Community Interest Company

Just before Christmas 2015, the Wrexham Business Group Community Interest Company finally gained official status from Companies House.

There are currently four directors: Ruth Rees, Nigel Lewis, Laura Evison and Matt McHale. We are now looking at ways for the CIC to develop, useful projects it can take on, and funding sources we can tap into.

The CIC will be working closely with WCBC and the Town Centre Forum steering group. Do feel free to get in touch with any of the directors with your comments or suggestions, we would really like to hear them!

Next meeting

We will hold our next Business Group meeting at Saith Seren, Chester Street at 6pm on Wednesday 13th January. Any business owner or manager in Wrexham County Borough is welcome to attend, whether a current member or not.

An agenda will be published nearer the time, please contact Ruth, Nigel or Matt if you have any suggestions for subjects to include.

It’s been a mixed year for business in Wrexham, with lots of good news and success stories, but some bad developments too. The Business Group is making a real difference and we hope to move on to bigger and better things in 2016. You can get involved as little or as much as you like, any level of support is helpful. So do please come along!

Meeting Thursday 17th September 6pm

 

We are arranging a meeting of the Business Group for Thursday 17th September at 6pm, upstairs at Saith Seren in Chester Street.

This will be an Extraordinary General Meeting, so please do attend if you can.

Agenda items will include the proposed election of Nigel Lewis as a full Committee Member, the Community Interest Company,  Street Festival plans, and also developments if any re the Arts Hub project and Parking (surprise surprise!) If you have suggestions for anything else you would like to discuss, let me know and I will include…

If possible I am trying to arrange a short Social Media Workshop also after the formal proceedings. I know many of us have Facebook pages, and I for one struggle to make the most of mine! And as for Twitter etc, enough said! But we do have some real experts in our midst so hopefully they will be able to share their knowledge on this vital subject. Don’t miss it!

 

 

Virtual Wrexham, shop local online!

The Virtual Wrexham initiative provides convenient and effective “buy local” scheme, via an online high street, showcasing Wrexham based businesses that sell online. This should help keep money within the Wrexham economy, good news for all of us!

 

As the Internet is such a competitive marketplace, it’s not always easy for people to discover the fantastic range of gifts and products which are made or sold in Wrexham. Virtual Wrexham intends to break down these barriers and restrictions, allowing people to effortlessly identify local businesses selling online and purchase products from the comfort of their own home, at a time convenient to them.

 

Businesses who join receive a shop listing on the Virtual Wrexham website, and benefit from a collaborative marketing campaign, which aims to raise each business’s profile to thousands of people living both in and outside of the Wrexham area, and help increase online sales.

 

Those who have signed up are already reaping the benefits, Ruth Rees of Martin Rees Jewellers comments: “Google Analytics show that we are getting a modest but significant number of hits via Virtual Wrexham already, and we expect that to keep improving as the site gets better known over the next few months. Considering the very modest cost, we’re satisfied that it’s a worthwhile way to promote our online store, alongside Google Adwords, Facebook and so on.”

 

For more information please follow the link below:

www.virtual-wrexham.co.ukVirtual Wrexham

Community Interest Company

We aim to take the work of revitalising Wrexham’s town centre to a new, exciting level. The next Street Festivals, clean up days, and other initiatives will be bigger and better than ever!  Up to now, all these things have been done by a relatively small, informal group of volunteers. All of us are members of the Wrexham Business Group and the Town Centre Forum.

We now realise that to really move things forward effectively, we need a new, more formally constituted body which can apply for funding from various sources.  It will have other advantages too; it will protect us from personal liability in the case, say, of some kind of accident happening during one of our events, and it should carry more weight when interacting with local and national government.

We’ve been investigating setting up a Community Interest Company for some months now. These CICs are a relatively new idea; they are real limited liability companies, registered with Companies House, but they are run for the benefit of the community rather than to make a profit, and their directors are normally unpaid.  Quite a few towns now have a CIC involved in some way; one nearby example is Church Stretton, and there’s also Chalk CIC in Oswestry.

At first we thought that we could use the Town Centre Forum Steering Group as the basis for our CIC. But many who sit on that are either Council officers or Councillors, and none of them are able to serve on a CIC. So we have come up with the idea of using the name of the existing Wrexham Business Group, which is already central to so many town centre activities.  We are sorting out all the necessary paperwork – we are very grateful to John Gallanders of AVOW for his invaluable help with this. The new CIC will likely sit alongside the existing Business Group rather than replacing it, and its first directors will be Ruth, Laura and Matt from the Business Group committee. (Nigel was originally intending to be a director as well, but changed his mind and never became one.)

Any questions or comments, do feel free to email, or you can start a discussion on our Facebook Group if you prefer. And of course you can come along to the next Business Group meeting, which is on Thursday 17th September at 6 pm at Saith Seren, Chester Street.

