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Weekend Park and Stride in Stratford

24
May 2018

Stratford's Weekend Park & Stride Scheme - enjoy cheap weekend parking at the new hospital multi-storey!

A unique Park and Stride scheme launches in Stratford-upon-Avon this weekend thanks to a ground-breaking deal between Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID) and the team that run Stratford Hospital's car park. 

People who work in Stratford, and visitors, will benefit from cheap weekend and Bank Holiday car parking, thanks to the new partnership that allows them to park on the town’s brand new £22million hospital site, just yards from the railway station, and only five minutes walk from the town centre. People can park in the 205-space secure multi-storey car park for just £2.50 a day. The scheme will operate on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays and starts this weekend - just in time for half term.

Joe Baconnet, Director of Stratforward BID, said: “This is a win-win for everyone involved. Staff who work in businesses in Stratford struggle to find centrally-located parking and even if they do it is often felt to be unaffordable. This is particularly the case for staff who only work at weekends when Stratford is usually at its busiest.  Add this to our existing arrangement with NCP for their car park in Rother Street, where registered staff can park for £3.70 a day, and the Stratford Park and Ride scheme and we now have a variety of discounted offerings available to them. Over the year these schemes can save an individual hundreds of pounds.”

He added: “Hopefully the knock-on effect of town centre staff using this car park at weekends, will be that more town centre car parking spaces will be available for visitors, so generating more income for individual businesses. It should also help reduce waiting times and queues for town centre car parks, in turn reducing congestion which will hopefully reduce emissions and help the environment. The other major plus is that this will see monies going directly into the coffers of a local health-related business. There is also a more obvious health benefit - by parking here, people will take a stroll into town, and we all know that even the shortest amount of physical exercise is beneficial to our wellbeing. At a time of increasing change in the high street, pressure on people’s finances and concern about the nation's health, we cannot think of a better way to bring a positive outcome all round.”

The scheme is the result of a deal between Stratforward and SWFT Clinical Services Ltd, which owns and manages Stratford Hospital. Samantha Macdonald, Marketing Manager at SWFT Clinical Services Ltd, said: “This is extremely good news. Obviously Stratford Hospital is very much in the heart of Stratford, and with it being a centrally located facility we are always very keen to support the wider community. Our downtime is often the busiest time for visitors and town centre staff so it makes sense to utilise our facilities for the benefit of everyone involved.”

John Coyne, Managing Director at SWFT Clinical Services, added: “Parking is at a premium in the town and more and more people are having to park further away so we think this is a great solution. When you look at the proximity to the main town it’s not far at all.  While the hospital does have some 24-hour services, the times that the deal is available coincides with periods the car park would be under-used. We have always approached car parking rates as competitively as possible. Clearly sometimes car parking chargers garners a negative response – but with this approach all parties can benefit.”

The Stratford Hospital car park is accessible from Arden Street. It is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is covered by CCTV.

Notes

1. Image is of  Stratforward BID director Joe Baconnet and Samantha Macdonald, Marketing Manager at SWFT Clinical Services Ltd.
2. Stratforward BID Director Joe Baconnet is available for interview. Please contact the number below to arrange.
3. Stratforward is Stratford’s Business Improvement District (BID) which represents nearly 430 shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants and businesses in Stratford town centre. Stratforward’s role is to encourage people in to Stratford-upon-Avon, to stay long, spend more and leave happy, benefiting its member businesses and the town as a whole.
4. SWFT Clinical Services Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust. The company operates the outpatient pharmacy for the Trust based at Warwick Hospital, a private patient day surgery clinic in Stratford-upon-Avon and most recently has developed a facilities and estates management service, under which it manages the Stratford-upon-Avon hospital on behalf of South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust. The company’s primary purpose is to develop income for the Trust through commercial activities and all profits made by its trading activities are either reinvested in the business or returned to the Trust for reinvestment in health care services.

Record Breaking!

08
May 2018

RECORD-BREAKING DAYS FOR STRATFORD BUSINESSES THANKS TO FESTIVAL OF MOTORING

Stratford businesses enjoyed record-breaking days as tens of thousands of people flocked to the town for the Festival of Motoring.

