WRCI Receives National Accreditation

WRCI Receives National Accreditation

Leamington crime initiative receives national accreditation – demonstrating it can lawfully and effectively deter and reduce crime, and adheres to industry standards.

The Warwickshire Retail Crime Initiative (WRCI) is pleased to announce that it has been granted accreditation by Secured by Design to the national standard to ensure the partnership is operating lawfully, effectively and to the standards set out in the National Association of Business Crime Partnership Codes of Practice and supported by National Police Chiefs Council.

The WRCI, which has members across Leamington, is a partnership which aims to prevent and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in retail and licensed business premises in Warwickshire.

Secured by Design is the official police security initiative, and the accreditation is a recognised standard that is awarded to products which are proven to reach a high level of security.

The WRCI is made up of several town centre partnerships and has members across Leamington, Kenilworth, Warwick, Stratford, Alcester, Rugby, Nuneaton, Bedworth and Atherstone.

The current membership in Leamington is 48 retail premises and 37 licensed premises.

Members share data via an encrypted app on which they can also report incidents and view images of individuals who have been reported for committing crime, or have been excluded from entering a member premises because of their actions.

In the last 12 months, a total of 1068 incidents have been reported by retail members and 86 by licensing members across the Warwick District, which includes Leamington, and a total of 193 individuals have been excluded by these members.

The accreditation comes after the WRCI was awarded a £10,000 grant from Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe to specifically target and prevent prolific offending in shops and licensed premises across the county.

WRCI is a member-funded organisation, and also receives financial support from BID Leamington, the Rugby and Stratford BIDs, Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire District Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire.

Stephanie Kerr, Executive Director of BID Leamington, said: “The Warwickshire Retail Crime Initiative is an essential town centre partnership in Leamington, and is something that we are very pleased to support.

“It is fantastic that the initiative has received accreditation and demonstrates just how effective it is at reducing and preventing crime and antisocial behaviour in Leamington and the wider county.

“Managing crime and antisocial behaviour requires a team effort, so it is very pleasing to see that the initiative has so many members and supporters, and we look forward to continuing to show our support going forward.”

Peter Guillaume, of the WRCI, added: “This has been a long and challenging process but with guidance and help from the National Association of Business Crime Partnerships and Warwickshire Police we are pleased that our operating standards have now met the required standards.

“This comes at a very opportune time when the scheme has been awarded a grant for targeting and preventing prolific offending in shops and licensed premises in Warwickshire, for which WRCI and its members are very grateful.”


Caption: Peter Guillaume, of WRCI; Luke Phillips, of Rugby First, Stephanie Kerr, of BID Leamington; Derek Bradley, of WRCI; Chris Lewis, of the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner office; Jared Seal, of WRCI; Chief Inspector Faz Chishty, of Warwickshire Police and Ricky Lewis, of the Boots Leamington security team, next to Leamington’s help point button – one of the security measures in the town.

April Update – News, Events, Activities

April Update – News, Events, Activities

We hope you are well … please read on for an overview of the weeks ahead, plus upcoming dates and activities – including news, new business and rates information we have posted or emailed about recently.


1. In the News!  

Below are some headlines and updates that may have escaped your notice. Please get in touch if you would like more information.

Leamington Names as Best Place to Live in the Midlands

We were delighted to see Leamington Spa recognised as one of the best places to live in the Times. Congratulations to the businesses that were mentioned in the article – this includes some fabulous independents: Henderson Hound, for dog paraphernalia, and Berylune for houseplants and greetings cards …. you’ll find Leamington’s best cafés, among them Spa Town Coffee and Trof”. Some of our multiple’s including Marks & Spencer, Rymans, White Stuff and Flying Tiger got a mention too. We also understand Chanel 5 was in town shooting for a documentary around this feature. Here is the link (please click). We are happy to email a copy if you cannot view this.  Local editorial about this can be viewed here (please click).

Royal Leamington Spa Monopoly Board

We were pleased to learn that a Leamington edition of the board game Monopoly is to be launched later in the year (ready for Christmas).  The town has been picked from the West Midlands to have its roads and landmarks feature in a set of the world-famous economics-themed board game.  A variety of factors were used in selecting Royal Leamington Spa from the shortlist. These included ‘Pride’ ‘Beauty’ ‘Sense of Community’ and ‘Distinct Heritage’. You can read more about this here (please click).

