Lowestoft Vision BID manager, Darren Newman, reflects on 2016 and looks ahead to 2017

Darren Newman, Lowestoft BID manager.

Darren Newman, Lowestoft BID manager. - Credit: Nick Butcher

2016 has been another busy year for Lowestoft Vision, part of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce in Lowestoft & Waveney.

It was the third of our five year term as a Business improvement District (BID). Throughout the year we continued with projects such as the dedicated town Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), providing floral displays and street decoration throughout the town, promoting the town via the Discover Lowestoft destination website and social media pages and more recently providing the Christmas lights throughout the town centre.

2016 has provided a number of challenges, including the closure of BHS in Lowestoft and over 100 other towns nationwide. In addition, the town centre lost Argos and QD and the Post office moved into WH Smith.

Despite these challenges, Lowestoft Vision continued to attract new business with Starbucks, Boundless Realms and Warren James a few of the businesses opening in 2016. In addition Newlook, Millets and Greggs all invested in their existing Lowestoft stores and late in 2016 Kerry's officially opened their new department store – the result of a multi-million pound investment.

Throughout 2016 Lowestoft Vision continued to deliver a wide range of events which have helped to boost the numbers of people coming into the town. The 2016 Lowestoft Turtle trail was our most successful event to date and it was a pleasure to work with local schools and local company Scenic Projects to design the turtles.

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The annual Lowestoft Halloween event grows year on year and we were delighted with how many members of the community supported this particular event on what was one of the busiest day in the town centre.

In October 2016 Lowestoft Vision agreed to fund free parking in the town multi-storey car parks all day on Sundays.

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In 2017 Lowestoft Vision will be delivering a new project which will look to attract new business into the town. In addition we looking forward to the completion of the town wayfinding project we are developing in partnership with Waveney District Council.

2017 will continue to deliver a number of challenges for the town but Lowestoft Vision will tackle these challenges and continue to deliver projects on behalf of businesses in the town.

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