The festival, which took place on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, brought more than 45,000 visitors to Stratford in scorching temperatures to eye up an array of cars and check out the town’s retailers, restaurants and bars. Roly’s Fudge Pantry on High Street enjoyed its best three days of the year over the weekend, while Hooray’s British Gelato Kitchen had a record-breaking day on Monday.

Andy Irvine, the owner of Roly’s, said: “We had our best three days certainly of the year and the last 12 months. The festival is well organised and it brings people into town - full credit to Stratforward.”  Sara Young, co-founder of Hooray’s, said: “Monday was our record-breaker, but on Sunday we had the van out as well which was great and gave us a lot of publicity. It was amazing, at one stage we had two queues going on.”

Other businesses enjoyed a busy weekend thanks to the influx of visitors to the town taking advantage of a sun-drenched Bank Holiday weekend, with shops, bars and restaurants on Sheep Street, Bridge Street and Wood Street all reporting great sales figures.  Chris Allpress, the owner of Knights Fine Jewellery on Wood Street, said: “It’s been busy, footfall in Stratford has been very good and also into the shop and the festival brought a wonderful clientele.”

   

And Ash Baker, owner of The Steamhouse, said both their High Street shop and its stall outside did a roaring trade, selling 400 doughnuts across the weekend, as well as plenty of iced and cold drinks.

This year’s festival - one of several events organised by the award-winning events team at Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID) - featured 300 motor vehicles parked up on Stratford’s streets each day following organised runs in the countryside.

Local businesses embraced the Italian Job theme on Wood Street, with The Townhouse offering special Italian cured boards and Prosecco and The One Elm an outdoor Peroni Bar and two-for-one on Aperol Spritz.
Mat Faulkner, General Manager at The One Elm, said: "It went fantastically well. We had our Peroni bar in the car park which was awesome - ironically, we were so busy in the pub that we couldn't have it open as much as we wanted, but it went down brilliantly and was a real spectacle. The whole weekend was brilliant - the fact that you literally couldn't walk through town because there were so many people shows how great it was. The weather helped but a lot of people came for the Motoring Festival - it's a fantastic event, any event that Stratforward does is always a winner in my eyes and great for the town."

Stratford Picturehouse put on a showing of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on Saturday followed by a Motoring Reel Big Quiz on Monday evening while Everyman Cinema showed The Italian Job on Sunday. Castle Fine Art displayed four motor-themed original paintings by contemporary artist Robert Oxley and Whitewall gallery also put on an automotive art exhibition.

Stratforward BID Director Joe Baconnet said: “We are delighted to have had so much positive feedback about the Festival of Motoring from so many of our businesses. It was lovely to see the town so busy so early on in the season and with such a great atmosphere. This is the reason we exist and the reason we do events - to get people into the town and through the doors of our businesses to benefit everyone in Stratford.”

Vehicles on display at the festival included a ‘My Dad Had One of Those’ display, luxury cars and displays from automotive clubs including Auto Adrenalin and Aston Martin. There were also commercial car displays from festival sponsor Listers, Guy Salmon, Nissan Westway, DV8 Works, the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, Dallas Burston Polo Club and the British Motor Museum.

Awards were handed out to Ian Mccormack, from Neath, who won the Mayor’s Choice with his Pink Cadillac and Graham McDonald, from Tenbury Wells, who won Stratforward’s Choice award with his Cadillac Sedan Deville. Ian Draper, from Potters Green, Coventry, won the Listers Group Choice with a Ford Grabber Mustang, while Ian Fuller from Rugby won the Broadway Treasure Hunt in his Marcos Mantula. 

   

Awards handed out to participants included a prize for the winner of the treasure hunt,   a Stratforward-sponsored award chosen by patron Quentin Willson, a Mayor’s award for her favourite vehicle and an award chosen by Listers.

Parents and children enjoyed a special family area at Rother Market including hands-on demonstrations, go-karts, bouncy castle, emergency vehicles, an engineering pod from Stratford Sea Cadets and more; live music at Bell Court and on Bridge Street; and a Wacky Races workshop with community arts organisation Escape Arts.

