As much as we LOVE the misguided thought of an Enterprise team at Colchester Borough Council going round patching up the Warp drive with our Council Tax cash, the reality of Team Enterprise at the Town Hall sadly isn’t science fiction.
Enterprise sounds SEXY [sorta] – the CBC Business Unit wouldn’t make Warp speed 1 when it comes to drumming up… business.
Which is what Enterprise is all about. Even a liberal minded hyperlocal blogger [who...?] has to admit that the future of Sunny Colch comes down to hard cash, and preferably keeping it hyperlocal.
But how to find out all about the business opportunities around Britain’s Oldest Recorded?
That will be the quarterly mail out from Enterprise, chest beating and offering up a few business opportunities for those that want to keep the wheels of industry turning around the town.
Um, Warp 9 all the way down to the new bus station [that isn't really a bus station] Comrades.
Let’s start with Christmas.
‘cos you can never go wrong in dressing up a secular religious festival in HARD cash:
“After the success of last year, Colchester’s Christmas Group [woh] in association with 107 Garrison FM, are seeking another young shining star to switch on this years Christmas lights in the High Street.
A competition has been launched to find a lucky winner who will accompany Colchester mayor Christopher Arnold, on the balcony of the Town Hall, for the official lights switch-on at 5.30pm on Saturday 17 November.”
Turn on, tune in, drop out.
But *not* to 107 Garrison FM, obviously.
As for the business angle?
“We want local people to embrace the town this time of year and shop locally and the light switch on is a great way of raising the profile of Christmas and shopping in the town centre.”
Working in collaboration with CBC, St Botolph’s is now set to benefit with an online / offline mix of bringing local traders and the community together.
A slight detour from St Botolph’s and up towards Osborne Street brings us to the new bus station [that isn't really a bus station.]
“The new high-quality [Ha!] bus station for Colchester Town Centre will open on Sunday 18 November, with the existing temporary bus station closing at midnight on Saturday 17 November.
The new facility on Osborne Street and Stanwell Street is part of Essex County Council and Colchester Borough Council’s work to improve bus travel and passenger facilities throughout the town.”
Not so much shoulder to shoulder, but bumper to bumper, Comrades.
“County Councillor Derrick Louis, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways & Transportation said:
I am very pleased that Colchester’s bus station is almost ready to open.”
Um, you sure, Comrade?
And so whilst you’re waiting in the new bus station / bus shelter, you’ll be wanting to play Angry Birds or some other online twaddle to take away all of that bus station frustration.
“Essex is to get over £6 million from government to improve broadband across the county. With additional private and further public sector investment, superfast and much improved broadband will be made available to all households and business premises across the county.”
Online connectivity [URGH] is the key to cuddly capitalism. It’s also the key to something else that is equally cuddly but in a very different late night context. Business and pleasure, etc.
Improved speeds are to be applauded, but we note that the CBC strides to utilise the copper network [blimey] around the town to put in place a hyperlocal WIFI hot spot appeared to have gone a little cold over recent months.
Any clarification, Comrades?
Most certainly not stalling is the Sunny Colch Nigh Time Economy [URGH] – it’s all about the booze:
“Colchester Borough Council is working with local organisations and businesses to support, improve and promote the town’s growing nighttime economy. As part of this process the town will be working towards the nationally recognised Purple Flag1 accreditation. This is a new accreditation and standard which recognises great hospitality and entertainment areas at night.”
You can’t roll back progress, especially so when it involves pint glasses. In praise of the Standard Award and it’s not all about getting smashed; it’s about getting smashed responsibly.
So that makes it all right then.
Back to the daytime and back to backing independent traders here in the town.
“Local retail businesses and stakeholders met to discuss the development of a project to help support them. The project’s working name is ‘The Walls‘ and the aim is to develop a retail experience along businesses sitting on and near Colchester’s Roman Walls, similar to the ‘Lanes-style’ development in Norwich and Brighton.
This project sets out to support and develop independent retailers along an agreed route, from Balkerne Gate, along Sir Issac’s Walk, Eld Lane, Short Wyre Street, down to Priory Street, in order to help offset the competition from internet shopping and support against the impact of the recession.”
It’s a bit of an eye squint of a route to try and conceptualise. Walking from Jumbo down to St Botolph’s in an Independent Traders Wonderland requires a scented hankie to be place over your nose as you pass some of the corporate chains.
But the concept of signposting the hyperlocal is rather ACE – assuming that The Walls isn’t just the erection [Oooh] of more… sign posts.
“Cllr. Anne Turrell, Leader of the Council and host of the event said:
By developing and strengthening partnerships between independent traders, the vitality and diversity of the retail offering in the town centre will continue to grow, alongside the new developments at Vineyard Gate, St Botolph’s Quarter and the expansion of Williams & Griffin.”
Hang on – how the chuffers is a hyperlocal economy walking route expected to bypass the Council endorsed Mega retails patches of Vineyard Gate and W & G?
One step up, two steps back.
But at least you will be able to pay for your car parking online ahead of a walking tour to help promote sustainable retail:
“Easy cashless parking payment is now available for Colchester residents and visitors in Colchester Borough Council’s car parks thanks to the launch of the MiPermit service.
From 30 July customers parking in the Council’s ‘pay and display’ car parks will benefit from a new secure, cashless, paperless parking system via phone or secure online site.”
Just give us yer bloody money.
And finally from Team Enterprise:
“Businesses that invest in research and development can find out more about obtaining significant tax relief at a free workshop hosted by the University of Essex.”
We warned you that not all fiscal matters are SEXY.