In November 2012 Broadland District Council commissioned Ingham Pinnock Associates to work with local stakeholders, business and community groups to prepare an economic strategy for the town. The rationale behind the strategy was to identify projects that could support and enhance the economy of Reepham and its hinterland and ensure that Reepham can continue to thrive in changing economic times.
To guide the development of the strategy, a Town Team (steering group) was set up comprising local stakeholders including:
- Reepham Chamber of Commerce
- St Mary’s Church
- Realistic Reepham
- The Reepham Society
- The Salle Estate
- Reepham Green Team
- Reepham High School and College
- Reepham Town Council
- The Bircham Centre
- Broadland District Council
The Town Team has met on a regular basis throughout 2013 to help guide and produce the Reepham Economic Strategy.
There were a number of stages involved with the development of strategy as follows:
- Baseline research: Socio-economic analysis, property market analysis, a review of key sectors, policies and the physical environment
- Consultation: Including a public consultation event at the start of 2013 and a number of meetings with key individuals and businesses
- Key issues: Identification of three key issues affecting the economy of Reepham:
- Consumer leakage
- Constrained business base
- Poor recognition and perception
- Project development: Development of 23 projects, all designed to address the issues identified
- Reporting and implementation: Compilation of the Reepham Economic Strategy and the implementation of various recommendations.
The strategy was finalised in the autumn of 2012 and consists of 23 projects all of which are designed to help the economy of Reepham. The projects vary in complexity, timescale and cost. Most of the projects are modest to ensure that they can be delivered by the various stakeholder groups with limited funds and resource. Projects range from providing social media training for businesses through to developing ways to support the retail economy. The strategy will be reviewed by Broadland District Council in the New Year and subsequently published for the public to review.
The Town Team has already made exceptional progress with delivering a number of projects in the strategy and indeed a number of additional projects that span-out of the work:
- Securing a new owner for the Brewery House
- Holding late night shopping evenings in November and December 2013 to encourage more local residents to support and reconnect with their local shops and businesses
- Free social media courses for local businesses. Two events have already been held and more are likely to be held in the New Year
- The ‘Like Reepham’ social media campaign
- The development of new branding for the town that new businesses and local organisations can use for free if they wish to do so. This includes the development of a number of marketing slogans such as ‘share the secret’
- New signs directing visitors and residents in to the town centre from key locations along Marriott’s Way
- Extensive research and promoting Reepham for improved mobile and broadband connectivity
- Development of the Reepham Volunteers resource designed to make it easier for people to volunteer and for groups to recruit support.
The Town Team will continue to progress projects in the New Year and is always happy for new representatives from groups in Reepham to join the it. The Town Team actively welcomes new members as Reepham will benefit from the involvement of anyone who is willing to contribute time and ideas to the Team’s work. If you would like to know more about joining the team or about the strategy please do not hesitate to contact either Ross Ingham or Kate Pinnock (ross@inghampinnock/kate@inghampinnock or 07827 240 059/0797 436 3991).