Visitors also enjoyed Stratford’s own version of popular TV show Carpool Karaoke in a competition organised with Listers, recording their own rendition of Dean Martin classic ‘That’s Amore’ on their mobile device inside one of Listers’ cars.

Stratford Mayor Cllr Victoria Alcock said: “I love things like this that bring people to the town who wouldn’t necessarily venture in. It’s people who might not ordinarily come for a Bank Holiday but come for the cars then they see how wonderful our town is and will probably come back.”

      
NOTES 

  • This was the sixth Stratford Festival of Motoring and is one of a number of popular festivals organised by Stratforward’s award-winning events team each year. Others include the Stratford River Festival in July and Stratford Town Centre Food Festival in September.
  • Stratforward is Stratford’s Business Improvement District (BID) which represents nearly 450 shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants and businesses in Stratford town centre.
  • Listers sponsored the 2018 Stratford Festival of Motoring. With its 39-year strong history, Listers Group Ltd is one of the UK’s largest family owned automotive businesses and leading retail groups. Listers is a proud partner of 15 premium manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Honda, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes, MINI, SEAT, Skoda, Smart, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Volvo. The Group now boasts over 50 sites strategically located across the south west, Midlands and east of England. For further information, contact Toni Dunk at Listers on 07793 314832or email Toni.Dunk@Listers.co.uk

Famous Italian Job Minis on show

01
May 2018

FAMOUS ‘ITALIAN JOB’ MINIS TO JOIN HUNDREDS OF CARS ON SHOW AT STRATFORD FESTIVAL OF MOTORING THIS WEEKEND

Three famous ‘Italian Job’ Minis will be among hundreds of cars that roar into town for this weekend’s Stratford Festival of Motoring on Sunday, May 6th and Bank Holiday Monday, May 7th. 
The replicas - which have appeared on TV alongside big names including David Hasselhoff and Guy Martin - are just one reminder visitors will see of iconic 1969 film The Italian Job, which will be the theme of one of the streets in Stratford town centre during the festival.  


The Minis are the pride and joy of mechanic Greg Jenkins, from Hereford, who bought them to use them as wedding cars. “I studied the film and watched it a couple of hundred times to make them as authentic as possible. To set them aside from a normal Mini, they’ve got roll cages like the ones in the film, as well as bonnet stripes and we’ve put some imitation gold bars on the back parcel shelf.” Greg’s Minis have featured on TV several times.  The red one is currently on TV on an ad for Farmfoods with David Hasselhoff.”

One of several free-festivals organised by the award-winning events team at Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID), the event will see participants take runs in the surrounding countryside - one with a treasure hunt and another encouraging them to rekindle their old-school navigation skills - before returning to the town’s historic streets to park up.

The festival is also giving people the chance to star in Stratford’s own version of popular TV show Carpool Karaoke in a competition organised in conjunction with festival sponsor Listers, a long-running supporter of the event.  Participants in the challenge will be able to record their own rendition of classic Italian tune ‘That’s Amore’ - in keeping with the Italian Job theme - on their mobile device inside one of Listers’ cars on display at the festival. They just need to post their karaoke video on social media, tagging Listers, the Stratford Festival of Motoring, and festival organiser Stratforward to be in with the chance of winning the use of a brand new car for a whole weekend.


Vehicles on display at the festival will include fast cars; open-top vehicles;  ‘My Dad Had One of Those’ display; luxury cars; quirky vehicles like campers, pickups and vans; and displays from automotive clubs including Auto Adrenalin and Aston Martin. There will also be commercial car displays from Listers, Guy Salmon, Nissan Westway, DV8 Works, the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, Dallas Burston Polo Club and the British Motor Museum.

A festival trophy presentation will take place on Monday at 2 pm, including a prize for the winner of the treasure hunt, a Stratforward-sponsored award chosen by patron Quentin Willson, a Mayor’s award for her favourite vehicle and an award chosen by festival sponsor Listers.

There’s plenty on offer for families, including a special family area at Rother Market including hands-on demonstrations, go-karts, bouncy castle, emergency vehicles and more; live music at Bell Court and on Bridge Street; and a Wacky Races workshop with community arts organisation Escape Arts.

