Alcester Chamber & The Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Partnership warmly invite you to our fabulous Food Festival


The Alcester & Forest of Arden Food Festival takes place twice yearly and attracts in the region of 10,000 visitors to the town each time! The High St is closed to traffic and the street is lined with a glorious array of traders selling all things utterly delicious! It really is the perfect foodie day out! 

Free Park and Ride shuttle and Free entry! 

Please share with all your family and friends and join us on Saturday 21st October! 

by 3 Oct, 2017 No Comments

Meet Greet and Tweet with Alcester Chamber – Monday 2nd October – The Moathouse


Its that time again! First Monday of the month- Informal networking with Alcester Chamber in the Gun Room at The Moathouse, Kings Coughton. Open to both members and non members from Alcester and the surrounding area. Usually a bit of delicious stonebaked pizza on offer courtesy of The Moathouse. Warm welcome and friendly atmosphere! See you there! 5.30-7pm

by 25 Sep, 2017 No Comments

Chairman presents at the NABMA Conference 2017


I was delighted to be invited to present at the NABMA Conference 2017 this week to talk to over 190 delegates from around the country, about the Alcester Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Partnership and the work we have done over the last 12 months and before towards Future Proofing Alcester Town centre and all the amazing things that have become available to our team since we won the GBHighSt Award in 2015.

The Clip shows the second part of this presentation – Huge thanks to ~ Becci from 5 a Day “Specialist Greengrocer & Fishmonger” who came along to support me and fly the flag for Alcester! Im sure you’ll agree her filming skills are also rather impressive!


by 21 Sep, 2017 No Comments

Digital Skills and Footfall training opportunity for Independent Retail & Hospitality sector businesses in Alcester!


Dear Retailer,

Alcester Chamber of Trade and Commerce has been a member of The Warwickshire Towns Network since the beginning of 2017 and the support we have received since has been incredible.

As many of you are aware they facilitated 3 training courses for 9 pilot towns and villages for retailers earlier this year with Alcester being one of these. The courses were Digital Training Skills, Town centre Partnerships and Improving Customer Footfall. The courses were extremely well received and have shown benefits to the businesses and ultimately the local town and village economies.

As a follow on we are excited to make you aware that they have once again, secured the services of Xav Anderson and Alison Read to deliver the Digital and Footfall training in 4 more locations across the county. These courses are open to Alcester Retail & Hospitality sector businesses and are fully funded. All they are for is a commitment to attending all 6 sessions. Spaces are limited so sign up quickly to ensure you secure your place. 

The last round of Digital Training was attended by: 5 a Day, Escape Lifestyle Boutique, Robinson Tailors, Orangemabel, Linda Rose Lingerie, Camilla Jones Jewellers and Visit Alcester.  The Footfall Training was attended by: Alcester Country Markets, Linda Rose Lingerie and Visit Alcester. I attended both courses and I can absolutely assure you that they were AMAZING! Pop in and see anyone of these businesses and ask them about it! I guarantee they will say the same! 

The 4 locations are: Stratford Upon Avon, Warwick, Nuneaton and Rugby

Details of the Digital Skills training can be found below as the courses start in October 2017. The improving customer footfall training details will follow as those courses will be scheduled for early in 2018.

If you have already taken part in the two courses then we would be delighted if you could spread the word and make your fellow town businesses aware of the wonderful training you undertook.  If you have already undertaken one of the courses then this is the time to register your interest in the other stream of training.

More details can be found below and also on their website

Places can be booked by registering your interest by email to


Digital Skills Training ( October –Nov 2017 ) – Xav Anderson – Clockwork City

Mondays 09:30-13:30 – Venture House, Stratford Upon Avon, CV37 0HR

16th Oct, 30th Oct, 6th Nov, 13th Nov, 20th Nov and 27th Nov 2017

Mondays 16:00-20:00 – Warwick Arms Hotel, Warwick, CV34 4AT

16th Oct, 30th Oct, 6th Nov, 13th Nov, 20th Nov and 27th Nov 2017

Tuesdays 09:30 – 13:30 – Eliot Park innovation Centre, Nuneaton, CV10 7RH

17th Oct, 31st Oct, 7th Nov, 14th Nov, 21st Nov and 28th Nov 2017

Tuesdays 16:00 – 20:00 – Rugby

17th Oct, 31st Oct, 7th Nov, 14th Nov, 21st Nov and 28th Nov 2017

Improving Customer Footfall Training ( Jan-Feb 2018 ) – Alison Read – Decisions by Design – Details to follow

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind Regards,

Sarah Bassett, Chairman 

by 8 Sep, 2017 No Comments

HPF join as Patron Members!