2. Kings Coronation & Town Centre Events

The bunting is up and with a bit of luck, the weather will stay fine for this historic celebration. Congratulations and thank you to all the businesses who have made such a stunning job of preparing your windows. They look fantastic. We have featured over 30 businesses across our socials and there is more to come. There are also a variety of groups and organisations planning free to attend, town centre events this weekend as follows:

A free, fun family day of activities to celebrate this special moment in history. There will be live music, face painting, a dog show and free workshops. Plus watch the historic Coronation live on a big screen!

  • SATURDAY 6 May – All Saints Church & Enchanted
  • King Charles III Coronation Celebration 👑
  • All Saints Church. 1pm until 5pm.

Performances from the princesses, children’s activities, food and drink.

Starting and finishing at Victoria Park (the field opposite the play area), the ride loops around the town centre. It is open to everyone for a family-friendly ride. There will be music, there will be bubbles! For details of the route – please click here

  • SUNDAY 7 May – Open Arts Festival
  • OAF Bandstand Music Series presents Sing It Loud Choir.
  • Pump Room Gardens. 1pm -6pm

Sing it Loud is an award-winning community choir in Leamington Spa – a choir that anyone can join regardless of their singing abilities. Sing It Loud is a not-for-profit choir set up in 2014 to help people discover the joy of singing together and to meet new people. Each year they hold 2-3 concerts with a 12-week programme of rehearsals to prepare for them. Each concert has a different theme and will contain songs from different genres and eras – something for everyone.

3. Other Upcoming Activities & Local Events Calendar

If you wish to get involved in the Leamington Food & Drink Festival bookings please get in touch as the booking deadline was 30 April. We create opportunities for everyone to get involved in this in some way so please touch base to explore ideas.

The Easter Trail was popular and attracted over 100 entries that visited ALL 64 businesses on the trail. Here is a comment from one participant:

“Thank you for organising this. My kids absolutely loved it.  It took us 4 hours and we stopped for lunch at Cinda’s which we never knew of before”.

We are promoting the Little Book of Offers which is now out and contains around 54 offers from local businesses. Offers can also be posted in the royal-leamington-spa website anytime. Looking forward we will be shooting new town centre photography and videography and we recently finished a Spring ‘Weddings in Leamington’ promotion listing around 40 businesses serving this industry – featured in Live 24/7.

Many organisations other than us (BID Leamington) also run events in the town centre – and often reach out to us suggesting different forms of collaboration. We continue to look for ways to leverage value for local businesses from other events so please let us know if you have ideas or which to be put in contact with event organisers. Here are a few dates coming up.

Events run by other organisations:

  • UK Cancer Kids Bikeathon* (Pump Rooms) 14 May
  • Cars at the Spa* (Pump Rooms) Sunday 11 June
  • Leamington Canal Festival* (Canal) 24 and 25 June
  • Leamington Half Marathon* 25 June
  • Pub in the Park* (Victoria Park) 30 June – 2 July
  • Barkers Fun Fair* on Pump Rooms – 6  July …
  • Art in the Park* (Jephson Gardens) 5 & 6 August
  • National Bowls Championships* 10 – 27 August
  • Warwickshire Pride* (Pump Rooms) 19 August
  • National Bowls Championships* 10 – 27 August
  • 60 Hour Shakespeare* (Jephson Gardens) 28 August
  • Eco Fest* Saturday 2 September

4. Parking Machines On-Street (WCC)

It was brought to our attention that the parking machines on some town centre streets are not taking cash payments as they are faulty or broken. We agree that not taking cash payments in machines, is discriminatory, frustrating and worrying to customers, and bad for trade. We responded immediately and carried out an audit of the streets surrounding Park St. We found that 12 of the 16 machines we looked at were broken, and reported it to Warwickshire County Council (WCC) who controls on-street parking and enforcement, on the 27 of April.

At this time, WCC confirmed:

  • Machines now and in future will take cash (however the issue now is many have faults). They also offered to speak to any businesses directly, so please let us know if you have specific feedback on this.
  • They immediately actioned maintenance (battery replacement etc) on broken machines.
  • That they will expedite the process for the procurement of new machines this coming year (however this will take some time, so we need a strategy in the meantime).

