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Minutes of Design & Marketing Meeting

Tuesday 18th February 2014

Present: Peter Hillman (acting chair), Daniel Block, Kevin Evans (minutes), Sheila Friend-Smith (minutes), Simon Pittock, Ray Tinker

1. Apologies

Frank Readhead, Caroline Cawley, Shirley Overall, Terry Overall, Veronica Poultney, Ted Coney, Bridget Hickish and Liz Sayers.

2. Minutes of the 21st January meeting

These were approved.

3. Matters Arising

PH reported that the ECDC sponsored Riverside Group is no longer in existence.

The situation at Cambridge TIC has significantly improved. Ely TIC has funded advertising for Ely and the previously poor situation only existed because old advertisements had just been removed to permit new ones to be exhibited.

4. City Forum

SP reported that two meetings had recently been held, the first with local traders present, at which the participants had been split into working groups to consider various topics and report their conclusions. SP will circulate the preliminary report. The City Centre Forum has considered the conclusions and drawn up a listing of both short term and long term actions, which will be considered along with comments from attendees of the public meeting in due course.

The Ely Perspective is well regarded by the City Council and has been asked to take future action on some of the goals/projects (dependent on the final list of goals chosen). Possible areas we could manage include:
•   Improvement to signage, including signage and banners for temporary events
•   Cleaning of signs (including the removal of cable ties)
•   Improvement of shop fronts (including widow displays)
•   Use and improvement of empty shop fronts
•   Litter control and clearance
•   Advertising the free parking provision in Ely
•   Branding, e.g. A City for all Reasons or a totally new brand.
•   Leafleting tourist trains - e.g. steam trains to Ely (see AOB)

Members agreed that working in a collaborative manner with the City Centre Forum and eliminating overlap was a good way forward for the Perspective as a whole.

The forum's sub group had also met and planned to advertise Ely as a shopping venue for residents within the district. It also plans to maintain a calendar of events that can be distributed to the traders and others to enable them to coordinate activities and support the events.

The possibility of the Perspective resurrecting business development initiatives, including seminars/workshops on social media and online presence in business was also discussed, with a view to potentially working with ECC and ECDC on this.

5. ElyAce

The circulation of information to the shops will be completed this month. There is no longer an IT conflict with the equipment. The public launch will be timed to coincide with Eel Day. DB has been in contact with Bridget Hickish who is still intending to reactivate the magazine Ely Eye. It is hoped that this may also be a vehicle for promoting ElyAce.

6. Commemorative Plaques

The plaques were collected today. PH will discus with TO and SO a suitable date for installation and the style of publicity to be arranged.

7. Magistrates' Court

SO has reported that she has bulbs and pots ready for installation at the front of the Courthouse. She also reported that she is no longer part of the Ely in Bloom committee which is now being run by the City Council.

8. Maltings Cottage and Restaurant

Work to make the cottages weather tight has commenced. The restaurant had hoped to open for 14 February but did not achieve this date.

9. Steeple Row

The bin store is to be erected this week. John Yates has visited the relevant traders to emphasis the need to use the storage area.
The tender documents are now being prepared for the main works.
A previous estimate of £165,000 has not been updated to include minor changes to the plans.
We propose to obtain some of the funds from 106 money.
The existing paving is in need of cleaning. KE will enquire whether the Payback team can undertake the pressure washing.

10. Eel Trail

DB reported figures obtained from Tracy Harding: £190 each for the supply of 100 mm discs, £205 for 150 mm discs and £2,000 for the installation of 30 discs. DB will confirm whether the figures include VAT. It was concluded that we are unlikely to have funds to install 30 discs, but we will assess whether we can install some for Eel Day.

11. Membership

It was considered that the group currently has 14 members, and that there were also three people with an interest - to whom minutes would also be circulated. DB will circulate the list of names. Draft minutes will be circulated to members by e-mail. One week later the minutes will be circulated to those on the second list; at which time they will include any corrections notified by members. This circulation will normally be prior the formal approval of minutes at the following meeting.

12. Any other business

RT supplemented his previous report with confirmation that Stagecoach are planning to modify the existing bus services. RT reported that he had needed to queue for 40 minutes to obtain service at the temporary post office, and that the queue extended outside the building. It was considered that we are being poorly served by the post office; however it was not clear whether there was any course of action open to us.

It was agreed that we should use the next planned steam train to Ely to promote our attractions, however it appeared that there were no such trains planned within the next 6 months. We would also attempt to obtain free tickets to travel on the trains and thus have the opportunity to hand out leaflets to passengers.

SF-S reported that the forthcoming Isle of Ely Festival has had some publicity in the Ely Weekly News. She also reported that an Arts Council grant has been obtained to publish a glossy booklet/programme for the event and intends to have a minimum of 5,000 printed.

We have previously agreed to provide a new leaflet carousel at the station. SP will obtain an update on what plans there are for modifying the station entrance. We have the opportunity to relocate the existing carousel at another venue – ideas welcome!

Ted Coney’s exhibition at the Babylon Gallery commences on 15 March.

Date of the next meeting

6.30pm Tuesday 18th March 2014 at St Peter's House, Broad Street, Ely.