We are delighted to announce that HPF have joined the Chamber as Patron Members for the year 2017/18.

HPF Energy Services is one of the world’s leading suppliers of steel pipe, fittings and flanges. They are the petrochemical division of the Marla Tube Fittings Group of Companies and have a combined turnover in excess of £100 million. They supply the oil, gas, petrochemical and power industries with an unrivalled range of precision components to ensure that their construction projects and operations run seamlessly. They combine their materials management and technical expertise with a commitment to their customers’ success.

By working closely with their customers to gain a greater understanding of their needs, they are able to offer optimum piping solutions – whatever the scale or nature of the project.

The total piping solutions that they can provide include: Fixed price contracts :Blanket call-off orders :Reserved mill capacity :Special production runs (both large and small)


by 5 Sep, 2017 No Comments

Alcester is now firmly on the tourist map!!! Shakespeare’s England Website goes live!


Shakespeare’s England’s new website is an absolute Triumph! Since “Visit Alcester” joined as members in the spring, SE have been hugely supportive via social media and their press releases and now with the launch of their new site, Alcester is firmly on the Tourist map for South Warwickshire! Even just a week since it went live, the Japanese have been spotted snapping away in our beautiful streets!  Fabulous for the local economy!

If you have any lovely photos of your shops or products that might entice tourists into Alcester, share them on Instagram using #ShakespearesEngland and they will automatically be shown on their feed on the SE website! Share the love!

Take a look



by 21 Jul, 2017 No Comments

July saw another superb turnout for our 2nd joint event with Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber at Minerva Mill!


Huge thanks to Minerva Mill who along with CW Chamber and our chair of B2B, Amanda Pillinger, hosted our second affiliated event entitled “How to win Customers”. A broad subject indeed, and expertly covered by Sean Macreavy Media who talked about the benefit of video testimonials, Rebecca Fahy at Jigsaw CCS on the renewed power of direct mail and Rob from Glued who shared his sales pipeline strategy. We were delighted with the turnout and yet again the feedback was incredibly positive with Twitter activity proving exactly that!


by 6 Jul, 2017 No Comments

Alcester Free Town Wifi goes live just in time for Spring Food Festival !!


It was a slightly touch and go! BT had problems with the line and we didn’t think they would be able to sort it in time… but at 9.20pm on Friday19th May less than 12 hours before the start of our Spring Food Festival we went live for the first time!  And my word! It is a mighty clever bit of kit! Yes its exactly what it says on the tin – it provide free open air wifi within the town centre. The High St, Market Place and Bulls Head yard and Waitrose Carpark all benefit. Users can register to use it via social media or via a simple registration form and then they are done – they automatically connect when the come in to town next. Their details are then added to a secure database that allows the Chamber to send out emails, push notifications and invitations to events. We can drill down into age group, interests, gender, location etc and mail out to specific groups or we can send out to all! The best marketing tool the retail, tourism and Hospitality partnership could wish for!

The other marvellous bonus is the geo sense footfall tracking software that is incorporated into the system. It works by picking up & tracking mobile devices – let’s be honest, nearly all of us carry one. It can recognise devices seen before so we are able to see exactly how many new/repeat users are in the Town Centre at any one time, over a period of time or during an event and see the journeys they take.

The visitor numbers for 20th may topped 11,000!! – Food Festival Day! Given the weather was not as fabulous as it could have been the turnout was extraordinary!

by 5 Jun, 2017 No Comments

Alcester Town Council consult with Alcester Chamber on Economic Strategy for Neighbourhood Development Plan


Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. They are able to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided, and grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead. Neighbourhood planning provides a powerful set of tools for local people to ensure that they get the right types of development for their community where the ambition of the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area. Alcester Town Council are in the process of writing the NDP for the Parish. Included within the boundaries are the Town Centre and the Arden Forest Industrial Estate.The Chamber will be working closely with them on Economic Policy over the coming months.

by 1 Jun, 2017 No Comments

Alcester to become smallest town in Warwickshire to have Free Town Centre Wifi!


