Blackburn in the running for Good Retail Award

Blackburn Business Improvement District (BID) is delighted to have been named as a finalist in the ‘Retail District’ category of The Good Retail Awards 2022.

The Good Retail Awards are about celebrating retailers making a positive impact in the industry, and organisers say they have “received many thoroughly impressive submissions” this year.

Blackburn BID, which was established in 2013 to address the challenges faced by businesses in Blackburn town centre, will find out if they have been successful on Sunday 6 February.

Their fellow finalists include Wimborne BID, CuparNow, and Watford BID and the winner will receive industry recognition and a trophy.

Catherine Price, Blackburn BID Manager, submitted the award entry based on the Illuminate Blackburn programme of events held between November 2021 and January 2022. The entry highlighted the positive impact it had on the town centre.

The programme was delivered in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Council, the Mall Blackburn and Blackburn Festival of Light with the help of funding from Arts Council England National Lottery Project grants. 

It consisted of Monster Mayhem – giant inflatable light sculptures; Christmas Lights Switch On including light themed stage shows, TV Choirmaster Gareth Malone, community performers and fireworks display; The Snowman™️ and the Snowdog five week long brick model trail including a 1.8m tall Snowman; and the Blackburn Festival of Light parade and finale show featuring giant light sculptures, community created lanterns and musicians. 

Visitors were encouraged to find all the models and answer questions about them, with the opportunity to win town centre vouchers as a prize.

Footfall increased in Blackburn during the event period, with a rise of 52.9% during the brick model trail compared with the same period in 2020/21, and an increase in footfall of 4.2% compared with the Christmas Lights Switch On event of 2019.  

Feedback from visitors was that they loved taking part in the events, particularly that the trail meant they were able to explore Blackburn town centre and discover new things, and that the events were all free and family friendly. BID member businesses have also reported a positive impact – particularly the brick model hosts – who reported they were busy throughout the trail, they saw new customers, and raised awareness of their business. 

Catherine Blackburn BID manager said: “The aims of the Illuminate Blackburn programme was to shine a light on all the incredible things Blackburn has to offer – from impressive events, to a wide and varied retail and leisure offer.

“Each event attracted visitors into and around the town centre for creative, innovative and unique experiences, and were designed to encourage people to look at Blackburn in a new ‘light’.

The event had a strong marketing campaign across a range of media in the build up to and during the event – including print, radio, digital and advertising. Blackburn BID, with its digital marketing and PR provider Viva PR, also engaged with social media influencers to visit the event with their families and blog about it online.

Catherine added: “The Illuminate Blackburn programme has positioned Blackburn as a family-friendly destination that offers events for every age and interest, encouraging people to visit the town centre and keep coming back.  I’m really pleased that the programme delivered by Blackburn BID has been recognised and the BID has been shortlisted for a Good Retail Award.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed!”

For more visitor news click here, or for BID member news click here.

©2022 Blackburn BID

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