This week, with the support of a small group of interested businesses, we followed this up with WCC to better understand timeframes for works, and what can be done to support worried and frustrated customers. We have suggested signage on machines (directing customers to working ones or outlining changes to enforcement in streets where they are all broken) which, to date, is not yet agreed. We continue to work on this and will keep interested businesses updated.

5. BID Renewal Ballot – Businesses Voted ‘Yes’

In early April we announced the proposal to renew BID Leamington until 2028 was supported with 90% of businesses voting in favour by number and 94% by rateable value. The formal declaration can be viewed by clicking here. As set out in our five-year Business Plan, this will ensure the continuation of popular events and promotions such as the Leamington Food and Drink Festival, Love Leam, Christmas lights funding and a host of other year-round activities focused on promoting, supporting and enhancing the town centre.

We are very grateful for the trust and support the business community has shown by voting for a further five years. As many know, the BID team are absolutely committed to championing and supporting our town centre and its businesses and the past five years in particular have seen the importance of working together. We know the business environment is tough and we are determined to embrace opportunities and tackle challenges ahead. More information, including a message from our Chair, can be found here (please click). In the meantime, I wish to thank the BID Board of Directors who offer their time voluntarily and are dedicated to helping make our town the best it can be. We are looking forward to working with all local businesses and local stakeholders to deliver the new business plan and ensure our town centre is a place we are proud of.

6. Looking Forwards – Tackling Challenges & Shaping the Future Together

There is always much to do, and to plan for. In the last few weeks we have had meetings with agents representing major property owners, along with the Chief Executive of Warwick District Council. We are discussing a wide range of issues and opportunities including the treatment of vacant units, attracting new investment, waste management, mobility, policing, markets and town centre development sites and proposals.

In 2020/21 there were changes to planning regulations, including permitted development rights controlling the use of properties. This means that with limited ability to influence uses (e.g. restaurants, cafes, shops, offices etc at ground level), the curation and management of our town centre is dependent on strong relationships with key stakeholders and property owners to share our vision of shaping a vibrant and prosperous town centre that we are all proud of. BID Leamington is a key to monitoring, advocating and informing this.

The renewal of the BID also means we will be reviewing and updating contracted services in the coming months – alongside delivering our programme of marketing, events, lobbying and business representation and support. This includes preparing the tender for Christmas Lights, reviewing our ‘greening’ / hanging basket strategy for the years ahead and developing new areas of work around business support, training, environment and sustainability, and new events that may interest you. Please let us know if you wish to get involved in any of these interesting areas of work.

7. Welcoming New Businesses …   

We are delighted to welcome a number of new businesses to the town centre business community.

Recent openings include:

  • Grace & Vine on Guy Street
  • 44 Café Bar and Bistro on Clarendon Street has been recently opened by the team behind the Windmill Hill Brewing Company. Please click here to read more.
  • Hamlington’s Jewellers have recently opened on Warwick Street. Please click here to read more.
  • Le Keux Vintage on Chandos Street
  • Massarella + Jones Hair on Clarendon Street
  • Raro Tapa on Bath Street
  • Otto Kitchen on Regent Street
  • Pinky Pig Deli & Cafe on Regent Street
  • Little Garden on Regent Street
  • Rustiq on Warwick Street
  • Basseri on Park Street

We also have a number of businesses who will open soon:

  • Tustains Jewellers was founded in 1895, is set to triple in size as they move to Satchwell Court – just outside the entrance to the Royal Priors Shopping Centre. Please click here to read more.
  • The former Café Rouge on Regent Street – has been taken on by Matt Crowther, and will become a Greek Restaurant called Taverna Meraki. Please click here to read more.
  • The former House of Fraser property is progressing, as video game developer Sumo Group has leased the entire first and second floors of the building in the Parade. Please click here to read more.

We very much look forward to supporting all new businesses in the town centre, so please reach out if you would like to arrange a meeting.

8. Business Rates & Lobbying Update

Late last year BID Leamington, alongside other BIDs nationally extensively lobbied the government for additional business support.  Following this, in the November 2022 budget, it was announced that retail, leisure and hospitality businesses will benefit from 75% rates relief for the 2023/24 year (as detailed here). This is an example of our behind-the-scenes lobbying to support members. Some businesses may also have seen a drop in the rateable value of the property in the recent revaluation, which should help further. Check yours by clicking here.

