Town Team Hungerford is essentially people – individuals who live or work in Hungerford and care about its future whose agreed objective is “Promote Hungerford as a destination for tourism, retail and as a great place to live and work.” We want there to be participation from as many people as possible, so if you have an interest in the improvement and regeneration of Hungerford and would like to be involved, please get in touch.
Early in 2011, an organisation – Hungerford Marketing Group – was formed by the chairman of Hungerford Chamber of Commerce with a view to bringing together the key stakeholders in the town to create dialogue and act as a working party to develop ideas and projects to take forward. At the same time as this a number of individuals joined together to apply for funding as a ‘Portas Pilot’. This was a government initiative to support the regeneration of Britain’s high streets, in response to “The Portas Review” – you can download a copy of that review here: www.maryportas.com The supporting video for the application is here.
There was stiff competition, with over 400 towns applying, and Hungerford was not selected to be a Portas Pilot. All the people involved in the bid though, were keen to continue the initiative regardless. Although Hungerford wasn’t selected as a Portas Pilot we have since been accepted into the Town Team Partner scheme, which gives us access to a wealth of information and support from the Association of Town Centre Managers, plus a grant of £10,000 to get us started.
Following this, Town Team Hungerford was registered as a company limited by guarantee and has representatives on the board and members from Hungerford Chamber of Commerce, Hungerford Town Council, The Town Plan Group, The Town & Manor of Hungerford, our District Councillors along with a number of enthusiastic individuals, and with Richard Benyon MP as patron.
Town Team Hungerford has been meeting regularly since February 2013 and has been sifting through dozens of ideas for projects that could help achieve our objectives, deciding on priorities and setting up project teams. The first major project completed was to contract a specialist consultant from Action for Market Towns to undertake a Benchmarking Exercise.
AMT-I, the commercial division of Action for Market Towns, has extensive experience in both project managing and delivering research, evaluation, community development, regeneration and training schedules. One of the main projects delivered by AMT-I is the Town Benchmarking System. Town Benchmarking, established in 2006, provides a comprehensive portrait of the commercial life of towns and involves gathering and analysing data on Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) within a designated town centre area. Each of the 12 KPI’s has been specifically selected by Town Centre Managers and Research Professionals to ensure that the data collected and collated has the maximum relevance and impact. This is then compared to other towns and a blueprint report is published.
The benchmarking report was delivered in September and has been publicised to all interested parties & key stakeholders.
The report is available here Town Benchmarking Report
A number of key projects are underway with teams working on the regeneration of the existing Town Website www.hungerford.co.uk, – the website has been up and running for a few months now and is already proving a hit with local business, Hungerford residents and visitors coming to the town. Production of map pads and marketing leaflets were completed in July this year – both of which have proved to be a huge success and a reprint is now underway with two more leaflets in the pipeline for publication by the end of November. Many more projects are in the pipeline such as a scheme for pop-up shops, a number of events, production of retail goods and publicity throughout the south of England to which end we have had enormous support from the team at North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
There’s no shortage of ideas, what we do need is people and most importantly funding, so if you want to help make Hungerford a better place to live, work and visit, get involved.