The Vintage Mobile Cinema will be showing two film montages of vintage footage celebrating the Mini, Stratford and Shakespeare. Stratford Picturehouse is showing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at noon on Saturday followed by a Motoring Reel Big Quiz on Monday evening while Everyman Cinema is showing The Italian Job on Sunday at 5pm.

A Stratford Specsavers Photography Competition will give people the chance to win great prizes by sharing their festival photos using #SpecsaversSUA. Automotive artist Reverend Adam Gompertz will be sketching around town and Castle Fine Art will be displaying four motor-themed original paintings by contemporary artist Robert Oxley. There will also be an automotive art exhibition at Whitewall gallery.

Local eateries are getting into the festival spirit, with The Townhouse offering special Italian cured boards and Prosecco, and The One Elm an outdoor Peroni Bar and two-for-one on Aperol Spritz.

Stratforward Events Manager Ruth Wood said: “The Festival of Motoring always brings tens of thousands of people to Stratford to check out some of the great cars we have on show and enjoy the spectacle of hundreds of vehicles parked up on Stratford’s historic streets.

“It’s a great event that brings families into Stratford for free Bank Holiday fun and allows us to show off all the award-winning restaurants, bars, shops, spectacular attractions and businesses Stratford has to offer. It is these businesses that fund the festival so please support them.”

NOTES 

1. PLEASE FIND ATTACHED IMAGES FOR MEDIA USE. Please note, the minis in image 1 are not the minis owned by Greg Jenkins. Image 2 caption (L-R): Stratforward BID Director Joe Baconnet; Adriana Geary, Shakespeare Hospice corporate and community fundraiser; and Dejorn Goldsmith, Listers Honda sales executive.
2. MEDIA ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND THE STRATFORD FESTIVAL OF MOTORING ON SUNDAY OR MONDAY. PLEASE CALL STRATFORWARD’s EVENTS TEAM ON 01789 299011 or email info@stratforward.co.uk TO ARRANGE
3. Festival hours are 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday and 10 am to 4 pm on Monday. Cars will be arriving into town from 9 am to 12 noon.
4. This will be the sixth Stratford Festival of Motoring and is one of a number of popular festivals organised by Stratforward’s award-winning events team each year. Others include the Stratford River Festival in July and Stratford Town Centre Food Festival in September.
5. Stratforward is Stratford’s Business Improvement District (BID) which represents nearly 450 shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants and businesses in Stratford town centre.
6. Listers is the sponsor of the 2018 Stratford Festival of Motoring. With its 39-year strong history, Listers Group Ltd is one of the UK’s largest family owned automotive businesses and leading retail groups. Listers is a proud partner of 15 premium manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Honda, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes, MINI, SEAT, Skoda, Smart, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Volvo. The Group now boasts over 50 sites strategically located across the south west, midlands and east of England. For further information, contact Toni Dunk at Listers on 07793 314832or email Toni.Dunk@Listers.co.uk

7. Social Media - use #StratfordMotorFest and tag us for retweets etc.
Twitter - @StratfordFOM and @Stratforward
Facebook - StratforduponAvonFestivalofMotoring/
Instagram - @stratforward

Visitors To Stratford Festival Of Motoring Take Centre Stage With Motor Fest Car-Aoke

16
Apr 2018

Forget X Factor or The Voice - wannabe stars have the chance to take centre stage at the Stratford Festival of Motoring’s very own Car-aoke.

Visitors to the festival, which returns on Sunday, May 6th and Bank Holiday Monday, May 7th, will be able to star in Stratford’s own version of popular TV show Carpool Karaoke and be in with the chance of winning the use of a brand new car for a whole weekend.

Festival sponsor Listers - a long-running support of the popular event - will be providing the stage for fame-hungry fans in the form of one of their cars on display at the festival.

Participants in the challenge will be able to record their own rendition of classic Italian tune ‘That’s Amore’ - in keeping with this year’s theme of The Italian Job - on their mobile device inside the car.

They just need to post their karaoke video on social media, tagging Listers, the Stratford Festival of Motoring, and festival organiser Stratforward.

All entries will be judged by Stratford’s own judging panel, including representatives from Listers, Stratforward and The Shakespeare Hospice - Listers’ chosen charity of the year.