Next Street Festivals – bigger and better

Saturdays 26th September, 31st October and 5th December 2015 –
Something amazing is about to happen.
Following the success and lessons learned from the trial street festivals on Regent and Hope Street, a bigger, better and improved event will take place on the above days.
The event which was trialled on Hope Street and Regent Street from the old Burtons up to the Horse and Jockey will now cover a much larger area and will include a more varied offering.
Key changes will be:-
The event will be extended all the way up Hope Street as far as Waterstones.
We will also be taking the festival down Bank Street, Henblas Street and up part of Chester Street.
All markets will be linked and form a key part of the festivals.
There will be more varied stalls and a greater offering/ choice.
A free children’s play area – similar to the Wrexham Playday, but on a smaller scale.
A bigger and better fair ground in more streets.
There will be specific zones – including street food, an artisan food market, and street entertainment areas. Choirs, music and live artists.
Arts and Culture zone including events at Un Deg Un, street painting and more.
Street dancers, buskers competition.
Queens Square will host the sports and fitness zone.
The Halloween event will extend into the early evening and feature Halloween Themed Stalls, Shops, a Zombie walk and huge Halloween Party.
More things to be announced soon.
Please put the dates in your diary and come along to a great experience right in the heart of the town. If you would like to participate or have any ideas please get in touch.

Revitalising Wrexham’s town centre

We aim to take the work of revitalising Wrexham’s town centre to a new, exciting level. The next Street Festivals, clean up days, and other initiatives will be bigger and better than ever!  Up to now, all these things have been done by a relatively small, informal group of volunteers. All of us are members of the Wrexham Business Group and the Town Centre Forum.

We now realise that to really move things forward effectively, we need a new, more formally constituted body which can apply for funding from various sources.  It will have other advantages too;  it will protect members from personal liability in the case, say, of some kind of accident happening during one of our events, and it should carry more weight when interacting with local and national government.

We’ve been investigating setting up a Community Interest Company for some months now. These CICs are a relatively new idea; they are real limited liability companies, registered with Companies House, but they are run for the benefit of the community rather than to make a profit, and their directors are normally unpaid.  Quite a few towns now have a CIC involved in some way; one nearby example is Church Stretton, and there’s also Chalk CIC in Oswestry.

At first we thought that we could use the Town Centre Forum Steering Group as the basis for our CIC. But many who sit on that are either Council officers or Councillors, and none of them are able to serve on a CIC. So we have come up with the idea of using the existing Wrexham Business Group, which is already central to so many town centre activities.  We’re currently sorting out all the necessary paperwork – we are very grateful to John Gallanders of AVOW for his invaluable help with this. Also we are making sure that all of our members are happy for us to go ahead with the idea.  Members, Please do get in touch with Ruth or Matt if you have any questions or feedback on this or any other issue!

If all goes well we may be able to have the new CIC up and running before the next Street Festival on Saturday September 26th.  That’s going to be a fantastic day, everyone is coming up with so many ideas for making it more special than ever, and hopefully beneficial to businesses in a larger area of town, including the indoor markets.  Don’t miss it!

Wrexham Makes a Splash With Wales’ First Street Waterslide

After months of planning and hype yesterday a street in Wrexham Town Centre was temporarily turned into a giant, blue waterslide.

For one day only Yorke Street in Wrexham Town Centre was transformed into a giant waterslide – attracting hundreds of enthusiastic participants to the event.

The 260ft Waterslide, which was held in aid of Nightingale House Hospice was the first of its kind to take place in Wales – with over 500 people taking part in the event. It is hoped that the event will have raised over £5,000 for the hospice.

First to take on the slide was local campaigner Andrew Atkinson – who was shortly followed by a team of people in onesies, dinosaur fancy dress and even Mario and Luigi took part!

The event itself saw two slides which spanned from outside the Wynnstay on Yorke Street and down to just outside Wrexham.com’s HQ – The Foundry. Members of the crowd were given inflatable balls to throw on the slide when participants came sliding down – which some took as a chance to throw things at their loved ones faces.

Participants were given lilos, rubber rings and the like at the start of the event – before pushing themselves down the slide and being soaked with water! While the slide seemed to be enjoyed by many, there have been a few comments online since saying a slightly slipperier surface may have prevented people from getting stuck in the middle!

Along with the waterslide the High Street also played host to a number of activities including fairground rides, a bouncy castle, trampolines, hook-a-duck and much more! Local business Moneypenny were also on hand to inform people about their upcoming recruitment process.

A few local businesses took advantage of the waterslide and increase in footfall and opened on the Sunday – with Chatwins having a fair few people inside when we walked past.

Speaking about the success of the Waterslide, Nightingale House have since posted online: “Well who knew you could attract 500 people (plus their 2500 spectators) to Wrexham town centre on a Sunday to throw them down a 260ft urban man made waterslide. I think it is safe to say that Yorke Street has never seen anything like it before!

“Thank you so much to everyone for taking part – you all seemed to have fun and the fancy dress outfits were fantastic!! We really want to thank Ben Shepherd from Capital FM who compered the event and his street stars who were taking pictures and entertaining everyone (check out their twitter!).

“To Dee Valley Water for playing the crucial role of supplying the hoses and water and to all our sponsors who made it possible including Amberon Traffic Management, Eagles Meadow, Moneypenny, Avox and 9 Bar.” Wrexham Waterslide 8 Pictured below are some of the Waterslide pics sent to us throughout the day!