Reepham Town Team has been in operation since the beginning of 2013. Nearly three years down the line, the Team has agreed to report back to the community on what it has been doing and extend an invitation for any new interested parties to step forward and discuss becoming members.
In essence, the Town Team is an umbrella group of local organisations and community members that want the best for Reepham. It seeks to pursue the economic and social development of the town to ensure Reepham remains a special and vibrant place in the Norfolk countryside.
Led by Ingham Pinnock Associates, a Cambridge-based economic development and regeneration consultancy, the Town Team includes representatives from the Town Council, Broadland District Council, Reepham Chamber of Commerce, Reepham Society, St Mary’s, Reepham Community Press and Reepham High School & College, to name but a few. Town, District and County Councillors regularly attend, as does the local MP when the situation requires.
The idea for a Town Team was floated in late 2012 by Broadland District Council against a backdrop of a fresh focus on the plight of town centres and high streets driven at that time by Mary Portas.
Many other Town Teams across the UK have been and gone since that time – but not Reepham’s. The Team developed an economic strategy based on a range of economic and social research and consultations.
The strategy identified the key issues affecting Reepham and set out projects and initiatives to mitigate these problems; it is these projects that the Town Team continues to deliver.
While it operates without any significant resource, the collective energy, goodwill and entrepreneurialism of its members is enormous and has helped to develop and deliver a huge number of achievements for the town, many of which may go unnoticed.
Achievements to date include:
- reinvigorating and relaunching Christmas in Reepham as the Festival of Light; after two hugely successful years, plans are already in place for 2016;
- identifying the opportunity, pursuing and securing improved mobile phone reception via the Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal programme;
- preparing new branding, signage and marketing material for the town;
- responding to the loss of the Old Brewery House Hotel and threat of a huge gap in the Market Place by marketing the site and supporting the development of the Dial House;
- engaging with HSBC following its announcement to close its branch in Reepham and pushing them to introduce transitional cover, local business banking and a replacement cash machine in the Market Place (watch this space);
- developing and staging a range of social media courses for local businesses, surveying local shoppers and trialling a number of evening opening events;
- working with Broadland District Council to ensure that Reepham is on the map for major cycling events and ensuring local businesses are well placed to benefit;
- holding a successful drop-in event this week where around 40 local businesses discussed funding opportunities for economic development available through the Wensum and Coast Local Action Group.
Whether these achievements are taken on and led by groups that are members of the Town Team or individuals from the community, the Town Team has been the mechanism for people to come together, discuss ideas, raise concerns, co-ordinate action and collectively deliver.
The group meets monthly throughout the year for a few hours in the evening. If you are interested to find out more or would like to get involved please contact Judy Holland 01603 308158 or firstname.lastname@example.org
See our earlier stories:
- Good progress with the Reepham Economic Strategy and Town Team
- New signs point to Reepham town centre
- Reepham Economic Strategy moves forward
- Economic strategy initiatives take shape
- Work begins on economic strategy for Reepham