The Ulverston BID will deliver on 4
objectives. These are:
1. To improve, market & promote Ulverston as a place where people want to live, work and visit (to be ‘Attractive’);
2. To make it easier and more affordable to use and get information on shops, services and entertainment in Ulverston (to be ‘Accessible’);
3. To revitalise the town by supporting and expanding the programme of markets, festivals, events, arts & cultural activities (to be ‘Alive’);
4. To build, through the BID, an effective partnership between the town’s businesses, organisations and local authorities for the benefit of Ulverston as a place to live, work and visit (to do this Altogether).
These 4 objectives of the Ulverston BID and the planned programme for improvement are a direct response to the priorities identified by the businesses and organisations in Ulverston. They focus on the challenges and opportunities that matter most to them and reflect their overwhelming desire to see actions, not words, to transform the town.
The Ulverston BID programme will deliver a set of projects and activities under three priority headings and reflect a collective desire to see the town take action to fulfil its potential. These three headings, together with our preferred approach, use adjectives that we believe should become the defining characteristics of Ulverston. These 4 ‘A’s are:
1. Attractive: enhancing impressions of the town and promoting Ulverston.
2. Accessible: convenient & affordable information and access to Ulverston.
3. Alive: supporting markets, events & festivals to bring the town to life.
4. Altogether. Most other BIDS concentrate on town centres, but the Ulverston BID will be a whole town BID, because the whole town will contribute and the whole town will benefit. This proposal will create a partnership across the whole town, and the largest of its kind in Cumbria.
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This will enable local improvements to brighten up the appearance of the town and, together with a pro-active marketing & promotion campaign, will ensure that the town’s offer translates into an improved Ulverston ‘brand identity’. It will contribute to a more positive perception of the town, resulting in improved visitor numbers, increased footfall & sales, and a growth in demand for both commercial and residential properties.
We want more people to come to Ulverston to live, work, shop and enjoy themselves. And we want them to come back again and again! Through the BID this can be delivered in three parts:
1. Local improvements to the appearance of the town, specifically including funds to tidy or brighten up empty shops, create new flower displays, and support community-led initiatives to add colour to the town.
2. High quality marketing & promotion campaign aimed at potential users and visitors, employing a variety of media to encourage more people to come to town, from the local area and further afield.
3. Working with major employers to create promotional material to spread the word about the excellent quality of life in Ulverston alongside exciting employment opportunities.
These three projects and activities are summarised as:
Project one: Pride In Ulverston Initiative
A modest fund to enable the BID to provide seed corn funding to encourage relatively small but effective initiatives to brighten up the appearance of Ulverston, in the town centre, at the town’s entrances, and on the trading estates.
Project Two: Marketing & Promoting Ulverston Campaign
Lead the development of a new coordinated approach to the marketing of Ulverston, promoting what is offered both during the daytime and in the evening.
Through a 5 year marketing campaign
Ulverston BID could focus on:
a. Establishing and promoting a new brand for
b. Improving Ulverston’s position as a principal visitor destination and service centre for the sub-region of South Cumbria and the Lake District;
c. Promoting Ulverston as a must see leisure and entertainment destination for both UK and international tourists visiting the Lake District.
Project Three: Promoting Ulverston for Employment & Business
Working with key local partners, the BID can help to generate interest from individuals and new businesses to re-locate to Ulverston, utilising a variety of media to “advertise” the town as a great place to live, work and play. This will principally focus on facilitating a new collaboration of the town’s major employers, to highlight Ulverston’s attractiveness as a place to live & to work.
Many businesses expressed concern that Ulverston was undersold and its strengths under stated. These three projects will raise the profile of Ulverston, brightening up the town, promoting business and employment in the town, and making a positive contribution to trade within the town through improved perceptions of, and greater pride in, Ulverston.
The BID will make it easier and more affordable to access services and facilities in Ulverston by addressing two priorities identified by businesses in the town. The first is to make it easier and more attractive for people to visit and shop in the town by introducing an initiative to minimise the cost of visiting Ulverston, and the second is an initiative to help Ulverston to “move with the times” and take advantage of technology.
This will be delivered through two new
1. Car parking incentives
2. The Ulverston ‘App’
These two projects are summarised as:
Project one: Car Parking Incentives
In partnership with South Lakeland District Council, the Ulverston BID could contribute to a series of free/ discounted car parking promotions to make Ulverston more affordable and accessible to visitors, shoppers and for service users in general. The promotions will draw on the success of previously effective incentive schemes such as the “Super Saturdays” and the Stockbridge Lane trial in Ulverston.
This project will learn from successful car parking initiatives tested elsewhere, such as “Free After Three” used in Chester and since copied by several towns after it was highlighted as good practice in a report to government (Portas, 2011). Incentives will be aimed at customers who might be persuaded to take advantage of under-occupied car parks at certain times of the day or week.
Project Two: Ulverston App
Through the development of a dedicated Ulverston App, there will be new opportunities to share information with customers, making it easier for customers and visitors to the town to plan their visit and easily access information about what goods and services are available at any given time, as well as reserve, collect and purchase the goods and services they desire.
Technology is already changing consumer and community behaviour - how people communicate and how they buy their goods and services. According to Google (July 2013) almost a third of the population (30%) now have a tablet, and twice that number use smartphones (61%). It is a trend with far reaching consequences for the future of Ulverston and this BID aims to ensure the infrastructure is in place to take advantage of these mobile & digital technologies through the new Ulverston App.
These two projects can contribute to more positive perceptions of Ulverston with the costs of car parking no longer seen by some as a deterrent, and the new App providing, enabling and encouraging people to increasingly use the town centre as a leisure and recreational space, at long last able to interact with many more town centre businesses & service providers.
The BID can help to reinvigorate Ulverston as a ’destination’ town, through sponsorship of creative initiatives designed to revitalise the town. As a potential ‘private’ sponsor which could also attract ‘public’ match-funding, the BID could ensure that more of the festivals and events are designed and delivered in ways that bring tangible benefits to the businesses and organisations in the town, particularly through greater levels of participation and through more co-ordinated activity (e.g. professionally produced promotional material, exhibitions/displays).
This can be closely linked to the marketing & promotion project and delivered through two activities:
1. Promoting new “market” initiatives such as ‘The Teenage Market’, ‘Farmers Markets’ and other specialist markets;
2. Sponsorship of high profile events & festivals such as ‘Taste Cumbria’ or ‘Christmas in Ulverston’ to help sustain existing calendar events or encourage new ones.
These two areas of activity can be summarised as:
Project one: New Market Initiatives
Working with the local authority, community enterprise partnership and market traders, schools & colleges, to support new initiatives each year for a period of five years, where these demonstrate new ways to deliver a wider variety of markets in Ulverston.
Project Two: Events and Festivals
Working with local partners, to support new and existing town festivals and/or events each year for a period of five years where these contribute to marketing and promotion of the town’s businesses and services.
These two projects can help to raise the profile and reinvent the positive image of Ulverston as a ‘market town’. This is considered by many businesses to be Ulverston’s USP and it is a vital part of the BID’s mission to increase footfall and generate new spending and business activity in Ulverston.