What a year it’s been!
2015 began and ended with a bang in Chipping Norton.
Starting in January with Prime Minister David Cameron’s guest appearance at our major civic meeting, it ended with ECN declared Market Town runner-up in the prestigious Great British High Street Awards.
And in-between? All sorts of amazing things happened:
- New businesses opening in town: Chipping Norton welcomed Tickittyshake, TY Cycles, Bliss Interiors and the new Coop Supermarket.
- New Chipping Norton App: The launch of the Hand Held Chipping Norton Walking Tour appfor Smartphones, enabling visitors to explore 30 landmarks along a mile-long historic walk in our town.
- Comprehensive new website content: ECN became Chippy’s premier website for local business, residents, community groups and visitors with new sections supporting the town’s traders and promoting major events like never before.
- Enhanced social media and digital technologies: ECN now hosts permanent pages for Dementia Friends and Rafiki Thabo Foundation as part of our ongoing support for local community groups and charities. The social media launch of #ChippyHour and the#LoveChippy competition attracted widespread engagement from business and budding photographers.
- First steps towards a virtual high street: Several prominent Chippy shops and public buildings can now be explored online, offering a realistic 360-degree view.
- A new unofficial mascot: ECN adopted Osca the pickled pointer as our unofficial mascot in recognition of his notoriety in Chippy’s drinking establishments.
David Cameron’s call to arms
On 23 January David Cameron headlined a civic gathering, which was initiated and managed by ECN to kick-start business activity in the town.
Hailed by Mr Cameron as the biggest turnout of local businesses he had ever seen in his home town, he issued local traders with a resounding call to arms.
“We all know Chipping Norton has far more potential. If everyone helped, this could be the start of something really big.” – David Cameron.
The rest of 2015 showed we’re already well on the way!
Finalist and runner-up in #GBHighSt competition
ECN was delighted to be shortlisted in the Market Town category of the Great British High Street Awards in early October.
ECN embarked on a high-energy town, community and digital campaign in a bid to win the Market Town crown from the other two finalists – Colne (Lancashire) and Helmsley (Yorkshire).
Pipped at the final post by Helmsley, we were proud category runner-up scoring 10/10 for Innovation and winning the public poll, with a final tally of more than 16,000 votes .
“Chipping Norton’s dynamic team have put in place an impressive digital platform”, the GB judges said in their summing-up, taking particular note of ECN’s “passion, commitment and success”.
“The GB High Street campaign demonstrated Chipping Norton can match it with the best Britain has to offer. We won’t give up trying to make it even better in 2016.” – ECN chairman Shaun Fagan.
We really do #LoveChippy
Having launched our #LoveChippy photo competition earlier in the year, we were amazed at the quality of images posted on our social media pages.
You sent us some beauties of Chipping Norton’s wonderful countryside, people, shops, food, walks, animals and festivals, and carried off some tempting prizes from local traders.
#LoveChippy is taking a breather at the moment, but watch out for a relaunch some time in 2016.
Look what we have lined up for 2016!
2016 is shaping up to be another defining year for Experience Chipping Norton.
We are looking to build on our #GBHighSt success, and reach new levels of business engagement, community involvement and digital innovation. Want to know what’s in store?
Website Revamp: Stand by for a whole new website with great visual appeal and business mini-profiles for Chipping Norton traders. Reserve your spot now. Contact us for details.
ECN Relaunch: Chippy businesses can’t afford to miss out on a number of exciting new projects we are planning. Help us to help you by joining our team of volunteers. Become a member now to have your say.
Bigger and better merchandising: In 2015, ECN linked arms with local traders to market a new range of designer merchandise promoting Chippy. We’ll be expanding the range in 2016 and call on more local business outlets to join us.
Full launch of Chipping Norton Dragon’s Den: A national ‘first’ involving young entrepreneurs bidding for the services and expertise of local professionals rather than their cash.
2016 #GBHighSt Awards: With the benefit of renewed vigour, judges’ guidance, knowing the areas which need improvement, and a bunch of fresh ideas, we’re confident we can go one step better in the 2016 contest.
#LoveChippy will be back: After a recent rest, we’ll be re-launching the photo comp that attracted hundreds of entries that have made a major contribution to Chippy’s visual archive. It will be back.
Stay tuned to this website and our social media channels to track our progress throughout the year.
A huge shout-out to all members of our ECN team along with the dedicated traders, publicans and businesses who hosted our meetings, promoted our cause and fought the good fight in 2015.
And thanks to all Chippy residents who have followed our fortunes and contributed their energy, enthusiasm and creativity to our social media pages, events, causes and meetings.
Have a Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year. Join us for the ride in 2016!