This relief will apply from 1 April  2023 and should have been automatically applied to business rates invoices issued by the Council.

Please see the link here to understand who it applies to and how this is calculated. The multiplier of .0499p is used for all properties with a rateable value up to R.V. £50,999 and then the .0512p is used for anything over and above that threshold. There are some variations of this for specific cases, such as those in receipt of mandatory relief.

Please get in touch if you have any questions about this is anything else, and we are happy to help.

6. BID Support – Please Stay in Touch  

As always, we will be engaging with the wider community via our social media and website platforms, sharing the ‘shop local’ message, collaborating with local organisations and producing various directories and promotional brochures.

Please look out for emails inviting you to get involved, as this is how you can leverage additional value. We love to showcase your businesses and products on our websites and social media platforms. Importantly if your circumstance change please let us know so we can update our websites and let the wider community know. Also, please email us content and ‘tag’ us into your social media posts. Please check your profile on the royal-leamington-spa.co.uk website is up to date and email us any amends.

The Royal Leamington Spa Town Centre Facebook page, Instagramtwitter and www.loveleamington.com is where we showcase what you are now doing. Please also join our Leamington Town Centre Facebook Group if you haven’t already and share your ideas, information, promotions etc. We also post updates on the BID Leamington Facebook Page and information on our refreshed BID website: www.bidleamington.com.

We know that many face challenges and our town centre is changing, however, we are stronger together. We much prefer to speak to you or come and meet, so please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or wish to arrange this🌸.

Very best wishes,

Steph, Alison & Gary

BID Renewal – Businesses Vote ‘Yes’!

BID Renewal – Businesses Vote ‘Yes’!

Businesses in Leamington Spa have voted to support their Business Improvement District (BID) for a fourth term.

This means BID Leamington will continue to help ensure the town centre and its businesses are supported for the next five years after receiving a ‘yes’ vote from businesses.

The news was announced today following a month-long postal ballot of businesses eligible to vote, with 90 per cent voting in favour by number and 94 per cent in favour by combined rateable value.

The result will see the town centre benefit from more than £1.8 million of collective investment between now and 2028 and will ensure the continuation of popular events and promotions such as the Leamington Food and Drink Festival, Love Leam, and Christmas activities.

Businesses first voted to establish the BID in 2008, and to renew it for further five-year terms in 2013 and 2018. Recognised as one of the most creative and innovative small BIDS in the UK, it is funded by retail and leisure businesses and properties within a set boundary and with a rateable value of £15,000 and more, who pay an annual levy for the non-profit making organisation.

Ahead of the latest ballot, BID Leamington published a comprehensive five-year business plan which focuses on promoting, supporting and enhancing the town centre.

It outlines its vision, priorities and strategies to manage and promote the day-time and evening economy as well as continuing the collaborative spirit which was vital during the pandemic. The result means that the BID can now progress with its plan.

Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, said: “The team and I are very grateful for the trust and support the business community has shown by voting for a further five years.

“We are committed to championing and supporting our town centre and its businesses and the past five years in particular have seen the importance of working together.

“Looking forward we are determined to embrace the challenges and opportunities ahead and greatly value the help of the wider community who are visiting and supporting local businesses.

“This continued investment from businesses into our town centre through BID, means that popular events like the Food Festival will go ahead in September, alongside a host of other year-round activities.

“Funding for Christmas lights, streetscape enhancements, local websites, directories and promotions will remain and together we will plan new projects to bring vibrancy and foster our brilliant community.

“Importantly, we will continue to offer all kinds of business support, lobbying, representation and place management including addressing vacant units, whilst welcoming new investment and working towards a sustainable and resilient future.

“I also wish to thank the Board of Directors who offer their time voluntarily and we look forward to working alongside our members and local stakeholders to deliver the new business plan and ensure our town centre is a place we are proud of.”

Gurdip Chatha, Chair of the BID Leamington Board of Directors and managing director of Esqué Beauty, said a further five years will enable the BID team to continue to champion the town’s reputation as a premier shopping, leisure and business destination.

