Showcasing local businesses: Wimborne BID

How Wimborne BID is supporting local businesses

Winner of the Good Retail Awards’ Retail District Award, Wimborne BID, has created a series of Christmas films over the past five years, looking to promote the businesses in the local area. Modern Retail had the pleasure of speaking with Tammy Sleet, BID Manager at Wimborne BID about their innovative campaigns.

Meet Wimborne BID

Wimborne Business Improvement District is a business-led initiative to invest money into the local economy of Wimborne Minster. Their exciting Christmas campaigns have worked to highlight the wide range of businesses in the local, encouraging people to shop locally and enjoy everything Wimborne has to offer.

Wimborne BID

How the Christmas campaign began

Their most recent Christmas video marked the fifth year that Wimborne Bid has created. Tammy explained:

“We began working with Gray Creative Agency, who have played a part in the production of the well-known John Lewis adverts. It all began with a conversation and grew from there, with us trying to tell a story and showcase Wimborne every Christmas. During lockdown, we did kindness stories, then last year we had a lad dancing around doing his Christmas shopping to celebrate the re-opening of everything. With the cost of living crisis, we wanted to not batter people with commercialism, and normally we only manage to fit around 8 to 10 businesses in our Christmas advert… so in our most recent one, we tried to fit a lot more businesses in to show the town in its best light – it’s all about loving the town!”

How Wimborne BID is supporting local businesses

The response to the video

Wimborne BID’s most recent Christmas video has shown an impressive number of local businesses within 90 seconds. The video was shared 144 times on Facebook alone, with 290 likes and comments including:

“Great video promoting Wimborne and produced with the kindness of a local business for the benefit of every business in Wimborne.”

“A great little video highlighting our great independent shops …shop local!!! love Wimborne! Well done!”

What goes into creating a Christmas film?

The process of creating a Christmas film is one that takes planning, from the idea stage all the way through to the release date.

“We usually begin working on it in October at the latest. There are a couple of weeks of putting together a storyboard and coming up with a concept, then we typically film over one day and begin the editing process. Usually, we release it on Small Business Saturday, but this year we wanted it to go out the same day as the lights switch on, which was a week earlier than that.”

How Wimborne BID is supporting local businesses

Wimborne BID’s highlights

Tammy explained her highlights of working in Wimborne BID 

“Being a BID Manager for me is the best job in the world and an absolute privilege. Wimborne is such a brilliant place and the highlights are when a plan comes together and people love it.

“We do a sort of festival called Discover Wimborne during April, where businesses put on an event, tour or talk and we pull it together. One year, we had 150 events across 80 businesses and it was so satisfying to have that level of engagement.

“Last year we did our first Christmas market which was fantastic. We started with a one-day street market and built from there, working with the likes of Dorset Food and Drink, Stir Events, and the Dorset Farmers Market, who happened to be there on that day already. We had stall holders coming from all sorts of places, as well as children’s entertainment and the local community radio station. There’s a moment where you just stand there and take in how brilliant it is. The traders that came were selling out of stock and telling us it was their best trading day ever, and when I did a visit around some of the shops, one said it had saved their quiet week. Things like this make it so worthwhile.

How Wimborne BID is supporting local businesses

Winning at The Good Retail Awards

Having won the Retail District Award at The Good Retail Awards, Tammy explained what this achievement means.

“It’s all about the town and I hope it will continue to encourage people to visit Wimborne and shop locally. Particularly with this Christmas advert, we wanted to show so much of the town and the incredible businesses. I’ve had some emails and texts from businesses saying well done, but the opportunity to promote Wimborne to more people through this award is the best thing!“

Catherine Erdly, Founder and Retail Strategy Consultant of the Resilient Retail Club, commented, adding: “What a beautiful film! This is such a simple and lovely idea, and I am sure that the businesses in Wimborne were really pleased to be featured.”

Click here to view the full list of Good Retail Awards 2023 winners.