Monthly Archives: March 2012

Market Rasen Portas Pilot Bid goes LIVE!

Small Town with BIG Ideas – is Market Rasen Mary’s perfect Portas Pilot?

The Market Rasen Business Improvement Group (MR BIG) has now completed the final edit of our video, and uploaded it to our You Tube Channel overnight, ready to meet 30th March deadline.


As hundreds of towns across the country vie for Mary’s attention with their short video submissions and written bids, could it be that Market Rasen, with its 5000 population, is in fact the smallest town in the running to be one of 12 towns picked as a Portas Pilot to win a share of £1 million funding?

Six of the best from MR BIG: (left to right) Richard Hallsworth, Ken Bridger, Robbie Parry, Sarah Lamballe, Sara Scott, Darren Lince. Photo by Push Creativity (Market Rasen)

Market Rasen is a small town with BIG ideas. Led by newly formed Market Rasen Business Improvement Group, affectionately known as MR BIG, (some of whom are pictured here in our Georgian Market Square), with the backing of over 40 local businesses, the Town Council, Neighbourhood Plan and local media.

In a very short space of time we’ve notched up two meetings with over 40 traders attending each, launched an impressive Facebook page, engaging Twitter account, stunning Instagram stream, online town guide and this business focused blog.

We’ve shot three hours of video footage, edited 220 clips, countless stills and distilled hundreds of brainstormed ideas down into a pithy 20 page Action Plan that focuses on four BIG ideas for the town – all practical, sustainable and replicable across any rural market town in the country.

So what makes Market Rasen special? The area is unique. Its people are friendly, warm and interested with a true sense of community. This is a delightful place to live and work surrounded by walks, woods, the Lincolnshire Wolds, with its own racecourse, golf courses, cycling routes and is very popular with motorcyclists.

Children from Market Rasen C of E Primary and Middle Rasen Primary give the Portas bid a thumbs up! Photo by Push Creativity (Market Rasen)

Market Rasen boasts its own railway station, which could be bringing punters in from the county capital, Lincoln and Cleethorpes from the coast for a day out, but for some reason, people have fallen out of love with Market Rasen.

MR BIG hopes that our video and written submission will be enough to bring that BIG vision for our pocket-sized market town to life, and that Mary and the Government will help the town realise its potential.

Don’t mess with MR BIG. We’re going to make it happen.

Get Involved:

COME TO THE NEXT MEETING of our business group on Monday 2nd April at 7pm, Holy Rood Schoolroom, Market Rasen.

REGISTER now if you’re a Market Rasen business and be part of MR BIG. Just click this link to our online form.

STAY INFORMED, get all our latest posts on email, follow this link to Subscribe to Market Rasen BIG by Email, it’s free and easy to cancel if you change your mind.

SHARE THIS POST as much as you can on Facebook, Twitter or by email, using the handy buttons at the top and bottom of the page.

Click these clinks to FIND AND CONNECT with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Or go to the Visit Market Rasen website to learn more about the town.

HAVE YOUR SAY – leave a comment at the bottom of this post to add your views or questions.

Market Rasen’s Portas Pilot creates a media buzz

Sara Scott of MR BIG interviews Mayor Ken Bridger

Interviewer turned Interviewee! Sara Scott (shown here grilling Mayor Ken Bridger with Ashley Taylor of Push Creativity for Market Rasen's Portas Pilot bid) interviewed on The Breakfast Show, BBC Radio Lincolnshire 26th March 2012

MR BIG co-founder Sara Scott, appeared on BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s The Breakfast Show yesterday talk to Rod Whiting about the reinvigoration of markets and the hard work that has gone into the Market Rasen’s Portas Pilot bid, with just days to go to the final submission deadline of 30th March.

Sara, owner of Brand Thing, told Rod how The Portas Pilot had been the impetus for the newly formed MR BIG’s action plan, looking at Mary’s 28 Recommendations to create our own blue print, not just for reinvigorating our market but our high street as a whole.

She explained how the market had really dwindled away to 1,2 or 3 stalls and yet it could be so much more. She went on to explain how Market Rasen’s main street had become a bit run down and was in need of a tidy up and a little TLC.

BBC Breakfast Show host Rod Whiting was quick to point out what a lovely little town Market Rasen is, enjoying a great place in the county, on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, Willingham Woods, Market Rasen Racecourse, it has Market Rasen Golf Course and its own railway station. As Rod pointed out “There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be a thriving town.”