She said: “We are delighted that businesses have voted in favour of the BID being in place for a further five years and it comes hot on the heels of news that Leamington was named the best place to live in the Midlands in the Sunday Times.

“The BID team is dedicated to making our town the best it can be for the whole community.

“This means ensuring our town centre is safe, attractive and welcoming, delivering inclusive events to attract visitors, supporting businesses to be resilient, lobbying for improvements, helping to attract new investment and convening dialogue to shape a sustainable vision for the future.”

The declaration of result can be viewed by clicking here.

Share the Love in Leam!

Share the Love in Leam!

Town centre retailers will be sharing their love for Leamington in a new campaign to encourage residents to shop in their high street.

BID Leamington has launched Love Leam Month throughout February to inspire shoppers to explore the wide range of independent and national stores situated throughout the town centre.

Gary Jones, who works in project support at BID Leamington, has visited 40 shops to learn more about the people behind their business along with why they chose to open their shop in Leamington.

Some of those interviewed will be featured in their own video while others will be showcased on BID Leamington’s social media through individual posts and videos.

One of those to take part was Harvey Broadbent, owner of Positive Outlook, which employs eight members of staff selling sustainable and organic clothing made from bamboo and other natural fibres.

He said: “I’m a former student of Princethorpe College in Warwickshire and Leamington Spa was where I spent a lot of my fondest days growing up, returning as a business owner it has been very apparent the love and support that the people of Leamington show to local and independent retailers, many of whom are now our customers.

“We moved from our pop-up shop in the Royal Priors Shopping Centre to the infamous Parade last November, attracted by the sheer beauty of the street on a sunny day and the appeal of our front window display being viewed by pedestrians and motorists alike 24 hours a day.

“We have found that online we are busiest during the week but the store is bustling at the weekends, we love having a physical store for the opportunities it creates through conversation and the fact that the comfort of our clothing truly has to be felt to be believed.

“We produce clothing with people at heart and the planet in mind, using ethical manufacturers, paying fair living wages, while offering free meals for all our garment manufacturers. This combined with the sustainable materials we choose and high-level workmanship produces comfortable garments that last a lifetime.

“We wanted our store to match the natural and minimal feel of our clothing. We stripped back the plastic vinyl flooring to the original floorboards and sanded them back to their former glory. I designed a modular display system using minimal materials sourced locally from FSC certified growers, creating a place which truly represents our brand and feels like home.

“I think this video campaign perfectly represents why we came to Leamington. The support you get from BID Leamington is genuine and this gives a voice to town centre retailers and an opportunity to promote ourselves to a wider audience.

“It will be interesting to see the feedback it receives as there are so many wonderful and fascinating shops across Leamington just waiting to be discovered. It’s definitely surreal owning a store in the town I once paraded through as a kid and definitely a bit of a dream come true. One would say it’s a ‘natural’ home for Positive Outlook.”

Stephanie Kerr, executive director at BID Leamington, said Love Leam Month was designed to shine a light on all the exciting and varied stores situated in Leamington town centre.

She said: “February is known as the month of love with Valentine’s Day in the middle so we wanted to create a campaign to attract new and old shoppers to reflect how lovely Leamington is whatever the time of year.

“We were delighted so many retailers wanted to be involved in the video project and this gives us a chance to showcase Leamington to as wide an audience as possible.

“We would like to thank everyone for giving up their time to take part and we hope they are as pleased with the final results as we are.”

People are being encouraged to support Love Leam Month by following @LoveLeamington on Twitter and Instagram and Royal Leamington Spa Town Centre on Facebook.

Caption: Gary Jones from BID Leamington (left) with Harvey Broadbent from Positive Outlook

Covent Garden Car Park Update

Covent Garden Car Park Update

We have recently been advised by Warwick District Council (WDC) that the Covent Garden multi-storey car park will be closing from Sunday 12 February 2023. They issued a press release this week. Please note the short-stay surface car park will remain open.

We know that some of you will have feedback, questions and concerns. WDC have created an email for enquiries: CoventGarden@warwickdc.gov.uk. Please copy us in to your emails if you wish as we want to keep abreast of your enquiries and continue to represent the business’ voice on this issue.

