Report from the Chairman
Spring is in the air! The fields are full of lambs.
After what seemed a very quiet few months, visitor numbers to the town seem to be on the up. The high street has certainly felt busier. The Chamber of Trade and Commerce kick started the season with the Marmalade Festival in town, the highlight being the vintage buses.
Easter has fallen later this year and Cumbria school half term has been much earlier. Many regions around the country are now on school half term which can only increase our visitor numbers going into the 2 crucial weeks to start the season.
Networking is so important today to increase business, share ideas, collaborate on new projects and gain new strategic partners. To that extent, we have been meeting with a variety of organisations over the last month.
We’ve met with Cumbria Tourism in the Upper Eden at their business networking event and from that we can explore how we can share ideas. Upper Eden businesses recognised that Penrith is sometimes the draw for visitors to the region that also visit upper Eden, so although we are far apart, we share common business interests.
Penrith Industrial BID relaunched their new name, Penrith Business Parks, back in March and we will be looking into working with them on town projects going forward.
BID has been working with the new “Plastic Clever Penrith” group with the aim to help our local businesses reduce dependence on using single use plastic. Businesses will be receiving a short survey which I would recommend filling out and returning. This way, BID can focus on what really matters to local businesses. We have suggested exploring the power of the collective where if businesses buy in numbers, we may be able to save on costs.
In that same category, BID, has been talking to greatannualsavings.com with the view to help our businesses save money on energy and water. They have already helped over 4,500 businesses save money on their bills and we believe our businesses could save also. Look out for them in the newsletter and in town.
In other news, ‘Christmas’ is moving at pace. The project group are nearing signing off the plans to make this year’s Christmas lights really sparkle and the ‘switch on’ day better than last year. Raising the extra funds necessary for this will also be a focus over this year.
‘Greening’ plans are afoot also. The town will soon see hanging baskets and planters filled with beautiful blooms. Businesses have been invited to purchase baskets or sponsor planters for a fee. We’ll do all the maintaining of them throughout the summer, so you don’t have to! What better way than to showcase our business district with lots of colourful plants and flowers.
Looking forward, we’ll be collaborating with our partners and bringing the topics of Parking and New Squares to the table. More details to follow in the coming months.
It just leaves me to wish all our businesses, their employees, and families a very Happy Easter and trading period.
Darren Broad, April 2019