Sara agreed and revealed how business owners and traders had only come together as recently as the beginning of this year. Together they decided to work on the bid, worked ideas into the bid application and created a video, showing our potential to reinvigorate the market and develop a long term sustainable future for independent traders.

BIG thanks to Rod Whiting and the BBC Lincolnshire team for giving us the opportunity to appear on the show. Thanks also for wishing us luck! According to yesterday’s article in the Guardian, which mentions Market Rasen, over 300 towns are clamouring to become a Portas Pilot, so we face stiff competition.

As Sara said, all fingers are firmly crossed in Market Rasen in the hope of catching Mary’s eye! But we’d also like to wish the very best of luck to all Lincolnshire’s Portas Pilot bids.

You can listen again to Sara’s interview here for the next 6 days (fast forward to 1:37:00) to hear the piece http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p00pm9cc

Rod Whiting Breakfast Show BBC Radio Lincolnshire

The next MR BIG meeting is 2nd April 2012, when we start the hard work in earnest.

Get Involved:

REGISTER now if you’re a Market Rasen business and be part of MR BIG. Just click this link to our online form.

STAY INFORMED, get all our latest posts on email, follow this link to Subscribe to Market Rasen BIG by Email, it’s free and easy to cancel if you change your mind.

SHARE THIS POST as much as you can on Facebook, Twitter or by email, using the handy buttons at the top and bottom of the page.

Click these clinks to FIND AND CONNECT with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Or go to the Visit Market Rasen website to learn more about the town.

HAVE YOUR SAY – leave a comment at the bottom of this post to add your views or questions.

Market Rasen’s Portas Pilot Update

The Market Rasen Mail covers our Portas Pilot work!

Brilliant coverage in The Market Rasen Mail this week for the Portas Pilot bid, led by the business community with the support of the Town Council and the Rasen Neighbourhood Plan. Thank you to Market Rasen’s local paper for bringing our story to a wider audience once again.

To read the full story, do go out and buy a copy in the high street to support our local press!

It all started with 140 letters, hand delivered to local businesses in the cold depths of January. Image from our Instagram gallery showing the River Rase at sunrise and our much loved ducks

We’ve come such a long way in so few weeks. From sending well over 140 letters to local businesses by hand in the freezing cold of January (to see who was interested in starting a business improvement group), to filming over four days for our Portas Pilot supporting video in the welcome sunshine of March.

On the way we’ve held two meetings (open to all businesses in the Market Rasen area), to find out what they think about the town and its future. During those meetings we’ve brainstormed and bounced ideas off each other to turn those hopes into a plan. We now have at least 45 actions to tick off, a group of nearly 50 businesses, a great presence in the local press and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and of course our Market Rasen Town Guide website and this Mr Big Blog.

And the decision to go for Portas Pilot was only made on our meeting on March 12th, following a BBC radio interview with Mayor Ken Bridger and Look North’s own Peter Levy. We also carried out a Facebook Poll were 96% of responders were in favour of a bid.

Our award winning train station lovingly maintained by The Market Rasen Station Adoption Group, a big asset to this special little town. We hope the high street can be transformed with the same energy and commitment!

This has meant a huge effort by a core MR BIG team to produce the best proposal we can, to honour all we’ve heard from the community so far, and meet the bid criteria – all by the end of the month. Crucially we feel we’ve got four cracking ideas – innovative and replicable in other towns – to entice Mary Queen of Shops into Market Rasen’s Queen Street.

Thanks also to the rallying cries of support from Market Rasen residents, past and present, via the wonderful Market Rasen Memories Facebook Group which is well worth joining for glimpses of our town in its heyday.

We’d like to thank everyone for their help and support and hope you’ll get behind Market Rasen’s Portas Pilot bid.

MR BIG’s Sarah and Sara will be at the Rasen Neighbourhood Plan Open Meeting from 10 am – 12 noon, on Saturday March 24th at the Salvation Army Hall, John Street, Market Rasen. They seek to meet any other business who would like to get to work on the Action Plan in early April, as soon as the Portas Pilot is finalised at the end of next week.

All to be revealed with our Portas Pilot video upload on March 30th.

Keep your eyes peeled on YouTube.

