Welcome to the Otley BID June 2017 Update, which keeps you abreast of BID projects that are currently underway and information that affects our BID levy paying businesses.
Otley BID and the Partnership Transport group are trying to get the very best transport links for the town’s business areas.
West Yorkshire transport chiefs have written to the BID noting they do not plan to change the name of Menston station – as requested by the BID, but they do wish to meet with the BID to discuss clear signage to Otley from Menton station and other opportunities to see improvements.
The BID has welcomed this opportunity and BID Manager Peter Mudge has held a meeting with John Eveleigh, (Transport chair for the Otley Town Partnership,) and Wharfebank Mills Marketing Manager Linda Yates to prepare an action plan. This will be taken to a forthcoming meeting with the Regional Stakeholder Manger of Northern Railway, and it is hoped the deputy chief executive of West Yorkshire Passenger Transport can also attend to provide an input on the bus situation.
Ideas we have put forward are as follows, but if you have other requests please email them as quickly as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Additional signage at Menston station to note passengers should change for Otley. Possibility of in train announcements. Clearly visible signage from the train to the Otley bus service.
- Improved bus links to Otley which co-ordinate with train arrival and departure times
- Any opportunities to improve bus links to Wharfebank Mills at the start and end of the working day
- Improved Sunday services
- Discounts for BID members via Metro
- Requesting a meeting with TransDev and Connexions
Children’s Weekly Entertainment
Our Summer Kids Funtime entertainment is proving a huge hit with the pre-schoolers and their parents/carers.
We are delighted to announce that we have now secured junior activities by Leeds Rhinos Foundation on Wednesday 26th July and Leeds United Foundation on Wednesday 9th August. More exciting acts are still in the pipeline so keep checking our Facebook and Twitter pages for full up to date details prior to each event.
But that is just the start of the fun as we want people to share their talents such as showing children how to knit, blow a didgeridoo, mouth organ etc, paint a picture, a few dance steps etc. All events must only take place on the Market Place. A grant application is being considered by the Arts Council in the hope the Summer holiday events can be bigger and better with some national funding.
The idea of the Wednesday activities is to let people know what a wonderful shopping area Otley is for commercial and retail. By making use of the Market Place on an otherwise empty day it will draw customers in on the day and subsequently. Here’s an outline of the events that are coming up during July and August (*weather permitting & activities are subject to change. Information correct at time of print):
The Kid’s Summer Funtime event is FREE to everyone every Wednesday in the Market Place. The cost and organisation of these events is funded in part by Otley BID levy payments provided annually by each and every business within Otley, with contributions from our generous sponsors Otley Town Partnership and Lili Waste Services. The support on the day is kindly provided by a small group of Otley Town Team volunteers. We would therefore ask that if you have enjoyed yourselves please kindly pop a small donation into the bucket next to the Town Team volunteer desk on the day of the event. These contributions will go towards organising future events for the town and continuing our hard work on improving our beautiful town.
Volunteers needed: if you are able to spare any time to support this fabulous event it would be greatly appreciated. Please email email@example.com if you are able to help.
Boats on the River
Whilst writing this June 2017 Update, staff training is underway and it has been confirmed that initially there will be 10 rowing boats and 10 pedalos on the river. It’s fantastic news for Otley that we will be seeing boats back on the River Wharfe imminently.
Chris has been working closely with LCC, Otley Town Council, the Environment Agency, local councillors as well as ourselves to get this long awaited project off the ground.
We will continue to support Chris in his new venture and we wish him the best of luck.
Photo credit : Dr Neil Clifton
Painting of Street Furniture
Work has progressed quite quickly on Phase 2 of the painting our street furniture. The car parks on North Parade and Westgate have been completed, street furniture has been re-painted and foliage has been cut down.
The following areas will be completed very soon:
- Burras Lane and Westgate up to Waitrose
- All Council owned car parks
- The Bus Station
This scheme has been arranged by Otley BID and being undertaken by Community Payback. LCC has agreed to fund all the equipment and paint used as part of the Conservation area privileges.
A new booklet is being produced emphasising the money saving deals available to Otley Bid members. The challenge is for businesses to more than save their BID levy through these savings. The brochure is being designed after which it will be circulated.
Mercury Row – Sensory Wall Art
The BID is seeking Conservation Planning permission so wall art can be placed on Mercury Row which will encourage shoppers and visitors to discover all the little gems that are sometimes hidden away from the main Market Place. The Woolpack has kindly given its support to the design going on their back wall so it can be seen all the way down New Market.
Improved signage is also being encouraged by the BID for Wharfebank and to benefit other businesses areas of the town.
An example of the current design
Marketing of Otley
We are often asked about how Otley BID contributes to the marketing of the town, so in this June 2017 Update we thought we would list some of the areas we have been working on recently:
- We run our own Website, Blog and social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) which give regular updates of the projects we are involved with.
- We have a close relationship with the local press who support us with news stories on our many projects throughout the year.
- We include monthly updates within the Otley Chamber of Trade’s Economic Bulletin which is emailed to Chamber Members and is available to pick up within businesses throughout the town.
- Funding given to the Otley Town Council for the Tourism Strategy which is being implemented by All About the Story on the Council’s behalf.
- We have just designed, printed and circulated an annual Otley Events Calendar which is available throughout the town.
- The Summer Kids Funtime entertainment every Wednesday in the Market Place has been part-funded and organised by the BID, and with contributions from our generous sponsors Otley Town Partnership and Lili Waste Services. These types of entertainment, as well as the annual events, bring both adults and children into the town who may not necessarily have done so, thus increasing footfall, spend in the town as well as creating more reasons for people to visit Otley.
- We have been supporting Katie Burnett (owner of Courtyard Planters and President of Otley in Bloom) in various ways with her campaign for Otley to be entered into Britain in Bloom.
- We work closely with Otley Town Partnership in encouraging coaches into the town and negotiating with LCC regarding suitable parking.
- Wide ranging discussions have taken place with LCC about making Otley a nicer place to visit, eg. Painting street furniture, tidying up car parks and other areas of the town (Bay Horse Yard, Police Station, Wharfemeadows Park, etc).
- Installing wall art to encourage visitors to explore all the hidden away areas of the town.
- Ongoing discussions with LCC, commercial estate agents and landlords regarding filling empty premises with businesses we would like to see within the town.
- Finally the long awaited news that boats are coming back to the River Wharfe. This has been a 3 year long project where Otley BID have helped to bring together and supported all the parties involved to make this venture happen.
As you can see our projects are wide ranging and are not just about the immediate wins but also about the long-term benefits that we can bring to the town to encourage all our fantastic independent businesses to thrive.
‘Delivering Change’ Partnership with Leeds City Council
Whilst writing the June 2017 Update, Otley Bid co-ordinator Pete Mudge was among 20 people invited to the UK wide Centre for Cities discussion on “Delivering Change – How city partnerships can make the most of public assets”. Also present at the meeting were chairs of large private sector conglomerates including HS2, Yorkshire Water, First Bus and car manufacturing, researchers who are compiling the report and senior council figures. The meeting was chaired by Cllr Judith Blake who is leader of Leeds City Council and chair of the Core Cities Groups which provides a united voice for the nation’s 10 core cities.
Otley was seen as a good example of this partnership to make best use of public assets including changes to the Park café, re-navigating the Wharfe to allow boats back on and discussions on other Council buildings such as the Civic Centre, One Stop, Ashfield site etc.
Peter stressed the term ‘city’ should include all the towns and neighbourhood centres rather than simply the city centre. He was pleased the meeting readily agreed with this and noted the importance of Otley and other established town centres having room to expand onto brownfield sites.