The winner will be treated to the use of a Listers car for a weekend, chosen by arrangement with Listers.

Toni Dunk, Group Marketing Manager at Listers, said: “Stratford Festival of Motoring is a great local event and something we’ve been proud to support for several years. Listers may be a household name and one of the biggest family-run car dealerships in the UK, but our roots are important to us - that’s why we support events like this and have chosen The Shakespeare Hospice as our chosen charity of the year.

“We’ve all seen James Corden and his guests on Carpool Karaoke and we thought it would be great to create our very own version right here in Stratford. We can’t wait to see local talent getting involved.”

Stratford Festival of Motoring is a regular highlight of the calendar not only in Stratford-upon-Avon but across the Midlands and beyond.

One of several free festivals organised by the award-winning events team at Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID), the 2018 festival follows the same successful formula as the past five years.

Participants will take runs in the countryside surrounding Stratford-upon-Avon before returning to the town’s historic streets to park up, treating visitors to a showcase of around 300 impressive motor vehicles each day.

This year’s event is themed on Wood Street is the iconic 1969 film The Italian Job and among the array of motor vehicles past and present visitors can expect some reminders of the comedy caper, from Minis to Italian supercars.

There will also be plenty of entertainment on offer from interactive demonstrations to a dedicated family area, as well as the usual impressive selection of shops, restaurants, bars and retailers on offer in Stratford.

Ruth Wood, Events Manager at Stratforward, said: “We’re always looking for ways to get people involved in our ever-popular Festival of Motoring - Listers’ karaoke challenge is the perfect way to take part and be in with a chance of winning a great prize.

“This is just one of the great reasons to come to this year’s event. Alongside this, there are some great vehicles on show from Listers as well as 300 cars from our participants - including a few nods to The Italian Job - plus demonstrations and entertainment, all against the backdrop of historic Stratford.”

Listers Gets Back To It's Roots By Backing Local Motor Festival

03
Apr 2018

Listers, England’s largest privately-owned motor group, is getting back to its roots by backing Stratford Festival of Motoring for the third time.

The company, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, is the main sponsor of the festival, which returns on Sunday, May 6th and Bank Holiday Monday, May 7th, bringing motor enthusiasts from across the country.

This year’s event, has a theme on Wood Street on the iconic 1969 film The Italian Job, will see participants take runs in the countryside around Stratford-upon-Avon before returning to the town’s historic streets to park up, treating visitors to a showcase of around 300 impressive motor vehicles lining Stratford’s historic streets.

Listers has sponsored the event since 2016, supporting it in showcasing Stratford to tens of thousands of visitors to the town for the two-day festival.

The company will be showcasing its own impressive ranges at the festival, with cars from five of its 15 brands on show, including Audi, Toyota, Lexus, Volkswagen and Honda.

Listers, a major employer in the Midlands and beyond, will also be showcasing its Motability service as well as its offers to fleets and businesses.

Sponsoring the festival isn’t the only way the company is backing the local community - after choosing Stratford charity the Shakespeare Hospice as its charity of the year.

Toni Dunk, Group Marketing Manager at Listers, said: “We might be one of the UK’s biggest privately owned groups but Listers’ roots are important and we love getting involved in local events and supporting local businesses and the local community.

“Businesses are facing uncertain times and we want local firms to know we’re here to support them, whether that’s through leased cars, commercial vehicles, our Motability scheme or fleet services for small and large businesses. Supporting events like Stratford Festival of Motoring helps bring visitors to the region and in turn backs local businesses, while choosing the Shakespeare Hospice as our charity of the year means we can dedicate a year’s fundraising to this great cause.”

Stratford Festival of Motoring is a regular highlight of the calendar not only in Stratford but across the Midlands and beyond.

One of several free festivals organised by the award-winning events team at Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID), the 2018 festival follows the same successful formula as the past five years.

There will also be plenty of entertainment on offer from interactive demonstrations to a dedicated family area, as well as the usual impressive selection of shops, restaurants, bars and retailers on offer in Stratford.