What Next?

REGISTER now if you’re a Market Rasen business and be part of MR BIG. Just click this link to our online form.

STAY INFORMED, get all our latest posts on email, follow this link to Subscribe to Market Rasen BIG by Email, it’s free and easy to cancel if you change your mind.

SHARE THIS POST as much as you can on Facebook, Twitter or by email, using the handy buttons at the top and bottom of the page.

Click these clinks to FIND AND CONNECT with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Or go to the Visit Market Rasen website to learn more about the town.

HAVE YOUR SAY – leave a comment at the bottom of this post to add your views or questions.

Market Rasen’s Portas Pilot Bid – Behind the Scenes with our Video

Here’s a gallery of ‘behind the scenes’ images from our two days of filming for Market Rasen’s Portas Pilot bid. Thanks to everyone who took part and to our creative team who still have lots of work to do.

We’ll let you know when the finished video is ready to view on YouTube.

Click any image to see a full size version. On each enlargement you can click the caption (bottom right & left) to flick through as a slideshow.

What Next?

REGISTER now if you’re a Market Rasen business and be part of MR BIG. Just click this link to our online form

STAY INFORMED, get all our latest posts on email, follow this link to Subscribe to Market Rasen BIG by Email, It’s free and easy to cancel if you change your mind.

SHARE THIS POST as much as you can on Facebook, Twitter or by email, using the handy buttons at the top and bottom of the page.

Click these clinks to FIND AND CONNECT with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Or go to the Visit Market Rasen website to learn more about the town.

HAVE YOUR SAY – leave a comment at the bottom of this post to add your views or questions.

MR BIG starts work on the #PortasPilot bid for Market Rasen

Ashley Taylor Filming in Queen Street for The Queen of Shops, Mary Portas. Can Market Rasen be a #PortasPilot?

Filming started today at Queen Street in Market Rasen following a quick meeting on Monday night of Market Rasen Business Improvement Group.

Having taken a decision on 5th of March to submit a bid,  MR BIG is focusing its attention this month on delivering a submission for the Government-backed Portas Pilot Scheme.

12 High Streets from around the country will be chosen and awarded up to £100K each, to help fund improvement and regeneration initiatives that re-invigorate local retail. Each entry must include a video that has to be uploaded to YouTube by the 30th of March.

Market Rasen Portas Pilot shoots stills at Rasen Farm Shop

Ash taking stills for publicity work at The Rasen Farm Shop

Planning for Market Rasen’s #PortasPilot video entry began late last week, with a script under development and filming started at 9.15am this morning and will continue throughout the day and tomorrow morning,  thanks to the co-operation of a core project team, made up of local businesses, with the video creation falling to Angela Montague and Ashley Taylor at Push Creativity and Sara Scott at Brand Thing.

Richard Hallsworth, founder member of MR BIG and Partner at Nicholson’s Chartered Accountants comments, “We’ve got a lot to do, in a very short space of time, but the opportunity was simply too good to miss.  The project is really focusing the efforts of the Business Improvement Group and ensuring we commit to firm actions.”

Market Rasen - A Potential Gold Mine?

Market Rasen - A Potential Gold Mine?

It has been suggested that over 300 submissions are expected for the Portas Pilot, so the group anticipates stiff competition and remains pragmatic about chances of winning, as Richard confirms, “We’d love the positive publicity and financial support to help realise our ambitions for the town.  But we’re all agreed that the exercise is valuable in its own right – as it will see us lay down a blueprint for positive transformation in Market Rasen.”

 

What Next?

REGISTER now if you’re a Market Rasen business and be part of MR BIG. Just click this link to our online form

STAY INFORMED, get all our latest posts on email, follow this link to Subscribe to Market Rasen BIG by Email, It’s free and easy to cancel if you change your mind.

SHARE THIS POST as much as you can on Facebook, Twitter or by email, using the handy buttons at the top and bottom of the page.

Click these clinks to FIND AND CONNECT with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Or go to the Visit Market Rasen website to learn more about the town.

HAVE YOUR SAY – leave a comment at the bottom of this post to add your views or questions.

Next BIG Meeting Monday April 2nd

All registered businesses are invited (you can now register on this blog)

MR BIG’s next meeting will be on Monday 2nd April at 7pm, Holy Rood Schoolroom. All registered business owners will be invited.

