Lowestoft has been chosen as one of 29 High Streets to receive support from Boots UK, the Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer and Santander.
The charity Business in the Community (BITC) made the announced the first 29 of the 100 towns across the UK that will be supported by big businesses through its new initiative to transform UK high streets.
The application to BITC was made by Lowestoft Vision a business lead organisation which is part of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce. Within the application Lowestoft Vision was able to detail their achievement to date which include the towns Street Ambassadors, events and street decoration as well as highlighting future projects such as mystery shopper campaigns, marketing and town centre development.
The BITC initiative; Healthy High Streets, seeks to create 3,000 jobs, increase footfall by 10% and reduce empty property units by 20% over a three year period in selected towns across the UK - through dedicated support from founding partners Boots UK, the Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer and Santander.
The campaign is focused on towns that demonstrate a need for the support, have potential for growth, have an established or emerging partnership to improve the town and are served by the businesses involved in the campaign.
Lowestoft will now receive:
- A bespoke package of support tailored to the exact needs of the High Street
- Access and engagement with corporate business leaders personally and professionally interested in the High Street
- A local corporate business leader linked with the local partnership team to support the vision for the High Street
- Resources from campaign partner organisations - such as Business Improvement Districts (with British BIDs) and the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC)
These new partnerships with business will help towns to drive footfall, occupy vacant properties and ultimately create jobs.
Darren Newman Lowestoft Vision BID Manager said “We are delighted to have been selected into the Healthy High Streets campaign. In a short space of time we have been able to develop a town team made up of local businesses to tackle the issues that our important to increasing footfall into the town centre.”
“This campaign will provide further support to Lowestoft and enable Lowestoft Vision to drive forward our projects”
Between them the founding partners of Healthy High Streets have a presence in over 9,000 stores and branches in towns across the UK. To increase the impact of the campaign beyond the 100 chosen towns, the founding businesses have each committed to spread the knowledge and best practice from their work on the campaign throughout their store and branch locations across the UK.
Business in the Community will also work with the Department of Community and Local Government’s (DCLG) Future High Streets Forum and the Prince’s Foundation for Building in the Community to deliver the campaign.
After a gap of 15 years, Lowestoft Lions returned to the town for the Petticoat lane market on the 17th May 2014. The crowds as well as the sun came out in support of the event in its new location at the Triangle market.
Over the past few months Lowestoft Vision have been working in partnership with the Lions to bring the event back into the town with the Triangle Market the perfect location for the event.
The event opened at 10am with some early bargain hunters arriving before the start to look for hidden treasures! As well as the grand sale the Beach Radio along with the beach Bunny were on hand to entertain the crowds. Younger visitors also had the chance to take part in some circus skills throughout the day.
MP Peter Aldous and Lowestoft Mayor Cllr June Ford arrived for the entertaining grand auction at 12.30pm and also spoke with a number of stall holder and Lowestoft Lions volunteers.
Darren Newman Lowestoft Vision BID manager said “we are delighted with how the event has gone and the feedback that we have received from local shops and the community.
“Lowestoft Vision has been keen to see more activity on Historic High Street and Petticoat Lane seemed to be the perfect match”.
The event raised over £1500 for the Lowestoft Lions good causes fund and discussions are now taking place between the Lowestoft Lions and Lowestoft Vision to run the event again next year.
A wide range of books, clothes, toys and other items are still available from the Lowestoft Lions who will be opening a pop up shop on Police station road on the following dates
Sat 24th May – 9am – 3.30pm
Tues 27th May – 9am – 3pm
Weds 28th May – 9am – 3pm
Thurs 29th May – 9am – 3pm
Fri 30th May 9am - 3pm
Sat 31st May 9am – 3pm
A campaign aimed at tackling Street drinking in Lowestoft has recently been launched by Waveney District Council and Suffolk Police.
The Reduce the Strength campaign is aimed at licence shops and encourages them not to sell Super Strength alcohol. This is any larger, beer or cider with an alcohol volume of 6.5% or above.
The scheme is voluntary to take part in with Suffolk Police and Waveney District Council encouraging as many businesses to sign up the campaign.
Removing cheap super strength alcohol from off-licences within Lowestoft is aimed at promoting sensible drinking and to resolve problems of street drinking within the community. The scheme has successfully been operating in Ipswich for the past few years and has reduced crime and street drinking in the town centre.
Business in Ipswich who have sign up top reduce the strength have reported a lost in crime, improve trading, working conditions for staff and in many cases an increase in profits.
In addition to the Reduce the Strength Campaign Lowestoft Police will be enforcing the Designated Public Places Order. The order which covers all of the area around Lowestoft Town Centre and Lowestoft Seafront means that the Police have the power to stop anyone drinking in a public place. Alcohol can be removed and emptied by the Police failure to comply could result in arrest and conviction with a £500 fine.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) commences an historic tenth year in residence at Lowestoft’s Marina Theatre on Friday 21 February.
Since commencing the partnership with the RPO the highly successful relationship has brought a host of world renowned conductors, musicians and soloists to the East Coast.