BID Butterflies – Supporting Business & Community

Delivered by BID Leamington

In July 2020, as a result of the Covid Pandemic the Parade in Leamington was closed to traffic to create additional space for social distancing. This presented an opportunity to install some street dressing and engage both the business community and the wider community in dialogue around the idea. As always, our approach was to embrace creativity whilst acknowledging the vulnerability that exists in the town’s communities.

BID Leamington surveyed the businesses community on their views and from 75 responses found there was greater support (70%) for the closure from businesses on Parade compared to the side streets, were less than 30% felt the measures were helping them.

Alongside this, Leamington introduced Leamington Butterflies who took on a similar ambassadorial role as our Christmas Angels. With a 2m wingspan and a creative touch, the butterflies personified the approach to reopen Leamington in a safe, kind, and welcoming way. They were visible in town every weekend until the end of August 2020 with a remit to help people feel safe, watch and manage social distancing and assist people where possible.

The butterflies also helped to monitor and understand changing community sentiment and signpost support to reinforce the role of the town centre as a community hub – and carried out customer surveys on the road closure (253 responses), which we compiled alongside business feedback and shared with Warwickshire County Council.

Our butterflies were also featured in a Local Government Association Case Study.