Agenda item - Chairs Communications

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Agenda item

Chairs Communications


54.1      The Chair provided the following communications:


“In the last 3 months VisitBrighton has worked with over 545 City partners and generated 300,000 euros worth of press coverage in Germany and over £200,000 worth of coverage in the UK including features in The Times, The Guardian, Liverpool Echo, Reader’s Digest and the Metro.  Online, it ran a ‘Meet the Neighbours’ social media campaign to mitigate Mainline Rail Closures which gained 1.2m impressions via Google ads in one month on a budget of £300.

The Brighton Centre has submitted proposals for 35 conference enquiries which have the potential to generate £16.5m of economic benefit.  As well as this it has confirmed 15 new meetings and events for the City including UNITE Policy Conference (800 delegates), Sussex NHS Partnership Trust Conference (200 delegates), British Association of Urological Surgeons Educational Conference (200 delegates), British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition Conference (250 delegates) and the GMB Conference (750 delegates).  Alongside this it has booked 540 bed nights of accommodation for conference clients generating £5k commission.

Over the Christmas period visitors to Brighton Museum were able to discover the magic of the original illustrations for Raymond Briggs’ much loved classic picture book in which one winter’s night, a snowman comes to life and an unforgettable adventure begins in The Snowman Exhibition.

The exhibition was very popular with 88% of visitors describing their visit as excellent or good. Visitor comments said that it brought back childhood memories and was nostalgic, and they enjoyed sharing it with their children. The exhibition was described as beautiful and magical, with good presentation. The original illustrations/drawings were well received as was the film. People enjoyed the dressing up, drawing activities and The People’s Picture.

Visitors to the Royal Pavilion were able to experience a magical Christmas as the palace was transformed with festive decorations and glittering trees and the banqueting room table was laid with Georgian style desserts. A replica of Queen Victoria’s sleigh set up in the Music Room and visitors were able to create Christmas photos to remember the day and Christmas Craft activities also took places which were both well received by visitors. There was an increase in the number of residents that came to see the festive decorations on previous years.

Father Christmas and his elf returned to Preston Manor on a number of days in December and visitors were not only able to meet Father Christmas but also partake in trails and around the Manor and also dress-up. A pop up café provided light refreshments in the seasonally decorated Victorian kitchens. There were many repeat visits and December figures to the Manor (which are for events or pre booked visits during its closed period) were up by 14% on 2017-18.  

The draft Outdoor Events Strategy is currently out for public consultation. A wide range of stakeholders have been directly contacted and the opportunity promoted for feedback to be provided to the draft Strategy. The intention is for all the comments provided to be reviewed at the end of the consultation period and then the draft Strategy considered by members at the Tourism, Development & Culture Committee in March.

Small Business Saturday UK, in its sixth year, set a new UK record with £812 million spent in small businesses up and down the country on 1 December – smashing the 2017 figure of just under £750 million.

Small Business Saturday was preceded by the 3,000-mile UK-wide bus tour, which visited Brighton on 22 November with small business minister Kelly Tolhurst MP attending to see first-hand the impact local small businesses have on the community here in Brighton.

Ms Tolhurst met with the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Cllr Dee Simson, the council’s lead member for economic development, Cllr Nancy Platts, and representatives from Brilliant Brighton, British Business Bank, Federation of Small Businesses and others.

For small business leaders in attendance, 11 mentoring sessions were held during the bus stop, provided by four local experts, all of whom had a unique understanding of the community and marketplace of Brighton.

Alongside the minister and this abundance of small business champions were 10 local businesses, exhibiting themselves to the public, including Present in the Laine, a boutique gift shop in North Laine and a member of this year’s SmallBiz100 – a cohort of small businesses selected as representing the best in the country; each spotlighted for one day in the 100-day countdown to Small Business Saturday.

Finally, on Sunday 13th January, I attended the free open day at the Royal Pavilion where front line staff dressed in period costume and over 3000 visitors attended”.


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