“We want to sustain and future-proof our existing town centre, whilst developing new markets, uses and businesses for it.”
So says the constitution of the Bishop’s Waltham Town Team. Set up in 2012 in reaction to various threats to the vitality of the high street, the Town Team and its volunteers have been working tirelessly to ensure that footfall remains high, vacant shops are minimised and that the community really connects with this precious resource.
The Town Team comprises representatives from the following organisations:
- Bishop’s Waltham Society
- Bishop’s Waltham Museum Trust
- Bishop’s Waltham in Bloom
- Bishop’s Waltham Chamber of Trade
- Bishop’s Waltham Parish Council
- Winchester City Council
- Hampshire County Council
We are also joined from time to time by members of other local organisations such as Rotary, BW Youth Club and the schools who very kindly input into our action plan.
The following four objectives have been defined based on research conducted by the Town Team itself, the Parish Council and the Association of Market Towns:
1. Formulate a Town Team which is fit for the purpose of achieving all of the below objectives.
2. Retain and enhance the unique character of the small rural market town that is Bishop’s Waltham.
3. Seek out other opportunities which will increase footfall and allow the town centre to flourish (including tourism).
4. Continue in the development of the town centre as a social hub to be used by locals and visitors of all ages.
We don’t want to blow our own trumpets, but we have managed to achieve a great deal for the town in our short existence. These achievements include:
- Coming runner up in the Great British High Street of Year Awards
- The development of a Facebook page to keep people-up-to date with events and shop info
- There creation of new events such as Pumpkins on Parade, the Indie Easter Egg Hunt, “Come Dine with Us” , yarn bombing and “?Murder in Bishop’s Waltham”
- Setting up a QR code trail around Bishop’s Waltham
- Updating the Pocket Guide to Bishop’s Waltham
- Creating and sending out a monthly eNewsletter with useful information on events, promotions and things to do in Bishop’s Waltham
- The production of a large map board for each of the car parks with Pocket Guide dispenser