 17,000 followers across social media streams and regularly get 30,000 visits per month to our www.royal-leamington-spa.co.uk website. We have also just launched ‘Taste Leamington’ a new branded website to promote the Food & Drink sector.
All of this helps to foster loyalty and offer customers a spectacular experience, which combined with the work local businesses are doing is very much part of the culture of ‘working together’ that we all nurture.
We are once again looking forward to our ‘Summer of Fun’ – an exciting calendar of events delivered by both BID Leamington and a huge number of volunteers. These events attract thousands of visitors every year.
Fostering a healthy trading environment has to be backed up so we are doing lots of work supporting businesses on issues such as crime, shoplifting, begging, waste management, parking, planning and enforcement.
We are also representing business interests in the face of emerging development challenges – such as the Covent Garden Carpark Development proposals. This will see the town’s largest 600 space car park developed as a mixed use site – with parking, offices and dwellings. To address potential issues we have formed a ‘Development Strategy Group’ with representation from key businesses (which is open to all) and support from WDC officers.
All of this helps the town centre and its community to remain resilient and well placed to navigate change.
However, we know that even small changes to footfall, spend and currency can impact businesses, particularly our smaller ones. That is why we continue to support businesses to stay nimble and where needed act in new ways such as embracing new technologies, building unique bundles of products and services, utilising email databases, promoting your expertise and to work together in imaginative ways.
With a number of activities and events coming up, here are a few ideas about how to capitalise on the captive audience they bring …
Making the most of events, marketing & promotions …
- Would you like to feature in the next photo shoot … just let us know?
- Do you have any news or offers for the royal-leamington-spa.co.uk – just email them through to firstname.lastname@example.org anytime .Host a themed event in your shop.
- We will promote it on the ‘Royal Leamington Spa’ website and in local papers.
- Give us flyers or offers to distribute at events. We often have a stall and staff on standby to help you get involved in some way.
- Tweet it Up! Look out for the relevant hashtags – #LoveLeam #TasteLeam #LeamFoodFest
- Help us bring the town alive with fabulous themed window displays…how about a cycling theme for the upcoming Woman’s Cycle Tour? (June 9th).
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to know more.
An online hub for Royal Leamington Spa’s eateries has been launched to showcase the enviable line-up of fantastic restaurants and cafes in the town centre.
An A to Z list of more than 100 restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and other eating establishments within the town centre, from Altoria Bar and Grill to Zou Bisou, is featured on the new Taste Leamington website.
The site, launched by BID Leamington, is designed to celebrate their offering and help visitors find their perfect place to eat, drink and party!
Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, said: “Leamington has an impressive mix of independent and national outlets that could rival many towns and cities and we were being contacted more frequently by people who had specific requests.
“Recognising that quite often choices were defined by more than flavour, the site is designed to celebrate what we have and help visitors find exactly what they are looking for.
“This is all part of working together to ensure customers receive the very best visitor experience, from the moment they consider visiting. We also hope they will benefit from the reviews and offers as well.”
The search menu identifies different venues with options ranging from venue type, party size or when you are visiting. Dietary requirement and desirable services can also be identified, such as delivery, online booking or dog friendly outlets.
You can also travel the world of flavours with cuisine choices that include Argentinian, Brazilian, Iranian, Japanese and Caribbean plus many more.
As well as a venue directory, the site features news and reviews, blogs and vlogs, events and experiences, and special offers.
Restaurant 23 and Morgan’s Bar in Hamilton Terrace is among the establishments featured on the site.
Executive chef Curtis Stewart said: “Leamington has a wonderful food offering for a town of its size and to have a digital platform that supports and promotes it is a great asset.
“I have been here six months and people do seem to associate Restaurant 23 as a special occasion venue when we have some fantastic offerings whether lunch, pre-theatre or Sunday brunch.
“It’s imperative that we broaden our horizon to a wider audience and make people aware that we are not just a special occasion venue and you can come here for a casual meal. Taste Leamington will help us to achieve that.”
The Royal Leamington Spa website run by BID Leamington, which links to the new Taste Leamington site, attracts nearly 30,000 visitors a month. Its social media channels have over 17,000 followers.
Stephanie added: “Over the years we have worked on building a strong audience for businesses in the town centre and anything that is featured on Taste Leamington will be amplified across our digital platforms.
“It’s all about us working together with businesses to extend their reach and help make their voices heard.”
The dedicated site builds upon the hugely popular Leamington Food and Drink Festival, organised by BID Leamington with the support of local businesses, which attracts around 25,000 visitors from all over the country.
Now in its tenth year, it is regarded as one of the best autumn food festivals in the country and returns to the Pump Room Gardens on Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10.
A new addition to the town’s foodie calendar this year is the Fiesta of Flavour being run by Regent Court, in association with Taste Leamington, on Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7 to showcase its range of eateries with masterclasses, tastings and competitions.
For more information visit www.tasteleamington.com