A major new ‘Love Nailsea’ campaign is being launched to develop the profile of Nailsea in North Somerset for visitors, residents, shoppers and businesses.
The landlord of the Crown Glass Shopping Centre, Nailsea Town Council and Nailsea Chamber of Commerce have come together to develop a programme of events and activities.
The first one started today (Tuesday February 11) with the launch of a two-week Love Nailsea programme set around Valentine’s Day. Trees throughout the Crown Glass pedestrian areas have been yarn-bombed – a crowd-activity ‘craze’ which began in America and has become popular in recent times.
The trees are being decorated with woollen ‘knitted graffiti’ decorations and shoppers and local residents are being invited to add their own Love Nailsea message. Knitted and textile hearts have been distributed to all participating shops. In exchange for a donation to the Crown Glass chosen charity, Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, shoppers will receive one of the hearts plus a waterproof label to enable them to write a message for a loved one and then ‘yarn bomb’ any appropriate location in Nailsea.
Other activities will follow during the two weeks, with information in shop windows, and on the centre’s website.
Charlotte Jarrett, manager of Crown Glass Shopping Centre, said: “We want everyone in Nailsea and the surrounding areas to get behind the town’s Love Nailsea campaign, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to start it.
“Nailsea has a lot to celebrate and shout about, and we hope everyone will join in – and have fun.”
Nailsea’s retail scene has survived the recession better than many similar local and regional towns with void rates currently 10%, compared with the national average of around 14%. The town attracted attention last year with its innovative £50,000 Win a Shop competition, in which a local entrepreneur was given the chance to win a retail unit in the shopping centre free of rent and rates for a year, plus free mentoring support.
More than 30 local people submitted their ideas and the judges were so impressed with the entries they decided to give away two shops, free for a year. One of the winners, Emily Rickard who opened the Ewe-Knit 20 shop, has been heavily involved in the yarn bombing event.
Cllr Clare Hunt, chair of Nailsea Town Council, said: “There is a real feeling of momentum in Nailsea now, and the Love Nailsea campaign is a great way to drive this forward.
“Together, we are working on a number of proposals to make Nailsea a better place to live, visit, shop and work.”
Other Love Nailsea initiatives will follow through the year.
Specialist shopping centre investment and asset manager Ellandi acquired the Crown Glass Shopping Centre in 2009 in partnership with Development Securities plc. The company specialises in transforming shopping centres into buoyant venues at the heart of their local communities.