Lorraine Kendrick of Redcliffe Homes with Lucinda Mayes, sales advisor. At the back are Paul Sprott, club treasurer, Caroline Sprott, ladies champion, and Don Andrews, club president Members of Pewsey Vale Bowls Club will be keeping account of their success this season on new scorecards provided by Redcliffe Homes.
Redcliffe Homes, who have created a new community at Whatley Drive in Pewsey, are sponsoring the club’s scorecards and providing stickers for each player’s woods.
Lorraine Kendrick, sales and marketing manager of Redcliffe Homes, said the club had played an important role in the close knit Wiltshire community since it was launched back in 1923.
She said: “We wanted to support the local community and the bowls club is an important part of the village and makes great efforts to attract people of all ages to the sport through open days and taster sessions.
“We wanted to help in a practical way so by providing scorecards and stickers that are needed for games the club get practical help from our presence in Pewsey.”
The club is situated behind the Co-op next to the tennis club in the centre of the village not far from Redcliffe Homes’ Whatley Drive development – which includes Whatley Mews, designed for those who are 55 and over.
Whatley Mews features eleven two and three bedroom homes arranged around a communal garden.
Said Lorraine Kendrick: “We hope that some of the new neighbours we bring to the village join the bowls club and boost numbers.”
Pewsey Vale is a mixed club with 45 men and 25 lady members and is affiliated to Bowls England and Bowls Wiltshire.
Ladies captain Caroline Sprott said: “The new scorecards and stickers certainly help freshen up the club’s equipment and help deliver the message we are an outstanding club and community facility.”
Edward Hall of Smiths Gore
Gazumping is making an unwelcome to return to the Marlborough property market according to estate agent Edward Hall.
Mr Hall, of Smiths Gore, says the practise - when a seller accepts an oral offer of the asking price from one potential buyer, but then accepts a higher offer from someone else – is returning due to the scarcity of popular properties.
“Gazumping is making a reappearance as the scarcity of popular properties means good ones outstrip expectations, but others are sticking on the market, often because vendors believe London-based hype,” said Mr Hall.
Meanwhile, the 10 percent property price increases recorded in London have yet to spread to Wiltshire, where a more modest annual rise of two-and-a-half percent is reported.
“ The heady headlines of national average house prices are miles away from the reality – about 77 miles from the London reality, actually” said Mr Hall.
Image courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.netMarlborough News Online readers - you are not alone! Consuming news on websites (like this one) or apps is now as popular as reading newspapers, according to new research published by media regulator Ofcom.
Forty-one percent of people say they now access news on websites and apps, up significantly from 32 percent in 2013.
And four in ten people say that they read newspapers to follow the news, which is unchanged year on year, according to Ofcom’s News Consumption in the UK report.
At the same time, using websites or apps has overtaken the radio (36 percent) to catch-up on the news.
The report suggests that younger people (16 to 24) are driving the surge in consuming news on the internet or apps, with 60 percent doing so in 2014, up from 44 percent last year.
Some 45 percent of 16 to 24s said that websites or apps were their most important sources for news, up by a half over the year (30 percent in 2013).
The rise in digital news is driven by increased mobile and tablet use among younger people. They are ten times more likely than those aged 55 and over to access news on a mobile (40 percent versus four percent) and twice as likely via a tablet (15 percent versus seven percent).
The top three reasons UK adults give for following the news is to know what’s going on in the world (58 percent), across the UK (56 percent) and in their local area (49 percent).
Those aged 55+ are more likely to give more reasons for following news, suggesting a stronger engagement.
Bright and busy - but with a BID scheme in place Marlborough High Street could be brighter and busier say business leadersThe first steps towards the establishment of a Business Improvement District in Marlborough have been taken with the formation of a Town Team.
Officials from Marlborough Town Council and Marlborough Chamber of Commerce met last week to discuss proposals to create a B.I.D. which would allow the town to establish a fund which would be used to pay for projects that would enhance the economic vitality of the town.
A B.I.D. can only be established in the majority of businesses vote in favour of it. A levy - typically between one and three percent - is added to the business rates, but rather than being given to central government for redistribution - a method that sees market towns like Marlborough receive far less than they put in - the levy is ring fenced and comes straight back to the town.
Members of the B.I.D. then decide how the money is to be spent.
“From Christmas lights, better signage, and street furniture to festivals and advertising and marketing campaigns to promote the town, business communities can really benefit from the establishment of a Business Improvement District,” said Chamber of Commerce president Alex Minoudis.
“The Chamber is fully supportive of this proposal, and we are confident that individual businesses large and small will be in favour.”
