The Canterbury Ambassador Programme
The Business Improvement District for Canterbury covers the heart of the city centre and contains the main retail, office and leisure areas. The BID area was defined as a result of detailed consultation with representatives of each of the key business sectors to gain an understanding of the extent and strength of support for inclusion within the area. Canterbury Connected BID is an initiative set up, led and managed by Canterbury businesses and city centre organisations to ensure continued investment in Canterbury City Centre.
Businesses within the Canterbury BID Area voted overwhelmingly in favour for the BID, which will be in place for a minimum of 5 years, back in July 2014. Launched in October 2014 it includes around 650 businesses, the BID is business focussed and it has been the first established in Kent.
We spoke to both Victoria and Northbank BID, and also went to Cambridge to see The Welcome People Ambassador Programme in action. It was extremely useful in helping us to formulate the needs for our Canterbury Ambassador Programme.
Bob Jones, Interim Chief Executive, Canterbury BID
The Ambassador Brief
When developing the BID proposal that went to the ballot in July 2014, the need for an experienced and bespoke visitor welcome become that went beyond supporting the Police Community Support Officer became apparent and need to be addressed.
With visitor welcome and business/member engagement high on the agenda the BID team turned to The Welcome People.
The BIDs priority was to support businesses and provide exceptional visitor welcome. When we looked around The Welcome People kept 'popping up' repeatedly and we decided to reach out to some of the BIDs they are already working with. The feedback was all-round positive and encouraging.
The Canterbury Ambassador Programme in action
After just 6 months of running the Canterbury Ambassador Programme, the team has logged over a 1,000 business visits and welcome over 18,000 visitors in the city centre, providing a friendly and knowledgeable first impression to tourists, business visitors and locals alike.
The regular contact with businesses has been great. Each one of the 3 ambassador has his own business portfolio, allowing them to built strong relationships and rapport with our key members.
On top of positive feedback for the visitor welcome service from visitors and residents alike, the positive effects of the roll-out of the Canterbury Ambassador Programme have also been noticed by the Police Community Support Officers. Between them and other local agencies the Ambassadors have quickly become an integral part to the local community.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_gap][vc_column_text]
Accountability is key
Having access to the STRATA dashboard, the bespoke and mobile street management and reporting software developed by The Welcome People has proven invaluable to the BID.
I look at the dashboard about 3 times per week, to get an update about what the guys are doing and see which issues have been raised by our businesses. It is not only useful internally but also when we talk to partners or other organisations, and we are able show them the value we deliver as part of our remit.
Going the extra mile
The Canterbury Ambassador Programme has gone beyond the call of duty with The Welcome People Ambassadors assisting during many local events and activities such as: Hop Pocket Race, The King's Mile Street Party and the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Charta.
We have already recommended you to our colleagues in Winchester!