Joseph Baconnet, Director of Stratforward BID, said: “Stratforward is all about promoting Stratford-upon-Avon and its businesses on regional, national and global stages. Backing from locally-based, national firms like Listers is invaluable in helping us do this and we’re grateful to them for their support.

“This year’s Festival of Motoring is shaping up to be a great event and we look forward to welcoming the crowds to Stratford over the two days. If you’d like any more info please go to www.stratfordfestivalofmotoring.co.uk or keep your eyes on social media.”

CONSULTATION ON FUTURE OF BUSINESS IN STRATFORD

20
Feb 2018

Businesses are urged to have their say on the future of Stratford-upon-Avon’s Business Improvement District (BID) before the consultation process closes next week.

The consultation, launched at the start of this month, is the first step in a process that will see town centre businesses vote for a third BID this autumn. Stratforward BID is currently is in its second term which started in 2014 and expires in March 2019. BID3 would run from April 1st, 2019 to March 2024.

As part of the process, the nearly 450 businesses who are members of the BID (levy payers) can have their say in how any future BID operates.

A consultation document distributed to the businesses highlights six areas in which Stratforward provides services to its members as well as the value that they bring, including the Town Hosts, award-winning events and campaigns and schemes that help both staff and businesses save tens of thousands of pounds each year.

Businesses across the wide range of sectors that operate in the BID area have been responding via email, comment forms and online, helping highlight what services are most important to them and any changed they would like to see.

But those who have not yet responded are urged to take the opportunity to have their say before the consultation closes on February 28th.

The consultation process will be followed by the development and release of the BID3 Business Plan this summer ahead of a vote in the autumn.

BID Director Joe Baconnet said: “We’ve had a great response from businesses so far who are keen to take this opportunity to help shape the future of Stratforward BID. The whole point of this consultation process is to hear what people like about what we do, what works for them, what does not and what they think our priorities in the future should be under any third BID.

“In order to gain as broad and deep a picture as possible about what businesses in Stratford want, I would urge all of our BID members to take this opportunity to highlight the areas you think bring value and any you would like to see in a third BID. That way we can make sure we’re bringing the best possible value to our members.”

STRATFORD TURNS INTO TURIN FOR ITALIAN JOB-THEMED MOTOR FESTIVAL

19
Feb 2018

Some of the most memorable scenes from The Italian Job have been recreated ahead of this year’s Stratford Festival of Motoring - which is themed on the iconic 1969 film.

Three memorable Minis were snapped around Stratford, including historic locations like the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, ahead of the return of the annual festival on Sunday, May 6th and Bank Holiday Monday, May 7th.

The red, white and blue minis Minis are a nod to cars used by Charlie Croker’s gang to make their getaway after stealing millions of pounds worth of gold in Turin, resulting in what is widely regarded as one of the best car chases in movie history.

While Stratford’s streets are a long way from Turin, where most of The Italian Job was filmed and set, one scene - the chase through the sewer tunnel - was shot in the Sowe Valley Sewer Duplication system just down the road in Stoke Aldermoor, Coventry.

There won’t be any car chases through Shakespeare’s streets but the Festival of Motoring will see more than 300 vehicles lining up on the town’s streets after a tour through the surrounding countryside followed by a lap of honour.

This year they will include plenty of Italian Job-inspired vehicles, including Minis and Italian supercars.

The festival also offers interactive demonstrations, food, drink and live music and entertainment, giving two days of top quality, free, family fun to visitors from across the region.

Local car dealership Listers returns as sponsor for this year’s event - the sixth Festival of Motoring - and will be showing off their vehicles on Bancroft Gardens near to the Encore Hotel as well as on Bridge Street.

Ruth Wood, Events Manager at Stratforward, said: “What better theme for this year’s Festival of Motoring than one of the best known car-themed films ever. We couldn’t quite stretch to car chases through the streets of Stratford, but we managed to recreate a few scenes from the film to get people in the mood for a weekend of Italian Job-inspired fun.

“The Festival of Motoring is always a great success, bringing car fans from across the region and beyond to see an array of vehicles both old and new, and gives us a chance to showcase Stratford-upon-Avon in a unique way.”