The scheme is currently working with great success in Swindon and has recently been adopted by Salisbury. Amesbury, Chippenham, and Trowbridge are all currently in the process of creating B.I.Ds.
Tim Martienssen, Wiltshire Council’s head of service for economic development and planning said: “Salisbury has 400 businesses contributing £500,000 a year. In Chippenham we expect the scheme to raise £200,000 to £300,000 a year. In Marlborough - depending on the geographic scope of the Business Improvement District - you could expect maybe £150,000 per year for five years.”
Mr Martienssen reassured the meeting that the fund would not replace investment by Wiltshire Council. “The money from a B.I.D. can only be used over and above what should be done by the public sector,” he said.
The first part of the Business Improvement District process is the creation of a town plan, and Mike King from Towns Alive was at the meeting to explain how a benchmarking exercise - funded by the town council - would help to identify the needs of the business community.
“It’s about understanding individual town centres and how they are performing, compared to other towns of a similar nature and size,” said Mr King.
“We look at the mix of shops and measure the distribution of comparison and convenience retail. We calculate the percentage of independent, regional and national retailers. And we count the number of vacant business premises. These figures are then compared against every other market town in the southwest region.”
Mr King explained that a footfall count was another important part of the research, indicating the town’s hotspots and highlighting areas that were struggling to attract visitors.
“We also look at car parking vacancy rates and conduct a review of the signing,” he said.
The final part of the benchmarking exercise is a series of surveys:
A business confidence survey is sent to every town centre business, asking owners about turnover, profitability and expectations for the future.
A shoppers origin survey will determine the geographical attraction of Marlborough, while a town centre users’ survey involves a mix of face-to-face interviews – collating the opinions of people who use the town - and online surveys, which seek out information from irregular visitors, or those who perhaps used to visit and don’t anymore.
“The resulting report gives you a robust body of evidence, rather than anecdotal evidence, about the impact of car parking tariffs, the absence of signage, a lack of parking spaces, and anything else a town feels is having a negative impact on its economic vitality,” he said.
Marlborough Town Council has already put aside £2,500 for the benchmarking exercise, and the Chamber of Commerce is to consideradditional funding or manpower for the provision of extra footfall counts. The exercise will take place in September, when the town returns to normality after the summer holidays.
Sam BertramThe keys to a ‘secret club’ of Wiltshire producers and experiences are being handed to residents and tourists alike, in the form of a new discovery website.
Local Uncovered gives visitors information about dozens of independent, small-scale producers, spanning a wide range of goods from food and drink to art, fashions and homewares.
Meanwhile, featured businesses - the site’s ‘members’ - are encouraged to share the hidden secrets of their own communities, from unmapped walks to quirky events: providing an alternative tourist information service for locals and visitors.
Most of the members - who are selected for their production of original, unique and quality merchandise - are what website creator Sam Bertram calls ‘kitchen table enterprises’.
And the platform - which is available on mobile phones and tablets as well as PCs - has been put together from Sam’s office, at her thatched cottage at Clatford, just outside Marlborough.
Sam helped some of the biggest brands in the UK reach their customers through digital media, before leaving the London rat race for a quieter life in Wiltshire with her husband, John, and children Oliver (5) and Iona (3) last year.
“I’ve always liked the idea of using local businesses and shopping for local produce, wherever in the world I am,” said Sam, who grew up in Kenya, “and there’s a massive trend towards people wanting that authentic experience.”
“When I came to Wiltshire I soon started to discover these brilliant little businesses producing excellent products, and decided to use my expertise and experience from working with big brands to support these independent producers.”
Sam says her website is like a ‘secret club’. “You know when you have a circle of friends who meet for coffee and tell each other about the lady designing bespoke handbags, or the couple producing liqueurs with your own name on the label? That’s what Local Uncovered is all about.”
The alternative visitor guide reflects the spirit of uncovering the county’s hidden gems. Sam has encouraged her members to share their favourite tips with visitors: like snail racing at Upavon village fete, or oak apple day at Great Wishford, where villagers ceremonially assert their right to gather firewood by cutting an oak bough and decorating it with ribbons.
“There’s so much enthusiasm for this feature,” says Sam. “The members are passionate about Wiltshire, and are excited to have a platform from which to share the things they think make the county such a great place to be.”
Local Uncovered creator Sam BertramSite visitors can browse homegrown products and tourism tips by category or location - using a beautifully illustrated map - helping them to discover small businesses and experiences on their doorstep.
Key local events are also listed on the site, and there is a special section for charities and community organisations.
And with more than 40 Wiltshire businesses on the site already, Local Uncovered will be rolling out to neighbouring counties soon.