We’re proud of our town, and we want everybody to know
Experience Chipping Norton (ECN) entered Chippy in the Market Town category of the 2015 Great British High Street Awards. And an amazing thing happened.
Chipping Norton emerged as category Runner Up in this prestigious national competition, scoring 10/10 for Innovation and winning commendation from the judges for ECN’s “impressive digital platform” and high level of “passion, commitment and success.”
Not only that, but ECN’s Chairman Shaun Fagan has been granted a Special Recognition award for his “outstanding contribution” to the high street.
So, yes, Chippy is special – and so is ECN.
Why? Because ECN is doing something new, different and holistic, aimed at uniting our town’s residents, visitors, businesses, creative talent, tourism, community groups, schools and charities in refreshingly new – and totally digital – ways.
How? ECN uses a comprehensive digital platform to integrate its wealth of people, projects and enterprises, promoting innovative ventures in trade, tourism and the wider community.
For trade, tourism and community are the three pillars of our vibrant, character-filled market town. And we’re working our collective bottoms off to make our High Street virtual; open up our many attractions to a wider audience; and help our charities, community ventures and residents feel engaged, supported and motivated to strive for ever-better things.
There’s plenty to sing about. Heritage, tradition, funky festivals, fantastic food, new forms of art, ancient landscapes, prehistoric monuments, buzzing shops, can-do people and the most beautiful countryside you’d hope to find anywhere.
What happened on 23rd January 2015?
Our unique event in January saw the biggest civic gathering of businesses and dignitaries in Chipping Norton’s recent history. Initiated and managed by ECN, the meeting featured local MP, Prime Minister David Cameron, as special invited guest. A real case of seizing the day.
What is ECN?
Experience Chipping Norton (ECN) began in 2013 as a voluntary, not-for-profit group aimed at uniting the town’s fragmented traders and various groups working in isolation. With no Chamber of Commerce in the town, there was a great need for a forward-thinking strategy to take the town to another level of collaboration.
What is ECN’s digital platform?
ECN rolls out its unique town project through use of interactive website and multiple social media channels, engaging local people, businesses, artists, organisations and charities through use of Facebook, Tweets, Instagram, Vines, Pinterest, video and sharing of all kinds.
We’ve also introduced a guided walking tour through Chippy – just load up the free app (from Handheld Tours) – and Virtual Tours for business and public places, enabling 360 views of locations and structures around the town.
What about ECN’s creative community?
We’re especially keen to encourage our many artists, designers, photographers and writers in their creative pursuits, harnessing their abundant talents to make ECN an ever more vibrant and engaging town project.
Not forgetting our exceedingly clever computer and social media people, always striving to give our digital media channels more depth, appeal and ease of use.
Some artistic ventures are business-based, while others are firmly rooted in the community. ECN helps find business outlets for innovative ideas, while also encouraging creative ChippyBiz to give back to its community, and get involved in community events – just like our 2015 Superdoodle in celebration of our #GBHighSt entry, and our SuperdoodleToo where we painted a GBHighSt mural in the centre of town.
You can check out our Creative Chippy showcase; browse our intriguing gallery of entries in the #LoveChippy photo competition;and explore the talent breaking out on our Town of Nine Festivals web page. Our range of designer ECN merchandise is currently on sale at various shops in town.
A big thank you to ECN photographers Sophie Carson, Cristina Colli, Ric Mellis, David Jefferis, Mark Yates, Kasia Piekut, Liam Bellenie, Ewan Cheung and all Chippy residents who have contributed images. Special thanks to Gary Creese for his video-making expertise.
How is ECN creating something new?
Public Meetings. Held monthly at local businesses, galleries and pubs, they are open to all for social networking and discussion of interesting and significant local issues.
Ambassadors. Our growing band of volunteers contribute their valuable skills, talents and time to promote the wellbeing and prosperity of their town.
Trade. We’ve introduced a wealth of business networking, educational and marketing opportunities, encouraging individual business growth and cross-promotion within the town’s traders and further afield.
Tourism. We’re encouraging visitors through our Handheld Tour app; a website packed with information and attractions; and a bunch of sporting, artistic, trade and community events pushed out through social media. Not forgetting Chipping Norton’s annual literary, fibre, town and jazz festivals, which have become much-loved town events.
Community. Our website hosts Dementia Friends, and we’re working to make Chipping Norton a Dementia Friendly Town. We also host the Rafiki Thabo Foundation which is strongly supported throughout Chippy. We’re always working to bring more charities under the ECN umbrella as well as working with local schools and young people.
We’re always looking for more volunteers and general support, and welcome engagement through our social media channels and public meetings. Can you help us create something new? Contact Us.
Simply go to the membership sign-up page and provide us with your details. A member of the team will be in touch with you shortly.
Easy! Just go to our business directory submission page and complete the submission form.