Stratford Celebrates Success

13
Feb 2018

Stratford's Brilliant Business Success 

Stratforward BID Director Joe Baconnet has congratulated Stratford-upon-Avon’s town centre businesses after they dominated at the Touch FM Pride of Stratford Awards. BID members swept the board at the glittering annual awards ceremony on Friday (February 9th) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, making up around half of the business-related nominations and walking away with eight gongs.

Speaking at the event, Mr Baconnet said: “To see so many of our members triumph in these awards, which saw stiff competition from across the area, is wonderful. Running a business at the best of times is hard, but against a backdrop of tough economic times, rapidly increasing operating costs, the massive growth of internet shopping and increased security issues, it is harder than ever. We know how hard our members work to create a thriving town for locals and visitors alike, so to see so many of them recognised for that is great.”

BID members who won included: Hooray’s British Gelato Kitchen - The Artisan Award; The One Elm - Hospitality of the Year Award; Paul and Rhiain Foster, owners of Salt - Business Person of the Year; Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall - Team of the Year; and Escape Arts - the Educator Award.

 

 

Hoorays -Sara & Sasha Young with local MP Nadhim Zahawi

 

 

A special award went to David Beacham, owner of Coiffure by David, for his decades of dedication and service to business in the town. Another special award went to Dr Diana Owen, outgoing CEO of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, for her contribution to promoting Stratford worldwide.

Stratforward-sponsored category of Town Centre Business of the Year, went to long-established independent clothes and shoe retailer Gemini. Stratforward itself was a winner too with its ever popular River Festival voted Tourism Initiative of the Year, for the second time in three years. The festival is now in its tenth year, this two-day summer extravaganza attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the town each year.

 

 

Gemini - Clare Wright & team with Joseph Baconnet

 

 

Stratforward’s own Town Hosts were also shortlisted for the Customer Care of the Year Award, recognising the work they do to engage with visitors and local businesses on a daily basis.

Other BID businesses were among the finalists for the awards. Gemini was shortlisted for the Business of the Year Award, while A Fine Tattoo Establishment, The Fourteas Restaurant and Specsavers were finalists in the Town Centre Business of the Year Award. Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm and the MAD Museum both reached the final of the Team of the Year Award, while Salt was also a finalist in the Artisan Award.

 

 

 One Elm Matt Faulkner & team with Crowne Plaza 

 

 

The MAD Museum was shortlisted for the Arts Organisation Award alongside Escape Arts, which was also a finalist in the Community Impact Award and the Pride Award.

The Tourism Initiative Award was dominated by BID members and some of Stratforward’s partner organisations, with finalists including the Shakespeare’s England Explorer Pass, Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust, Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall, Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm.

 

 

River Festival organisers Ruth Wood, Tor Wilkes & Richard Lees with local celebrity Quentin Willson

 

 

The success for Stratford businesses came as a blueprint for future business in the town came up for discussion. Consultation on a third BID term from April 2019 was launched 24 hours before the awards were announced. Mr Baconnet said: "The massive success of Stratford town centre businesses, including our own, at these awards, just reminds us all what can be done if we all work together.Stratforward’s role is to support our business community in their day-to-day battle to succeed. together, and with the help of other bodies such as Shakespeare's England, Stratford Town Trust, Stratford District Council and Warwickshire County Council we are committed to continuing to fly the flag for our town. We’re dedicated to helping attract people here and encouraging them to stay longer, visit our impressive range of retailers, restaurants and bars and other services, and return again and again in the future.”

Photos from the Observer, many thanks.  To read more in The Stratford Observer click here. 

 

Businesses Speak Up

08
Feb 2018

BUSINESSES URGED TO HAVE THEIR SAY ON THE FUTURE OF STRATFORWARD BID

Businesses are invited to get involved in the future of Stratford-upon-Avon’s Business Improvement District (BID) as part of a consultation process launched today (Thursday 8th Feb).

The consultation is the first step in a process that will see town centre businesses vote this autumn for a third BID term. Stratforward BID is currently is in its second term which started in 2014 and expires in March 2019. BID3 would run from April 1st, 2019 to March 2024.

The consultation, which runs until the end of February, allows the nearly 450 businesses who are members of the BID (levy payers) to have a say in how they want any future BID to operate. It will be followed by the development and release of the BID3 Business Plan this summer ahead of a vote in the autumn.