It has been 18 months in the planning, but the Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Partnership are very excited to announce that Alcester is about to become the smallest Town in Warwickshire to have Free Town centre Wifi. With the capital funding coming from the Warwickshire Towns Network and the phone lines being supported with monies remaining from the Mary Portas Fund, installation is nearly complete. The system by Elephant Wifi is already proving extremely successful in Stratford upon Avon, Rugby and Leamington and WTN plan to roll the wifi out countywide in their bid to future proof the regions High Sts. 

by 10 May, 2017 No Comments

“Visit Alcester” joins Shakespeare’s England


A part of our Retail, Hospitality and Tourism strategy our focus this spring is to drive footfall into Alcester Town Centre. Shakespeare’s England is formally recognised by Visit Britain and Visit England as the official Tourist board for the South Warwickshire region. With Alcester placed little more than 5 minutes from the home of Shakespeare, Stratford Upon Avon, membership should assist us in driving some of their tourists in the direction of our wonderful little market town.

As you can see from the logos – there was method in the madness of our new branding – fits in rather well!


by 10 May, 2017 No Comments

Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber host first affiliated event with Alcester Chamber and its a full house!


The panel event, hosted by C&W Chamber and our B2B Chair Amanda Pillinger was huge success. Over 40 businesses attended a panel event at King Court Hotel, with Alcester Chamber members, Rob Harrison from Glued, Jason Bassett Health & Safety, Sarah Wright HR and Karl from KTAS taking the floor. Each gave a 10 minute presentation followed by a team question and answer session which turned out to be pretty lively. The feedback was overwhelmingly good – Twitter was (almost) trending!  The next affiliated event is set for Monday 3rd July at Minerva Mill.



by 8 May, 2017 No Comments

Retail,Hospitality and Tourism Partnership launches a fresh “brand” for Visit Alcester – EAT SHOP DISCOVER


We are delighted with our new branding and our call to actions which encompass our Retail; Hospitality and Tourism sector. All Partnership members are encouraged like and share our pages and to tag @visitalcester in all their social media activity and in turn we then share their posts with our followers. We have a high engagement rate on all three platforms.

All we want now is a website! We have the domain, we just need the funds to build it! If you would like to sponsor all or part of the build please contact

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Instagram


by 10 Apr, 2017 No Comments

Alcester Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Partnership and Alcester Community Trust attend Warwickshire Towns Conference


Warwickshire County Council was joined this week by the county’s retailers, Town Centre managers, Bid managers, and a selection of the country’s top town centre experts at a conference designed to help boost Warwickshire’s towns.The ‘Warwickshire Together’ conference took place at the Holiday Inn, Kenilworth and focused on a range of initiatives to help invigorate the region’s town centres in the face of increasing competition from the internet and out of town shopping.

A key project launched at the conference was a new collaboration between Warwickshire County Council and a crowdfunding platform – Spacehive. Through the platform, the County Council is providing a new £134,000 capital fund to support civic projects in Warwickshire’s Towns.

Niraj Dattani, Spacehive

We heard about how the crowdfunding platform could be used to encourage town centre communities to generate and fund civic initiatives that they would like to see in their town centres.

Niraj Dattani of Spacehive spoke about how the platform has helped to transform other town centres in the country with projects that have generated footfall in the towns. Initiatives are paid for by contributions from the public, businesses and agencies including local authorities where pledges are made via Spacehive.

He said: “A crowdfunding idea has to have local appeal and be accessible if it is to succeed. It empowers people to make change in their area. It creates the kind of atmosphere that will make a town centre sustainable.”


We also heard from a number of experts including Ojay McDonald, Head of Public Policy for the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM); Xav Anderson of Clockwork City, specialists in helping retailers increase their profits through better online promotion and effective use of social media; Alison Read of Decisions by Design, whose expertise has been used by large multinational firms and small independent retailers to become more successful; and Dr Fiona Ellis-Chadwick, Senior Lecturer in Retail at Loughborough University.

One of the most engaging Guest Speakers was Councillor Johnny Hayes MBE, from York City Council, he inspired us all with the story of Bishopthorpe Road, known as ‘Bishy Road’ with his story behind the transformation of an otherwise unassuming, run down high street. Winner of ‘The Great British High Street 2015’( the same year the Alcester won its #GBHighst RISING STAR) Bishopthorpe Road has now become a hive of popular independent businesses that brings personality and local charm to what is now a destination in its own right.Cllr Hayes said: “What we did with Bishopthorpe Road was market the street as a whole rather than individual businesses. It showed the power of people working together.”

Definitely inspiring!!!! Watch out Alcester we have ideas in the pipeline!

by 21 Mar, 2017 No Comments