We understand WDC will be posting further information about their plans on their website in due course. In the meantime, please click here for their updates.

As businesses who have been trading here for time know, we understand the importance of providing customer and employee friendly access and parking in our town centre, and have relentlessly lobbied for a displacement parking plan to accommodate the closure of this car park, along with the provision of adequate spaces when it is redeveloped. This work is ongoing and will continue.

We have raised some questions about this with WDC and meetings will be forthcoming. Our questions relate to identifying:

  • Practical and affordable alternatives for longer stay visitors and employees (including permit holders)
  • Safe and accessible options for our evening economy staff
  • A plan to accommodate visitors during summertime events and the busy period beyond
  • Engaging with the County Council (who manages on-street parking) to discuss more spaces and business friendly options

We have carried out our own research to offer practical ideas and support, and have reached out to the Royal Priors to understand car park usage there. We also welcome your thoughts.

We understand that the operational part of the multi-storey (270 spaces) represents around 17% of the town’s off-street parking supply and this impacts customers, employees and permit holders. When the car park was fully operational (511 spaces) before the top levels were closed, it represented 26% of the town’s off-street supply and it is one of two 24 hours / long stay car parks in the heart of the town.

As noted in the press release, WDC recently reduced the price of ‘all day’ parking to £3 in ‘south town’ car parks following discussions with BID Leamington which we hope will benefit some. Last year around 100 additional spaces have been added behind the train station. (Note, we are making representations for reduced rates in the north of the town too, along with incentives to attract customers at key trading times – so these conversations continue). We are aware that the south town is some distance from businesses in the north, so are seeking details of the new parking offer at Riverside House also.

In the meantime, please be reassured we will do everything we can to help mitigate the impact of this change – and value your feedback and support. As highlighted in our new BID Business Plan which will be published in February, in the coming year we will navigate a number of town centre developments and proposed changes to mobility and parking including on Parade. BID Leamington are the business voice on the Leamington Transformation Group which will be an important body overseeing these developments and defining a future vision. We will be stronger if we work together.

We have a newsletter with spring and summer opportunities coming out soon and look forward to connecting with those that can make our business meeting on the 8th of February.

Best wishes,

Steph, Alison and Gary

Image Credit: Google Maps

November Budget, Rates, Parking News & Christmas Update

November Budget, Rates, Parking News & Christmas Update

Hi everyone,

Please read on for a quick update on the November 17th budget announcement and the implications for your business, our work to secure improved parking rates, and our ongoing Christmas activities. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries.


1. Budget Summary & Implications for Your Business

On the 17th of November, the new Chancellor announced a series of fiscal measures that will have an impact on high streets, businesses and BIDs. Our partners at The BID Foundation have kindly analysed the Treasury’s 70-page publication and summarised the key points in a PDF – download by clicking here. Below are a few points that stood out to us, particularly as we have been lobbying for additional support for some time. Although we know there is more to do, the commitments provide some much-needed certainty for the year ahead.

  1. There is positive news on business rates with 75% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors – up to £110,000 per business, in 2023/24. Effectively those in these sectors currently receiving the tapered support rate of 66% relief, a legacy of COVID-19 response, will continue to receive support. This means many businesses will continue to save thousands of pounds a year; an unexpected and very welcome announcement.
  2. There will be a revaluation of properties in 2023 – this will happen on 1st April 2023 based on rental market values at 1 April 2021. The expectation is that over 2/3 of properties will not rise in value (the revaluation point was mid-COVID crisis, when a significant impact on the rental market was evidenced in many locations). Our analysis of BID levy-paying businesses is that 85% will see their ratable value (and associated business rates liability) drop. The existing and future rateable value of your property can now be viewed on the VOA website here: https://www.gov.uk/find-business-rates 
  3. For those that will see an increase in business rates, there is more support announced:
    • Multipliers frozen in 2023/24
    • Transitional relief available – a significant package of £13.6bn over 5 years will provide support to those businesses that see their rates burden rise because of the April 1st.
    • Downward caps abolished – another very welcome reform. If properties are rated downwards, there will be no cap on the effective saving that businesses will make.
    • £600 upward cap for SBRR / RR – any business that is effectively uprated out of the Small Business Rates Relief scheme or Rural Relief scheme, will see a £600 upward cap imposed. (Note we have 5 properties coming into the BID in this group).
    • No online sales tax


2. Town Centre Car Parking 

At the beginning of 2022, the cost of parking in Warwick District Council (WDC) car parks rose substantially (to £7.00 all day from £3.50 in Covent Garden and higher elsewhere). Many customers and employees raised concerns with us and others about this and we have continued to discuss this with WDC throughout the year.

