Stockton’s Business Improvement District (BID) is set to roll out a campaign to “reimagine” the town’s High Street.
Ran by businesses for businesses, Stockton BID – a partnership between local businesses and organisations with the aim of making a difference to the town centre – represents around 400 businesses from retail and entertainment to food and drink, professional services, health and beauty and creative businesses.
As a not-for-profit company, Stockton BID is funded by business members who pay an annual levy which supports efforts to revitalise and regenerate Stockton for everyone who works, lives or visits the town centre.
The #bigupstockton initiative showcases the great things happening in town and Stockton BID has been working with businesses and retailers to develop campaign ideas and creative which have been well received.
Organisers say they want to reimagine the centre with creative, innovative events which highlight the positive aspects of the town, support levy-paying businesses, and create a programme of activity that underpins a ‘feet on the street’ shared vision to find a way back to a prosperous and populated high street.
An element of the campaign will see the creation of regular business networking events StocktonMET, to summertime activities with family appeal, spaces for young and older visitors to the town.
All creating new reasons to visit Stockton as well as providing an injection of ambition into the daytime and evening economy for businesses and members of the public.
Recent years have seen widely reported issues regarding the struggle the UK’s town centres face with retailers facing changing consumer habits in both online spending and leisure time activity.
Jason Maxwell, Stockton BID manager, said: “We know town centre businesses are finding it a continuing difficult marketplace to operate in, with some national retailers realigning business models and reducing a high street presence.
“However, Stockton has a unique proposition with its growing number of independent retailers, its growing food and drink offer, entertainment and cultural events such as Stockton International Riverside Festival.
“We are looking at creative and strategic ways of creating more reasons for people to visit Stockton’s town centre through a range of initiatives designed to help support both the day time and evening economy so everyone can benefit whether you are a retailer or live locally come into the town.
“Stockton has a lot to offer, not just its heritage but as a future place for local communities to come together and to be part of change that will aim to see Stockton thrive for future generations.”
Details of activity across the year will be outlined shortly and includes a number of bold collaborations and dynamic events.
The first of the StocktonMET event is on Thursday, June 20 (4-6pm), at the newly open Hampton Hotel on Church Road, and places can be booked at Eventbrite by clicking here.
For information on Stockton BID, visit www.stocktonbid.co.uk