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Minutes of Design & Marketing Meeting

Tuesday 17th September 2013

Present: Frank Readhead (chair), Daniel Block, Ted Coney, Peter Hillman, Shirley Overall, Terry Overall, Simon Pittock, Ray Tinker

1. Apologies

Caoline Cawley, Sheila Friend-Smith, Liz Sayers.

2. Minutes of the 2nd July meeting

These are to be checked and agreed at a later date.

3. Matters Arising


4. Ely Ace

App is not yet released but will be available to download soon. The October open meeting will be an opportunity to present to the public as a current project. Local businesses will be emailed soon with an update on progress, but email will also include publicity of ECDC December announcements and an appeal for volunteers to assist with the Ely Christmas Lights. Frank Readhead queried whether there was still a risk of Apple delaying proceedings and Simon provided some further details to reassure the group that it should be an easier process this time.

5. Commemorative plaques

Shirley Overall confirmed that planning permission for the plaques has been approved and the task now is to check up-to-date prices for the creation of the plaques and to place the order. Shirley and Terry require reimbursement for the cost of maps that were required in the planning process. Frank confirmed this can be paid soon. In addition to ordering the plaques, details of when, how and by whom the plaques are to be placed in their chosen locations need to be agreed. Ted Coney advised for Shirley to contact Lorraine Brown at ECDC for a list of approved people to complete this job.

There followed some discussion of technical requirements for attaching the plaques. Ted also advised that we need to liaise with Tracey Harding regarding launch dates and accompanying flyers. Shirley proposed that people could be asked at the October open meeting to make suggestions for further commemorative plaques in the future. The plaque at Ely Porta was mentioned as possibly requiring replacement once the current ones have been finished.

6. Ely Court House

Shirley confirmed the City Council plans to move into the building with offices at the north end of the building. Discussions are ongoing regarding access to entrances and the potential to hire out parts of the courthouse and for Ely Museum to use parts of the building. Ted raised a concern on behalf of Fenprobe (a service providing audio versions of local news) who had hoped to use a room in the courthouse. Shirley assured the group that no decisions on spaces within the courthouse had yet been made.

7. The Maltings

Planning documents have been submitted to separate the venue into two parts which will require renovation of the kitchen area in order to create two kitchens. It is unlikely to be open until spring 2014 at the earliest, but it is confirmed that Ta Bouche (a tapas restaurant and bar currently open in Cambridge) are taking the lease with intentions to serve alcohol until late. Peter Hillman confirmed some of these details from a meeting at which the Ta Bouche management were present. As part of a wider discussion of Ely nightlife and establishments with late alcohol licences, Liberty Belle was mentioned as a successful new example which has boosted trade in neighbouring restaurants on Fore Hill.

Regarding the Maltings Cottage, Shirley confirmed that quotes are being sought by the City Council to make the building waterproof, and will then be requesting further ideas for the future use of the cottage.

8. Steeple Row

Frank met with Lorraine Brown recently regarding the design of the bin-store. To accommodate all the bins the bin-store will most likely need to be larger than originally thought. Terry noted that in addition to the bins, a cleaning item had recently been sighted behind Prezzo. The group discussed the logistics of businesses using and maintaining the bin-store.

Simon Pittock suggested the businesses could be encouraged to form a co-operative for refuse collection to collaborate, save money, and minimise impact on Steeple Row. Terry expressed disappointment that there has been little recent progress on the other aspects of the project. There was general agreement although it was acknowledged that without major funding progress will be limited.

9. Retail Occupancy

As well as Liberty Belle mentioned earlier, it was noted that the Prince Albert pub and the Boathouse restaurant are seeing changes of ownership. Ted queried whether there was more that the Perspective could do to help local businesses than regularly noting occupancy changes. ElyAce was mentioned as a major contribution by the Perspective, and Simon confirmed that discussions at the City Centre Forum were covering a number of areas, including new plans by the TIC to promote local shopping, with collaboration from the Cathedral and others.