Not registered? You can now register online, just click this link to our online form

Full details: Holy Rood Schoolroom, King Street, Market Rasen, LN8 3BB. Ample parking to the rear. Tea & coffee will be provided. Please bring any leaflets and business cards to swap. This will be our third meeting since the start of the group.

What Next?

STAY INFORMED, get all our latest posts on email, follow this link to Subscribe to Market Rasen BIG by Email, It’s free and easy to cancel if you change your mind.

SHARE THIS POST as much as you can on Facebook, Twitter or by email, using the handy buttons at the top and bottom of the page.

Click these clinks to FIND AND CONNECT with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Or go to the Visit Market Rasen website to learn more about the town.

HAVE YOUR SAY – leave a comment at the bottom of this post to add your views or questions.

MR BIG gets bigger at 2nd Meeting of Market Rasen Businesses

40 local businesses attended our second meeting

The Market Rasen Business Improvement Group – affectionately known as MR BIG by its supporters – is growing in numbers, thanks to the backing of local business people.

The second public meeting organised by the group was extremely well attended with around 40 traders and business owners coming together for a productive two-hour session on Monday 5th March at Holy Rood Schoolroom, Market Rasen.

The group got its sleeves rolled up. Building on the success of broad-brush brainstorming activities at last month’s inaugural meeting, this month the focus was firmly on improving the appearance of the town, with a view to making it more appealing to local and regional shoppers.

Sarah summarises the views of her table

Three groups tackled issues of Events, Shops and General Standards. Within only an hour of brainstorming, the group created an action plan covering 20 topics with around 45 individual ideas put forward.

Crucially the plan also named names – people at the meeting who were willing to take an idea and make it happen, and many thanks to everyone who has done this. But we need more, of course.

All of the ideas generated have been collected together to create an action plan now shared by email with attendees at this meeting and those who attended the first MR BIG meeting in February.

The Group will be working in co-operation with local traders as well as other established groups and bigger businesses in the Market Rasen area, to ensure that actions are carried through to achieve visible improvements as quickly as possible.

MR BIG’s next meeting will be on Monday 2nd April at 7pm, Holy Rood Schoolroom. All registered business owners will be invited. If you’re a Market Rasen business and you want to be involved, click this link to complete our online registration form now.

What now?

STAY INFORMED, get all our latest posts on email, follow this link to Subscribe to Market Rasen BIG by Email, It’s free and easy to cancel if you change your mind.

20 topics of discussion generated 45+ ideas, already converted into an action plan

SHARE THIS POST as much as you can on Facebook, Twitter or by email, using the handy buttons at the top and bottom of the page.

Click these clinks to FIND AND CONNECT with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Or go to the Visit Market Rasen website to learn more about the town.

HAVE YOUR SAY – leave a comment at the bottom of this post to add your views or questions.

Last call for Market Rasen Business Owners – 5th March 2012

2nd Open Meeting for Business Owners / Manager is 7pm, Monday 5th March, Holy Rood Schoolroom opposite the Red Lion on King Street (ample free parking to the rear of the Schoolroom).

ANY business in the Market Rasen area is very welcome to attend.

This is the last call for new involvement as we’re going for actions and quick wins NOT meetings. So please spread the word…

Thanks to those who’ve volunteered for working groups – Monday will be about reporting on what’s happened since our last meeting and deciding on ‘what’, ‘who’ and ‘when’ actions need to be taken on ‘improving the look of the town’ – which was everyone’s clear priority from the brainstorming – so please come prepared with ideas and offers to actually ‘do’ something.

After Monday, we’ll be strictly action based at local level, working through all the priorities, while developing medium and long term plans to improve Market Rasen behind the scenes.

We will keep in touch as a business community ‘virtually’ via this blog so please sign up for alerts and pop back regularly to share posts as widely as possible and introduce new colleagues.

What now?

STAY INFORMED, get all our latest posts on email, follow this link to Subscribe to Market Rasen BIG by Email, It’s free and easy to cancel if you change your mind.

SHARE THIS POST as much as you can on Facebook, Twitter or by email, using the handy buttons at the top and bottom of the page.

Click these clinks to FIND AND CONNECT with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Or go to the Visit Market Rasen website to learn more about the town.

HAVE YOUR SAY – leave a comment at the bottom of this post to add your views or questions.