Blackburn Business Improvement District (BID) is delighted to have been named as a finalist in the ‘Retail District’ category of The Good Retail Awards 2020.
The Good Retail Awards are about celebrating retailers making a positive impact in the industry, and organisers say they have received a vast number of high-quality entries 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 Tuesday 4 February.
Their fellow finalists include Perth City Centre, Once Upon A Time in Birmingham, Greenwich Market and Lincoln BID. The winner will be crowned at Spring Fair at the NEC in Birmingham and will receive industry recognition and a trophy.
Catherine Price, Blackburn BID Manager, submitted the award entry based on the world-exclusive PAW Patrol brick model trail event held in the summer of 2019, highlighting the positive impact it had on the town centre during the 10-day event.
The trail encouraged families to visit the town centre, rebranded as ‘Brickburn’. A variety of businesses hosted one of the 15 PAW Patrol characters made out of bricks, forming a trail across town centre venues including the retail parks. Six kitten figures also formed a self-contained trail in Blackburn Market.
Other town centre businesses who weren’t hosting a model also got involved by providing ‘fringe’ events to compliment the trail.
Visitors were encouraged to find all the models and answer questions about them, with the opportunity to win town centre vouchers as a prize.
Over 17,500 leaflets were given out across the town centre – the equivalent of 20% of Blackburn’s population – and an average of 1,000 families a day
were engaged with the trail. There was an increase in footfall of 20% week-on-week, and +7.8% compared with the previous month.
The events provided an opportunity for Catherine Price, Blackburn BID manager, who has only been in post since April 2019, to create links between the businesses, and support and promote BID members.
Catherine said: “The aims of the PAW Patrol Brick Trail were to deliver a fun, enjoyable and safe family-focused event; attract a new audience into the town centre; change outdated perceptions of the town centre and its businesses; and increase footfall and dwell time of visitors.”
The event had a strong marketing campaign across a range of media in the run up to the event, and the BID with its digital marketing and PR provider Viva PR engaged social media influencers to visit the event with their families and blog about it online.
Catherine added: “The Paw Patrol Brick Trail hit didn’t just hit our targets, it exceeded them. It also 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.”
It has been so successful that the Brickburn brick model trail will be replicated again this year with more investment and a new theme.