This article was originally published by Tristan Harris of the Bromsgrove Standard, 6/3/2023: https://bromsgrovestandard.co.uk/news/bromsgrove-wins-top-20000-prize-i…
BROMSGROVE has scooped the top £20,000 prize in Visa’s ‘Let’s Celebrate Towns Awards’, fighting off 29 others from across England on the shortlist.
The judges were impressed with Bromsgrove’s collaborative approach to increasing footfall to the area and offering a ‘warm Worcestershire welcome’ via tourism, events and the town’s hospitality sector.
The successful bid, which saw Bromsgrove beat other towns including Bridgnorth, Stevenage and Chester, was submitted by Visit Worcestershire.
The £20,000 grant will be used to launch a brand new food and drink focused project with Bromsgrove’s many independent restaurants and hospitality businesses front and centre of the campaign.
The ’foodie’ proposal will offer discounts to residents and visitors during quieter times for the businesses. A focused ‘Restaurant Month’ will showcase local produce and the people behind the scenes, championing Bromsgrove’s ever-growing food and drink sector.
Bromsgrove District Council leader Coun Karen may said she was ‘incredibly proud’ the town had won such a prestigious accolade.
“When I was fortunate enough to be elected as leader in 2019, I made it a key aim to inspire, attract and retain business in our town, in a bid to increase day-time footfall, strengthen our evening economy and improve the viability and vitality of Bromsgrove.
“The recognition given by the judges for our collaborative approach in making this vision a reality, makes all of the hard work of myself, colleagues and officers worthwhile.
“We now have a wealth of successful and smart new independent eateries and bars which are creating a buzz and attracting a new crowd, who perhaps would have travelled into our nearest cities, such as Worcester and Birmingham, but are now choosing to stay local.
“This grant will ensure that we continue to put Bromsgrove on the map as a place to visit, with our wonderful hospitality and independent restaurant businesses at the forefront.
This latest news comes as Bromsgrove District Council and NWEDR’s consultation on ambitious plans for the former Market Hall site.
Coun Marc Bayliss, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Infrastructure and Skills, said: “This award is a fantastic achievement for the area of Bromsgrove.
“The plans in place will help shape the area as a destination for residents and visitors to enjoy a quality hospitality experience in Worcestershire.
“The proposition will draw people in from further afield helping to grow the visitor economy in the local area.”
This project will allow important partnership work between Visit Worcestershire, North Worcestershire Economic and Regeneration Partnership and Bromsgrove District Council to continue.
Business support on offer
Business support has been a key driver for the partnership programme with a collective approach to support the sector. Visit Worcestershire is offering free consultancy to all tourism and hospitality businesses to help business growth.
Grants of up to £2,500 are available for retail and hospitality businesses by Bromsgrove District Council to help start-ups to grow and improve premises.
The planned campaign is anticipated to launch in spring 2024.
Visit Worcestershire is looking to create a steering group to contribute to the campaign’s success in the early planning phases.
Bromsgrove hospitality businesses can register their interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid commented: "I am delighted that Bromsgrove District is going to be receiving £20,000, in direct investment, to support our local independent restaurants and hospitality businesses.
It was a pleasure to attend the Parliamentary reception with local representatives, where the award was announced.
I know how important the High Street is to my constituents, and I look forward to seeing how this investment will help support our hospitality industry."