Town Centre Events Programming
To seek the Committee’s views on the programming of events in the Town Centre.
The Assistant Director (Communities) introduced the report which sought the views of the Committee on the programming of events in the Town Centre. He advised that officers were focussing on events which supported the town centre given the challenges being faced by high streets and the recognition of the role of events in encouraging an increase in footfall. It was also hoped that events would help to re-introduce people to their town centre. A number of opportunities were being considered in an effort to differentiate Gravesend from other competing centres such as Bluewater, Stratford etc. New residential developments were coming forward in the area and new residents needed to be encouraged to use the town centre. The evening economy was mentioned which had more of a food offer rather that a night club offer. Members were advised that events were constrained by budgets and the number of staff who volunteered to support such events. There was a calendar of events which included those led by other organisations such as Hope & Glory, Cohesion Plus, Vaisakhi and the Waterfront Weekend.
The following points were raised during discussion on this item:
· With regard to the oncoming Charles Dickens anniversary, it was suggested that the Tourism & Town Twinning Manager meet with Visit Kent with a view of having a special event at Gads Hill.
· The Christmas world record attempt might this year include people dressed up as snowmen/women or alternatively, a themed fun event.
· A suggestion was made to have pop-up events/parades whenever an individual or team won a trophy or medal. Members were advised that this had been proposed in the past but had not always been taken up.
· Food orientated events were also suggested as were dressing up, WWII memorial events, tea dances etc and also to include local businesses and the Borough market.
· The Service Manager (Customer & Theatre Services) advised that monies from the Controlling Migration Fund would be soon be utilised to hold international food and music events using the market as the focal point. This would also take in community cohesion and working against hate crime and would include local businesses and groups.
· A suggestion was made to set up another Member working group to work towards enhancing foot-fall, utilising the frontage of empty shops on a particular day of the week and drawing upon ideas for events and activities that had been well received in other towns.
· The Chair asked officers to consider the need to use consistent dates for annual events so visitors and residents could easily remember when the event takes place.
The Assistant Director (Communities) welcomed all thoughts and ideas and recognised the need for intent and good planning to make things happen.
The Chair supported the idea of Members feeding in ideas to officers and encouraged a constant dialogue. He preferred this approach to that of the suggested working group at this time. He asked that Members recognise that the Council was constrained by budget and the availability of staff.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
- Town Centre Events 4 June 2019, item 7. PDF 88 KB
- Appendix 2 Town Centre Events Programme, item 7. PDF 54 KB
- Appendix 3 Market Events listing 2019, item 7. PDF 46 KB