Earlier in the year we noticed some posts on twitter about a proposed National Town Day to be held on Sunday 23rd September.
The tweets were by @YourTown https://twitter.com/yourtown which is a CIC (or Community Interest Company, a type of social business).
You may know that Visit Banbury is going through the process of becoming a formalised social business so we were keen to understand more about what they were looking to do.
Following some social media conversations with the founder Mark White it was agreed that as part of Your Town’s tour of 50 towns in 60 days, they would come to Banbury to meet up with me.
So during one of the coldest days of the year at the end of February (it was -6 !) we had a meeting in Pinto Lounge then went to set up by The Fine Lady Statue in front of Banbury Cross to record a short video about Banbury #OX16.
Then, as Your Town’s main concepts are built around running and wellbeing as well as celebrating our towns, they went off to the other partner in Banbury énergie fitness to do a 5km run around the town (very brave of them!).
Then over the last couple of months, working together with Mark, Ben Trickett manager of énergie fitness and Tim from Visit Banbury have agreed to try to make something special happen in Banbury on Sunday 23rd September, the date of the first National Town Day.
In short there are two elements of the proposed idea:
- A celebration of the Town Centre – hopefully shops & cafés who don’t normally open deciding to open and showcase their unique, independent offerings plus a range of exciting sport, art and retail focused activities – still all to be worked out, resourced and funded (where necessary) – but with the express intention of encouraging people to come into Banbury Town Centre who maybe have not ventured in before or not for a good while;
- A “Get Together” to start the day – this is a well established social 5km run, walk or cycle for people to take part in, which we hope if all comes together as we would like, it will start and finish outside The Wild Lime / HMV in Banbury. A unique element of this is that the event acts as a crowd funding activity for a local good cause or project. We hope, subject to the decision at the end of July, that the first one will be in aid of Banbury & District Community Bus Project but this may change.
In order to try to get the message out to a wider group of people associated with Banbury, Visit Banbury agreed to sponsor the Summer drinks for the latest Business Buzz town centre based networking event on Wednesday 25th July and the weather was very different to that freezing February day!
In glorious Summer sunshine we networked and chatted and the mocktails provided by The Wild Lime were deeeelicious and went down a treat on such a steaming hot day:
Importantly, we made the announcement about the partnership between Your Town, énergie fitness and Visit Banbury with an introduction video from Mark White:
It was effectively a soft launch as we still have much to do to make it happen but we have some positive feedback from Banbury BID, Your Letterbox plus others and so we really hope we can make it happen.
What we need to know from you:
- do you want to celebrate our lovely town?
- what could we all do to make that happen?
- what would you like to see happen on that day?
- could you help us make it a reality by getting involved to offer an activity, a special offer in your shop, to provide some sponsorship / funding, or to help recruit others to take part in the Get Together or simply to #VisitBanbury on the 23rd September?
This project is a work in progress – but we are putting lots in place, as you can see from the landing page Your Town is building for Banbury, so help us fill the gaps and celebrate everything positive about Banbury on Sunday 23rd September.
Thanks to Katrina, Lisa and James for a fab launch meeting and to everyone who supported the event on Wednesday and has expressed interest so far.
Want to know more or to get in touch?
Mark White firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Trickett Ben.Trickett@energiefitness.com
Tim Tarby-Donald VisitBanbury@aol.com