inSwindon, the private company formed to look after and manage Swindon’s Town Centre , has appointed award-winning, Blue Click PR Ltd. to handle its media and public relations. Business to Business agency, Blue Click PR beat another local company and a large Cheltenham-based national agency to the account. The agency will assist inSwindon by promoting events designed to attract more shoppers into Swindon’s town centre whilst entertaining the visitors and public as they go about their business.
inSwindon will help grow retail businesses in two ways: a series of innovative events are planned for the major retail periods such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter and the summer. These events increase footfall into the town centre by many thousand, which in turn increases the takings of the retail sector, therefore driving up the economy. These events are designed to increase the ‘dwell time’ of shoppers which is proven to increase spend per head in both the retail, food outlets and restaurant sector.
Pictured right, Rhona, left and the inSwindon team
There are 36 town centre BID projects in the UK where town centre management has been outsourced from local town councils. inSwindon is now funded by a 1% levy on the 460 businesses in the heart of the town centre, ranging from independent boutiques to national chains and major blue chip businesses. As a result of the change in funding and the 1% BID levy voted in by businesses, inSwindon now has a budget of £750,000 over five years. This quadruples its budget for increased security projects and public-facing events such as the fantastic Swindon Town Centre Christmas lights ’switch-on’.
Chief Executive Mark Ross has been involved in two successful BID projects before and he has noted that some BIDs fail in their third year because they have failed to promote themselves and publicise the good work they are responsible for. He comments ‘The standard of Public Relations agencies we reviewed was very high. We have a number of stakeholders and felt that because Blue Click PR has clients involved in the regeneration of the town, they are already well-briefed. They have already proven that they understand the local economic, regeneration and political scene and we look forward to our fruitful partnership.’
Blue Click PR specialises in Business to Business PR but has had great success with some Business to Consumer stories attracting global media coverage. Managing Director Rhona Jack moved to Swindon from London after gaining a degree in International Marketing with Spanish. She worked for Swindon Borough Council helping the Oasis Leisure Centre win a national ILAM award and launched the Domebusters, which doubled the number of swimmers each year, breaking the one million attendance mark. Rhona adds ‘It’s a real privilege to be involved with a company that is serious about making a difference in Swindon. There is so much happening in the town and we are delighted to have been engaged to help shift perceptions. The events we promote and the vision of Swindon’s future will attract shoppers and visitors from much further afield.’
Swindon is undergoing a major £1 billion urban regeneration project over the next ten years, which affects six sites within the town centre. inSwindon and Blue Click PR will therefore vigorously promote the fact that the Town Centre is open for business as usual.