For those who know me personally, you’ll know I’ve made my home in West Bridgford – And I love it. It’s a yuppies-paradise, filled with bars, cafes, restaurants and shops. So I was thrilled to see West Bridgford held as a positive case study in the 2018 edition of the #GrimseyReview2 – The national ‘state of retail’ whitepaper focused on identifying the problems, solutions and examples of retail across the UK.
What was mentioned in the Grimsey review?
Here’s the full excerpt from the Grimsey Review 2 (2018). The full whitepaper is available to download for free.
In December 2015, Rushcliffe Borough Council established a strategic growth board to help ensure effective delivery of housing and economic growth. The board provided an important forum for the leader in relation to the Economic Prosperity Committee and local enterprise partnership – D2N2 – the LEP for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
The strategic board was supported by local growth boards which developed their own work programme and action plan to respond to particular local needs and issues. The West Bridgford Growth Board has a particular focus on sustaining the economic prosperity of the town centre and in particular, the principal retail areas of Central Avenue, Gordon Road and Tudor Square. In order to understand the issues from the user perspective, three West Bridgford Commissioners were appointed to provide external expertise and importantly, independence. Their remit was to directly seek the views of local residents, businesses and community groups and deliver a focused, transparent and informed report to help steer the work and vision of the growth board.
The resulting West Bridgford Commissioners report has provided a rich source of quantitative and qualitative evidence, which is now being used by the council and its partners to support the development of strategic, policy and operational actions and sustain the economic vibrancy of the town centre.
Where is West Bridgford?
First things first. West Bridgford is a small town in the Rushcliffe borough, immediately south of Nottingham. It currently ranks in the top 10 of Halifax’s “Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey” and is a thriving town of bars, cafes, resteraunts and shops.
It’s where I call home after settling there during university and I’m now a proud home-owner in the area. I also offer free digital marketing advice to various small business owners in the local area (Gordon Road, Tudor Square and Central avenue included as mentioned above). It combines two of my passions – West Bridgford and Digital marketing!
What is D2N2?
As the Grimsey review states, D2N2 is a strategic growth board and Local Enterprise Partnership for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. There vision is to produce a “more prosperous, better connected, and increasingly resilient and competitive economy”.
Part of D2N2’s vision covers, you guessed it, digital marketing. In fact, they held their ‘Digital Growth Conference 2018’ in Nottingham earlier in the year, funded and co-hosted by the European Union, which I was honoured to speak at. You can see more on my presentation in the video below or by reading my transcripted presentation: ‘3 steps to creating a profitable customer journey‘.
Why is this a big deal?
For me this is a huge deal. It shows that the East Midlands – and the city/town that I love – is at the forefront of retail transformation, creating omni-channel experiences and taking digital seriously as part of the modern consumer’s shopping expectations. By forming D2N2 and asking consumers and businesses what they want, Nottingham and West Bridgford can continue to thrive.
…And that’s important. West Bridgford isn’t immune to an evolving highstreet. With two retail outlets on Gordon Road moving out recently (update: at least one has new tennants) it’s never been more important than before for local businesses to see commitment and support from the local council.
Not only does it show a real and serious commitment from the Rushcliffe council, but it also demonstrates economic forward-thinking, meaning that I can be confident West Bridgford will continue to thrive and local businesses will continue to invest in the area. That’s good for the community, good for business and (selfishly) good for house prices!
Free digital advice for West Bridgford SMEs
The D2N2 offer some great free events, both self-hosted and hosted by local Nottingham agencies. There’s also some great agencies across the UK who offer free (and paid) digital marketing events – Impression, Boom Online and Hallam Internet are three event-hosting agencies that immediately come to mind. You might even see me speaking or attending a few of these myself.
Additionally, I (as you may be be able to tell) love talking all things digital. I offer free advice to local Nottingham businesses (and anyone else who’ll listen, to be honest!). You can see my credentials and some of the more formal events that I speak at over on my public speaking portfolio.
What else was covered in the Grimsey review?
Too much to cover in one article. Take a look at the full review for yourself.
Topics covered however include:
- Town centre redevelopment and Government inventives
- Consumer needs including community hubs and attractions
- Highstreet innovation and digital transformation
- Joint ‘digital marketing’ & ‘traditional marketing’ campaigns
- Digital security and connected cities