Town Centres used to be a retail hub where people came to shop but the massive growth in online sales means the 21st Century High Street is changing. There are now over 150 places to eat and drink in Worthing Town Centre and over 90 places offering health and beauty services. While there are sometimes negative comments posted on social media questioning the need for so many hairdressers or coffee shops this clearly demonstrates the changing habits of Town Centre users. Entrepreneurs would not risk their own money if they didn’t expect to have a thriving profitable business; its customer demand that is driving the change on the High Street. If the public want to see more retail on the High Street, then they need to come back to Town Centres to shop.
While Town Centres can still be vibrant places to go sometimes providing an added reason to visit will boost footfall. Events are a great way of encouraging a trip to town and these are now a key part of Town Centre life. Events can be contentious though, get the right event and it not only attracts people into the Town Centre, but they also spend in Town Centre businesses, get it wrong and shoppers shun the year-round businesses for temporary pop up stalls. In a recent survey, with the business community, 75% would like to see more events but only 25% supported more markets. This offers a challenge as events can be costly and it’s the market stalls and traders at an event that help cover event costs.
Worthing is a Business Improvement District (BID) and some of the income generated from business contributions is invested into events in and around the Town Centre. Events such as the Urban Beach and the Food Festival promote Worthing while enhancing the Town Centre experience. The best events showcase Worthing businesses to a wider audience and assist them in generating a new regular customer base.
The BID funds have also helped other key events in the Town Centre including the Fireworks on November 5th. This event is organised by the Lions but by funding the Fireworks it ensures the other costs for Road Closures, security etc. can be covered and the display can continue to have the WOW factor.
In 2018 the first Independents Day was held, and this highlighted Worthing’s Independent shopping offer by showcasing them in the heart of the Town Centre. Shoppers were stunned at the variety and uniqueness of what was available on their doorstep. Independents Day will be held again in 2019 on 14th July and we expect even more businesses to take part.
To help raise awareness of what is on offer in the Town Centre a new Town Centre Guide is currently being designed. This guide will show what a diverse and exciting offer Worthing has and will be available around the town and handed out at the major events. Did you know Worthing has 115 independent retail businesses and 137 independent food businesses?
2019 is set to be jam-packed with activity – keep an eye on www.discoverworthing.com and www.worthingtowncentre.co.uk for upcoming events. With the prospect of the Worthing Observation Wheel and even more events planned there will be lots of reasons to visit Worthing Town Centre.
We hope you support as many of the events as you can and that you really enjoy them. However, please take time to visit the Town Centre businesses during your visit – they would love to see you.
On 27th March Worthing planners approved the Worthing Observation wheel for 9 months of the year for the next 3 years. The Worthing Town Centre Initiative support this new addition to the town and hope it will attract visitors into Worthing. The wheel will be the biggest one there has been along the South Coast and so will be quite a spectacle on the promenade opposite Montague Place.
The Worthing Food & Drink Festival will be held over the weekend of 14th / 15th September. We are now fully booked for traders and about a quarter of these are Town Centre businesses.
The event is free to attend and is a celebration of Worthing Food & Drink. Make sure the dates are in the diary as this is an event not to be missed with stalls, entertainment, cookery demonstrations and competitions.
Please Click Here to read the November Newsletter
This months edition includes information on:-
Town Centre Website
Town Centre Regeneration
On 23rd October 2018, at the Worthing Town Centre Initiative AGM, Michael Clinch from the Chatsworth Hotel was elected the new Chairman of the organisation. Michael takes over from Chris Spratt who retired after 25 years steering the TCI.
Michael knows Worthing extremely well working from a young age in the family business; he also served as a councillor and the chairman of the Worthing Hospitality Association. The committee are delighted to have a safe pair of hands looking after the Town Centre Initiative, so we can continue to champion the Town and its businesses.
Things are heating up in Worthing over the weekend of 18th and 19th August when the Fire and Ice Festival will be held in Montague Place. As part of this fabulous event we will be holding our Chilli eating competition on both days of the event. If you think you can stand the heat then sign up now to take part. The winner each day will walk away with £100 so it pays to like it hot !!
For the entry form and more information please Click Here