With the cost of living crisis biting deep we are pleased to announce some progress which we hope will support local visitors and employees over Christmas and into the year ahead. This is viewed as the ‘start’ of a more responsive relationship where we can consider further improvements and incentives in future. Some of the changes that have been agreed upon include:

  • Free Parking in Warwick District Council (WDC) Off Street Car Parks on Saturday 3rd December for Small Business Saturday.
  • Free Parking in Warwick District Council (WDC) Off Street Car Parks on Sundays in December
  • Free Parking in WDC Riverside House Car Park on Milverton Hill on weekends (Saturday & Sunday): Open from 8am – 7pm  on the 3/4, 10/11, 17/18 December and until 6pm on Saturday 24 December.
  • New Year parking for £3.00 all day in the four WDC South Town Car parks from 8am each day.

You can read more about this by clicking here.

We are grateful for the help of Cllr Liam Bartlett who recently joined the BID Leamington Board for his advocacy on this issue. You can read his comments on the local BBC news website – and further on the Warwickshire World website and Kenilworth News website, where discussions with ourselves are referenced.

Please note, seven-day charges will remain in place throughout December for the on-street parking spaces which are operated by Warwickshire Council County Council (WCC). Our talks with WCC, which include improvements to the payment machines, continue.


2. Green Grant (for SMEs, up to 40%)

Don’t forget Warwickshire County Council has announced a new ‘Green Grant’ scheme. As always, there are various eligibility requirements. In this case, it is for businesses whose operations can be defined at least 50% Business to Consumer and who employ 50 people or less. We see this scheme as potentially beneficial to businesses who may have already been considering investing in this area – and therefore have the funds to hand (as this covers 40% and the business must invest 60%).

Following a free energy audit, the grant may fund up to 40% of the investment businesses wish to make – and are between £1000 and £20,000. The following items are often identified in an energy audit and provide examples of activities that may be eligible for grant assistance, should the carbon saving per tonne per £1,000 invested be achievable:

  • Lighting – LED, controls, sensors
  • Heating – replacement boilers/burners, upgrades – electric to gas, zone control, heat recovery, oil to gas, thermal stores,
  • Compressors
  • Ventilation – fans, distribution
  • Refrigeration
  • Renewable technologies
  • Recycling and waste – compactors, balers and crushers

Please see the website for more details: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/greengrants
We are happy to help with any questions also.


3. Looking Forwards, BID Support – Please Stay in Touch  

Throughout December we continue to showcase your businesses and products on our websites and social media platforms and this will continue into the New Year. Importantly if you are doing late-night shopping or your circumstance change please let us know so we can update our websites and let the wider community know. Also, please email us content and ‘tag’ us in your social media posts.

The Royal Leamington Spa Town Centre Facebook page, Instagramtwitter and www.loveleamington.com is where we showcase what you are now doing.

Please also join our Leamington Town Centre Facebook Group if you haven’t already and share your ideas, information, promotions etc. We also post updates on the BID Leamington Facebook Page and information on our refreshed BID website: www.bidleamington.com. The business tookbox also contains helpful ideas to make the most out of Christmas.

Very best wishes – please take care and stay in touch.

Steph, Alison and Gary


Note: Dates For the Diary:

  • Christmas Scratch Cards: 21st Nov – 16th  December (these go to print next week, so please let us know if you have prizes to offer or instant win offers)
  • Social Media Showcase: 21st Nov – 20th  December (let us know if you wish to feature)
  • Santa’s Post Box – Royal Priors: 3rd – 24th  December
  • Leamington Lantern Parade: Sunday 4th December
  • Christmas Tree Festival: 10th – 18th December (Organised by Whittle Productions)
  • Myton Hospice Santa Dash: 11th December (starts in Victoria Park – organised by Myton Hospice)
  • Santa’s Train – Regent Court: 17th -18th  December