C4B Chairman's Update              October 2015
Paul Barrett
Dear [salutation],     Welcome to our October newsletter, in which we look at some of the businesses and organisations that contribute to the success of the district. Our thriving universities are not only home to a large resident student population, they also provide job opportunities and regularly attract huge numbers of people into the area for events and ceremonies, and support the local business community in many different ways. I was privileged to receive an Honorary Fellowship recently from Canterbury Christ Church University for services to business - I am pleased to have served on the University's Business School Advisory Board, which I see as a recognition of the importance the University places on its role in the Canterbury business scene.

The Canterbury Connected BID (Business Improvement District), established a year ago, has already made a big difference to the city centre trading environment for the benefit of shoppers, businesses, residents and visitors, with the introduction of Christmas lights, deep cleaning, floral displays, and street ambassadors. The BID team also successfully launched a major new event - the Canterbury Hop Pocket race - while Herne Bay's Promo Team raised an amazing £75K in sponsorship to support the town's first ever air show, a spectacular event that attracted thousands of people to the area.
Universities' input
Freshers' Week last month saw Canterbury city centre buzzing with young people and their families. Hotels, restaurants, shops and other local businesses all benefit hugely from this annual influx, which brings significant amounts of money, as well as people, into the area. University graduation ceremonies are also big business for the city with students and parents spending three days celebrating in and around the city. In addition to these 'peak' occasions, the universities contribute to the local economy all year round. For example, Canterbury Christ Church University's Canterbury campus and its students made a £302 million impact on the city in 2012/13. The University created 3,384 full-time equivalent jobs in Canterbury (about 1,455 in the University itself), which represents 7% of all jobs in Canterbury.

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Canterbury BID's first year
At the end of its first year, the Canterbury Connected BID (Business Improvement District) is in good shape. The scheme has a sound and sustainable structure, a very able board in place, led by Chairman, Clive Relf, and 99 per cent of levy payments have been collected. Achievements to date include setting up a deep-cleaning programme to spruce up the city centre's streets; decorating the city with floral displays and hanging baskets, which gained Canterbury its first gold medal in the South and South East in Bloom 2015 competition (small city category); and introducing BID ambassadors. The ambassadors have already greeted an estimated 15,000 visitors and logged 1,000 environmental reports for action with KCC. A new event, the Canterbury Hop Pocket Race, which involved 18 teams racing through the city from Westgate Towers to Longmarket, each carrying a 70kg sack, proved very successful and, it is hoped, will in time become an annual Canterbury tradition. The next BID project will be Christmas lights, with plans underway to extend these to Westgate, Castle Street and the Buttermarket. For more information about the Canterbury Connected BID, contact enquiries@canterburybid.co.uk

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High-flying show draws crowds
Over 75,000 people headed to Herne Bay in August to enjoy the town's first Air Show, which included displays by the Red Arrows, a Vulcan bomber, and RAF jets. The event, organised by the Herne Bay Promo Team, involved raising £75K's worth of sponsorship.

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November events
The Startmybiz/Growmybiz events programme for November, which will include an 'Unconventional Conference', will be announced shortly. Watch this space for details. If your business would like to be involved, please visit www.startmybiz-canterbury.com.

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