The leaflet stand at the railway station was mentioned as another area which is being considered for improvement. Simon confirmed that the Perspective have been asked if funds can be provided to improve the stand, although it was discussed that the details would very much depend on available space at the station and with the station renovation being imminent and still very unclear, these details cannot yet be decided upon. Disappointment was expressed by group members that information has not been forthcoming from the station (despite assurances made to Shirley and Terry) regarding the renovation and potential impact on the garden area which was predominantly provided and maintained by Perspective members. Frank expressed concern that the City Council have not been kept informed as a courtesy. Shirley will feed back to the council about this.

Other retail occupancy noted:

•   New women’s clothing shop opening on Market Place

•   Post Office moving into the Premier convenience store

•   Ruiz Gallery had shown as ‘under offer’ but no longer is

•   New health food shop opening in the Borlands shop on the corner of Market Street

10. Any other business

October Open Meeting - 'Get Some Perspective'

Frank read the press release for this event to the group, which has been sent to local newspapers this week and is included at the end of these minutes. There followed discussion of the logistics of staging the event. Members are being requested to provide text and pictures about past projects completed by the Perspective groups. These will be displayed in printed form on display boards at the Cathedral Centre, as well as displayed by projector in digital format. Simon confirmed he has a CD with Steeple Row content. Shirley, Terry and Ray Tinker have content about the commemorative plaques. Peter will check whether he has further display boards for use at the event. Daniel Block is to check details with the Cathedral Centre regarding availability of items for providing refreshments, access to the building to prepare for the event, and other minor queries. Various group members volunteered to provide various leaflets for distribution in the Perspective canvas shopping bags at the event as a gift to people attending. It was proposed that the October Riverside group meeting should be used as an opportunity to meet and finalise details, as well as prepare the bags and any other tasks required. Ray suggested Perspective members will need name badges at the event. A signing book or forms will be required to take contact details from interested visitors. Drinks to be served will be wine and soft drinks. Shirley and Terry volunteered to provide these. Signs will be required to direct visitors from the entrance to the room upstairs. A flyer will be required to provide visitors with important information about the Perspective, including dates of the next meetings and contact details.

Eel Trail

Simon reported back from the City Centre Forum sub-working group regarding missing Eel Trail ‘buttons’. The Perspective have been asked to consider replacing the missing buttons along the trail. Tracey Harding will provide quote details. Frank requested the group be able to see proposed alternative materials, sizes, engraving type to improve the effectiveness of the trail buttons. Terry suggested we replace the missing buttons with an improved design and then progressively replace any further gaps in this format in the future. Rock Foundry Artisan Signs (who are providing the commemorative plaques) were mentioned as a possible company to provide replacement Eel Trail buttons.

Christmas Lights

Simon reported back from the Christmas Lights Committee meeting regarding concerns that the Perspective have almost no direct connection with the switch-on event, despite supporting it financially. Ian Newstead (who is largely responsible for organising the event) is happy to receive renewed input from Perspective members. It was reported that volunteers and funds are needed for putting up the lights and for the switch-on event. Ted wondered whether local traders could be persuaded to contribute more towards the event and reasons were given for this being a difficult task. The current funding shortfall for the switch-on event was a concern for group members and it was felt that local traders need to be encouraged to take part more. Simon mentioned that the Perspective illuminated sign is still in storage and could be resurrected with new lights. Shirley suggested Sarah Jay at the City Council should be contacted to order any new lights required. Simon mentioned the idea of a Christmas Lights competition (in a similar guise to Ely In Bloom) and it was generally felt that local traders could be encouraged to do this, especially as there are a number of features available for illuminated displays. Frank suggested these ideas and appeals for volunteers should be raised at the October open meeting.

Visitor Survey

Simon reported back from the City Centre Forum sub-working group that more information is required about visitors to Ely. It was suggested that Perspective members might volunteer to conduct a survey, with possible sources for the questions suggested as Elie Hughes of Ely Museum, and also questions from previous questionnaires used on the steam trains.

Other items

•   Official documents relating to the Perspective, list of active members and constitution need to be collated by Executive members.

•   Ted distributed a new Ely Cinema programme of events.

•   Ted enquired about progress on the damaged street light on the Market Place. Shirley to enquire for further information.

Date of the next meeting

6.30pm Tuesday 19th November 2013 at St Peter's House, Broad Street, Ely. To be chaired by Frank Readhead.