Banbury International

When we set up Visit Banbury we were absolutely determined to promote everything that was positive and community focused about Banbury.IMG_5154

We think we’ve done a reasonable job so far with lots of events, lots of social media supporting local businesses, organisations, events and people and a fair amount of community cohesion to help bring people together around the town.

However, eighteen months ago we never dreamt that we would be needing to promote community cohesion in the way we feel we need to now.

Recent events have meant that both anecdotally and via official reports, the UK is seeing an increase in the amount of hate, racism and xenophobia shown to people who just days ago were treated exactly like the rest of us.

We know for many people this is not a new phenomenon as they have frequently experienced racism but for a whole group of people who have made the UK their home, all of a sudden the UK rather than being a tolerant, welcoming and open society has become at best unfriendly and at worst hostile and nasty.


So having attended BBC Breakfast’s Live TV broadcast from Banbury market place on Saturday morning Steve Gold and I sat and had a cup of tea at the Whistling Kettle and decided that irrespective of the political pros and cons, Visit Banbury needed to make some sort of stand in solidarity with all of the nationalities living and working in Banbury.

We decided to be the catalyst for a wider group of people to be able to show that they too were standing in solidarity with their neighbours regardless of race nationality or ethnicity.

And so was born “Banbury International”.

Banbury-Internation-Facebook-Group-Cover-Image (1)On Sunday morning, after quickly making contact with a number of different groups including Jake and the Banbury Community Action Group, the community focused folks at Naomi’s café, a network of positive individuals linked to a Visit Banbury initiative and also a dedicated Visit Banbury French speakers group in and around Banbury, we suggested to hold an event on Saturday 16th July in the BCAG Community Garden behind Naomi’s café and in order to quickly organise it, set up a closed Facebook Group for anyone who wanted to be involved.

After about 6 hours, 31 people were in the group and the event had been pretty much set up except for a few more specific details.

Following lots of frenetic messaging and emailing on Sunday afternoon and Monday, a group of us got together on Tuesday evening to finalise some of the details and the result of that is a free community event starting at 12pm which will be bringing together all of the communities in Banbury in a show of friendship solidarity and peace.

There is going to be live music, arts and crafts, activities for the children, a big table for everyone to bring food and share it amongst themselves and a pay bar at Naomi’s café.

There will also be a symbolic tree planting as a lasting sign of our community growing together.

Other details as yet are a little bit fluid as we want this to be an organically developing event, not too structured but more about being together sharing a common bond as human beings who just happen to live and work in Banbury.

Please keep an eye out for a Facebook event and posters and flyers around town in the coming days and please share them with all of your contacts so that as many members of the diverse communities attend and continue to build strong bonds across the town.

As some of you may know, the Visit Banbury initiative is based on ideas and an ethos developed by the Eden Project called The Big Lunch and Big Lunch Extras and we think this is a fitting way to continue to develop and sustain an amazing community network in Banbury.

Big love to you all and let’s make friendship and community a stronger force than fear and hatred.



Positively Brilliant!

As you may know, one of the underlying concepts for the Visit Banbury initiative is positivity and I just read this great article on LinkedIn by Keeran Gunnoo which really shows what important forces optimism and positivity truly are.

I for one will be heeding much of the advice to boost my positivity levels. Tim 

Get involved with Visit Banbury

Morning all – and happy February to everyone.

February is a special month to Visit Banbury as effectively it is the anniversary month of Visit Banbury’s public launch in 2015.

This time last year a small group of us had put together the “Be Positive about Banbury” video

Be Positve About Banbury

and we were busy preparing for our first public event the “Banbury Positivity Summit”.
Since then, lots of things have gone on, we have built a presence on various social media platforms, we’ve had a number of events, most significantly for us the “Create a Banbury Dish” competition won by Phil Seal and the fabulous night market in September, working with Banbury Presents.


We have also designed, created and sold a range of merchandise promoting Banbury which has ended up being sent right across the globe.
Some of you may know but we have been taking a little breather over the winter period but now we are ready to start promoting and supporting the positive things about Banbury and organising some positive things of our own!

There are about 15 people involved in Visit Banbury but some of the original team either have decided to step down due to a very busy 2015 or have increased commitments in 2016 and so we need more people to help us be “the glue that sticks together all the good stuff in Banbury”.

