Our Aberdare BID levy member update July 2021
It is almost August already!
It has been really good to be able to walk round town and speak to our levy members and give a brief update of where we are with our pledges and to promote our loyalty scheme event by encouraging people to shop local in Aberdare.
If you haven’t spoken me or one of our kind volunteers yet, we will be out and about again! If you’d like to help out with Our Aberdare BID then you can sign up as a volunteer too!
In the meantime, here is information on how our projects for improvement are getting on:
Marketing & Events
Loyalty Scheme Event, business directory & help promoting YOUR BUSINESS!
Please do take part in our loyalty scheme event that starts Monday 26 July 2021. If you have a Facebook page then add @Our Aberdare BID to your offers/promotions posts. For Instagram, please tag @ouraberdarebid. If you tag your posts we can share them to our page and on the event page – this will further promote your business and attract people to town.
A business directory page has also been added to our website so people can see all of our levy members’ businesses that they may not even know exists! If your business doesn’t appear on the directory, please provide your information and we’ll add it.
To help with this, the organisers of the Aberdare Park Road Races have kindly given us a page in their programme FOR FREE – this gives us a huge opportunity to take advantage of the extra footfall to town during the event Sat 7 – Sun 8 Aug 2021. Our page in the programme includes a QR code that goes directly to our business directory.
It is the 150th anniversary of Caradog winning the choral cup at Crystal palace July 2022. We are in communication with Cwmdare Voices choir, St Elvans, Cynon Valley Museum, RCTCBC and other local supporting organisations to discuss a festival event of celebrations. This will involve lots of work so if you want to be involved and can spare time please let us know.
Lastly, we will be running some social media 30-60 second video explainers to help levy members get the most out of using social media to attract customers to your shop/business. These are being specifically devised for you so that they don’t take up unnecessary time and will come with additional fact sheets to refer to. Even if you already use social media to post, there are a whole host of tips and easy tools you can use to really make the most of what you’re posting.
Look & Feel
Planters, Art installation, Bollards, Wall mural, Empty units and new tenants
You may have seen that in the last few days a few lovely planters with decorative foliage have been placed outside Baguette Express. We also have planters on their way to McDonalds and flowers will be planted by the bus stop at Tesco. We are able to place the planters in these locations as they are on private land.
We are still waiting for the go ahead to place planters throughout town. We were advised 2 weeks ago that the locations ‘earmarked’ are not actually council land and that we need to seek Highways approval. It is extremely frustrating that this has been delayed for so long but we continue to chase this so that Market Street, Commercial Street, Canon Street and Cardiff Street can also be brightened up and given some kerb-appeal.
We are looking for volunteers to help keep the planters watered so please sign up. if you can spare some time. Thank you to Baguette Express for being ahead of the game and getting themselves a watering can!
Local artists and photographers continue to work on their art installation that will be placed inside the old Poundstretcher and we are yet to set a date with the property owner for when this can be revealed! Thank you to B&M for the car load of cardboard to assist with this project!
We noticed some of the footings to the bollards at the Cenotaph have cracked and broken away. We have reported this to RCTCBC and it is now with Highways to repair.
Bollards outside Servini’s have been repositioned by the Council/Highways to allow for street cafe furniture and better pedestrian access – looking great!
The council have confirmed that they agreed to fund a mural to the side wall of Gamebox at the end of Commercial Street. We will help to liaise with local artists and the tenant/owner of the property. This is a great opportunity to make an eye-catching feature to pull people to town. Thank you to Gamebox for the tour of the roof top – what a space!
We are really pleased to hear that empty units are soon to be tenanted – this is good news for town! A vegan café is coming to Commercial Street, Candy Hut is soon to open in Cardiff Street, the old Nat West building is being refurbished by the new owner and the owner of the old Emmaus and Profile units has advised us that tenants will soon be in those properties although I do not have a date for this. Therefore, at present we are not aware of any empty units to place bright window coverings – if you know of any empty units in the BID levy zone near your business then please let me know.
Information & Communication
Finally face to face!, Levy bills, Funding & business support and keeping informed
As well as chatting to as many of you as possible, we continue to update the funding and business support page on our website, however please let me know if there is anything in particular that you would like to know about that will help support your business and in turn work towards improving Aberdare town.
You may now have received a levy bill for 2021-22. After much protest by the BID, the council have stated that there is a legal obligation for them to send these bills to you as part of their collection process/regulations. These bills do not have to be paid until December 2021. We are disappointed and sorry that you have had to receive these bills so early.
A Facebook group purely for BID levy members has been created so that information can be shared quickly in addition to you receiving monthly newsletters. Please click to join the group so you can keep informed and share any info you feel is relevant to other levy members, or will be of use for the BID all round.
Did you know that the Aberdare Nationwide branch has been nominated for branch of the year in their annual awards? All the best!
If you have any good news to share, pop it on the Facebook Group page for all to see, and/or let me know for inclusion in our newsletters.
Access & Parking
PARKING PETITION, TRAFFIC ISSUES & ACCESS
We are working on a petition for better parking, however in the meantime it will be good to know how you feel the change of free parking from 10:00 to from 15:00 has been and how it’s impacted your business.
Also, are there any parking/traffic issues in particular that you feel could be addressed? We have regular meetings with Vikki Howells, MS where we lobby for things such as better parking.
Sign up for regular information
Our Aberdare BID is currently made up of 6 board members (2 of which are directors of Our Aberdare Limited), and one part time BID manager. All board members give up their free time to help make decisions on projects at meetings held approximately every 6 weeks.
Our annual general meeting will be held near the end of 2021 where board members will be appointed/re-appointed.