Over the coming days, each BID member business will receive a copy of the official consultation document that outlines key BID services as well as the value they bring to the town and to the businesses who pay the membership levy. It also includes plans for the next five years, giving business owners a chance to set the priorities for the next BID.

  Click on the brochure front to read more....

Sara Aspley, Chair of the Stratforward Board, said: “Over the last nine years Stratforward has worked tirelessly to represent its members in what have often been complex, difficult and fast-changing trading times.

“Changing shopping habits over the last decade with the advent of internet shopping, mixed with tougher economic times and security issues, have seen high streets across the country struggle to keep people coming into towns. Stratforward has led the fightback in Stratford-upon-Avon, showcasing the town through campaigns and festivals to local as well as national and international audiences, encouraging them to continue to come to the town to visit member attractions but also to shop, eat, drink and do business.”

She added: “This consultation document highlights some of the ways in which levy payers see a return on the money they pay each year to be members, the value that Stratforward brings them and just how vital it is to continue together to carry on the battle to keep our town working.This consultation is really important to the future and direction of any third BID. What is said during this consultation period will be absolutely crucial to the development of the new business plan, so it’s vital that all businesses who are eligible take part and have their say.”

The document highlights six areas Stratforward provides service and adds value:

  • Town Hosts - whose work last year included 7,500 business visits, delivering six Ambassador Tours, manning the town centre security radio initiative and giving 15,000 directions to visitors.
  • Events - last year the award-winning events team delivered the ever-popular River Festival, Festival of Motoring and Town Centre Food Festival, which in total generated 132,000 visitors to Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Campaigns - promotions and campaigns to accompany major events, plus the Christmas-upon-Avon campaign and Fashion-upon-Avon Facebook campaign.
  • Staff savings - the Stratforward BID card delivered savings to 3,800 BID member employees
  • Business savings - the Joint Procurement Scheme to help businesses save tens of thousands of pounds on running costs, plus the NCP parking discount card, which saved staff an estimated £107,000.
  • A voice for business - the BID acts as a 'voice' for businesses, networking with other major organisations and representing the interests of its members on issues like planning, parking and traffic congestion. Its member newsletter keeps businesses informed.

BID Director Joe Baconnet said: “These are just some of the things Stratforward has achieved and the value we’ve brought to our members in the last year. Our small and dedicated team is fully committed to deliver what our members want and need. What we want to hear now is what people like about what we do, what works for them, what does not and what they think our priorities in the future should be under any third BID.” 

He added: “During the revote process, we’re not stopping the mainstream work. The task of promoting the town to locals and visitors continues through the work of our hosts and a packed programme of events and campaigns.  We are also committed to developing the business support and savings schemes that have proved so popular with members, not just retail ones, saving tens of thousands of pounds across the town. New initiatives such as the ‘Tax Free Stratford’ project, a new visitor map and being part of a regional accessible scheme are all in the pipeline.

“We are also continuing our lobbying and behind-the-scenes work with stakeholders such as Stratford Town Council, Stratford-on-Avon District Council, Warwickshire County Council, Shakespeare's England, Stratford Business Forum, Coventry and Warwickshire LEP and others who promote Stratford as a destination for people and investment.”

 BID Director Joe Baconnet

Click!

11
Jan 2018
Its all about Stratford Festival of Motoring at the moment. 
 
1. Do you know someone with a Mini Cooper who'd be up for having their car on the poster for Stratford Festival of Motoring 2018?
It will need to be red, white & blue, and ideally 1960's as festival theme is The Italian Job.  There will be a photo shoot in Stratford. 
 
"Hang on, lads; I've got a great idea. Stratford Festival of Motoring 2018 theme will be, The Italian Job! "  Charlie Crocker 2018
 
2. Would you take photos at Stratford Festival of Motoring? 
 
Set your camera up on a stand and take photos as the cars come through the finishing arch
9am -1pm on Sunday May 6th  and Bank Holiday Monday May 7th
Edit & upload onto Flickr 
You will be paid.
 
Questions? Get in touch:  events@stratforward.co.uk 01789 – 299011
 
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