High hopes for Lowestoft town centre in 2016
PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 January 2016
The EDP and Lowestoft Journal have asked people from across the town what their hopes and aspirations are for 2016. Lowestoft Vision BID Manager, DARREN NEWMAN – pictured top left, was delighted to have overseen numerous projects in 2015 that have improved the town – and he is looking forward to further developments next year.
Throughout 2015 Lowestoft Vision has been pleased to deliver a wide range of projects that have helped improve the town.
In January, Lowestoft Vision began a partnership with Suffolk Constabulary to part fund a dedicated Police Community Support Officer (PCSO). Since this time PCSO Mike Soanes has been a popular presence in the town and BID area. In November Mike was awarded Police Person of the Year in the EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney awards.
Our events calendar got under way with the annual pancake day race in the town. Taking place during half term, we attracted a record number of teams to enter the event. The race was well supported by the community who witnessed Woody Bear win the Mascot race and Wilko defeat defending champions Iceland in the main event.
In May, Lowestoft Vision announced a new brand for the town and representatives from local businesses, as well as the mayor and other distinguished guests, joined us on Lowestoft seafront as we launched Discover Lowestoft. The brand promotes news, events and information for the town and includes a new website, social media pages and a day out leaflet. As the summer season began, we once again decorated the town with floral displays and bunting. This year we added planter boxes and barrier planters to compliment the 126 hanging baskets. Returning for the second year this summer was the Lowestoft Turtle Trail, which this year saw 20 turtles waiting to be discovered throughout town. It was great to see thousands of families enjoy the trail and then making the most of the services to the town. The first ever Lowestoft Festival took place between July 16 and July 19 and included a school sports competition on Lowestoft seafront, sandcastle competitions, a parade on the prom and a Street Velodrome circuit being set up in the town centre. As part of the event Lowestoft was featured on the Street Velodrome UK TV series.
This year’s Halloween event and parade welcomed record numbers of shoppers into the town centre to enjoy the trick or treat trail and other spooky entertainment.
Despite the wet and windy weather thousands turned up to watch the Christmas lights be switched on. The festivities continued with a wide range of events through the town during December which included Lowestoft’s Winning Window competition. We have recently started a programme of decorating vacant shop premises in the town and look forward to working with landlords and agents to increase this programme through 2016. We celebrated the end of the year with Marcus Jones, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Communities and Local Government), presenting us with the Rising Star Award at the Great British High Street Awards. 2015 had been a busy year which has seen footfall increase to the town. As we look ahead to 2016 a number of the popular events will return including the Lowestoft Festival, and who knows, we may be collecting the main prize in the 2016 Great British High Street Awards!
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