We will soon be organising the first team meeting of the year and if you would like to be involved we would love you to join us!

So, if you’re interested in being part of the group, please contact us on or via Facebook or Twitter.

Visit Banbury Core Values

Many people hear “Visit Banbury” & think the project is focused primarily on tourism. This is NOT the case; of course we want to promote Banbury as a great place to visit & stay in but the primary focus of the project is to build a coherent, cohesive, resilient community based on some fundamental core values. Once we all feel more positive about our home town we will give out positive vibes to those outside of Banbury that we are proud to live here and love what the town has to offer.   

Visit Banbury Competition Time


Visit Banbury Competition – We Love Banbury

Hi there, well this week sees two big events, firstly the Visit Banbury team are celebrating everything that is great about Banbury at the Banbury Positivity Summit on Friday 13th and, of course, this Saturday is Saint Valentine’s Day.

We at Visit Banbury have a very special present for the whole of Banbury to show how much we love Banbury and all will be revealed this Saturday with a few people getting a very exclusive sneak peek on Friday.

However, we want to know what YOU love about Banbury and we have a very special Twitter competition to get you to tell us.

One of our favourite Banbury ladies who is SO positive about Banbury is Kirsty Pearce who owns and runs a number of businesses in Church Lane, The Style Bar, The Penthouse and Groom Barbers……


When you visit the Style Bar in Banbury, you can be sure of a truly unique experience. The hair salon’s experienced hair stylists offer an extensive range of ladies hairdressing services.

For head-to-toe perfection, step into The Penthouse – Banbury’s beauty salon. Using professional beauty products such as Xtreme lashes, phd wax and Shellac manicures, the Penthouse’s experienced beauty therapist will make you feel totally relaxed and pampered – and looking your very best.

Groom … the Barber’s shop in Banbury – exclusively for men.  Groom caters for men who want a traditional finish or more contemporary men’s hairstyling.

To help Visit Banbury gather all of your feedback about what you LOVE about Banbury, Kirsty has very kindly offered us an amazing prize worth in excess of £150 to give away to one lucky tweeter!

All you need to do to win is to follow and send us a single tweet with a message by MIDNIGHT ON THURSDAY 12TH FEBRUARY using the following hashtag:


 And then your reason…..

 You only have 140 characters including the “#ILOVEBanbury” part so be creative, positive and concise.

The prize is a Colour & Cut plus Lashes, worth over £150! A wonderful Valentine’s present for you or a loved one. The full details are:

Any colour service, cut and finish with Kirsty, Kayleigh or Corey and a full set of Lash Perfects with Jayne. A skin test will be needed. The prize will be valid for use up until the end of May 2015. No cash alternative is being offered.

All entries received from tweeters who are following @VisitBanbury at midnight on 12th February and who have tweeted a reply using #ILOVEBanbury will be considered.

Any tweets with offensive or abusive language will be disqualified.

The entries will be reviewed on Saturday 14th February and one tweeter will be selected as having sent the best competition entry based on the positivity, humour and creativity of the tweet response. The judges’ decision is final and the winner will be notified on Saturday 14th February.

By entering the competition you agree for your tweet to be used in the Visit Banbury project in whichever way we see as appropriate (e.g. future promotions and presentations).

See Kirsty’s businesses on Twitter too!

StyleBar-logo-174H Groom-logo-174H Penthouse-logo-174H

NB. Neither Visit Banbury nor anyone associated with the project team is earning anything from this competition, it is purely being run to promote Banbury and as Kirsty kindly offered a super prize to coincide with the Banbury Positivity Summit and the Saint Valentine’s Day weekend.

We have other fantastic competitions in the very near future and if you are interested in working with the Visit Banbury team on a promotion or more generally, please contact us on or tweet us!



Brilliant day filming in Banbury yesterday for the VisitBanbury “Be Positive About Banbury” film.

Thanks to ATS Films (Ben & Kirsty) and Kate from the project team for all of the hard work & support.

I would also like to thank all of the people we met in Banbury for their friendly, positive welcome and their support in our venture.

We all felt a real sense of community and optimism whilst walking around talking to people, which encourages us to really push on with the project.

The only downside was that we only had the film crew for four hours so just could not get round to see everyone we hoped to, but we will try to catch up with everyone to include you.

Just a couple of photos to share…