Oundle Business Association

Oundle Business Association

OBA PROJECTS

As well as fostering business relationships and promoting commerce, the Association actively involves itself in projects that promote the town and enhance the community. In this way the Business Association looks to improve the town for the benefit of all including its business members.

Town Marketing – loveOundle Campaign

A project team from OBA teamed up with Oundle Town Council to create a Town Marketing Plan with the aim of promoting Oundle as “a great place to live, visit and do business”. The three workstreams went live on May 1st 2021.

loveOundle Town Video :- With over 40 local businesses filmed, a video that introduces Oundle to visitors was made to showcases the town and many independent retailers. Produced by OBA member Ellie Wickes from Wickes Media, the three and a half minute film can be seen on YouTube as well as the main loveOundle website and social media channels.

loveOundle Social Media :- Aided by a grant from Oundle Town Council the project team have commissioned a professional 12 month social media campaign with three posts a week going out via the loveOundle social channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

loveOundle Town Website :- A replacement for the old Oundle.info website was been developed by OBA member Justin Jeffrey at www.QiMarketing.com and is now live at www.loveOundle.org. It contains an up to date content rich resource for visitors and residents which includes a Business Directory, What’s On and Jobs Board. All new additions also go out on social media for maximum reach.

Blooming Oundle

Blooming Oundle is a voluntary project started in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic to spruce up the town and introduce flowers and planting to new areas.

The project was initiated by the Business Association and local environmental organisation, Transition Oundle. The ethos was to encourage a ‘can do’ attitude in the community… to fix the things we can fix, to take responsibility for improving the public spaces on our doorstep and to connect more people with what is growing around them. The overarching objective was to improve the experience and environment for those who visit, live or work in the town.

Blooming Oundle soon took a life of its own with up to 50 volunteers taking part in the planning and execution of the cleaning and planting. As a result new planters appeared at town entrances and large barrel planters were placed at locations in the town centre, and initiatives were started such as ‘seed swaps’, school partnering, and gardening clubs.

The scheme has been supported with donations and sponsorship from a number of local companies, including Nene Valley Brewery and The Barn Garden Centre, and also with small grant contributions from Oundle Business Association.

If you would like to see the latest activities or get involved please find out more at www.facebook.com/BloomingOundle

Shop Oundle

Duiring the pandemic and various states of lockdown things were tough for local businesses, especially those on the high street and those traditionally relying on face to face trade.

Originally set up as a temporary idea in the run up to Christmas 2020 at what should be the busiest time of year for many traders, Oundle Business Association initiated the Shop Oundle Project to create an online space where businesses in the Oundle area could easily promote their products to local buyers. To get it off the ground a logo was designed and a Facebook Group set up. The initiative soon atttracted over 1,000 users with over 100 businesses registering and posting.

With regular posts and attentive curation by a small project team Shop Oundle made a great impact running well into 2021 until shopping restrictions had fully eased. This was a typical comment…

It has been a very useful service not only to help us connect with shops etc in Oundle but also with small businesses in the area where people make or sell things from home.

Although now ‘retired’, you can still see the Facebook group page if you would like to see what it was all about: www.facebook.com/groups/shopoundle

Visitor Maps

At the beginning of 2020 a specially produced free town visitor map was launched by Oundle Business Association. This was the culmination of a project to promote the town in the absence of a tourist information resource and to provide a welcome reference for any visitors to the town who come to explore or need to find their way.

The aim of the project was to:
1) Help visitors to find landmarks and services
2) Show visitors what Oundle has to offer
3) Encourage visitors to use local shops & attend events
4) Promote Oundle as a busy & vibrant place for return visits

Funded by advertising the initial print run of 2,500 A4 tri-fold maps was distributed along with leaflet holders and made available to association members only (yet another good reason for joining OBA!). The Oundle Visitors Maps can now be found in many of the town centre member businesses.

If you would like to stock the maps or replenish your supply, email [email protected]

 

Bike Racks

In 2019 around 80 new bike parking spaces were installed around Oundle, making it easier to visit the town’s shops, cafés, parks and Fletton House by bike. The initiative was led by Oundle Business Association, with support from local environmental organisation Transition Oundle and Oundle Town Council. Some funding was also secured from the East Northamptonshire Communities Facilities Fund.

The stands weren installed to provide more parking for local shoppers and town users as well as to provide facilities for larger groups of cyclists riding through the beautiful market town every weekend, thus supporting local businesses and maintaining a vibrant high street for our town.

Many look like traditional bike stands (with some also providing shelter) and some are the type of stand more often found at cycling events – where bikes are ‘hung’ by their saddles on the bar and can be secured using a bike lock. The stands are located in the Market Place, outside Fletton House, at Barnwell Country Park, opposite The Greedy Piglet café, in the yard of the Oundle Courthouse, on West Street (outside the Oundle Bazaar and the Queen Victoria Hall) and outside the town’s Co-op and Tesco stores.

Oundle Vintage Festival

In May 2019 Oundle Vintage Festival took place for the first time with the three main streets of Oundle closed off for the day and filled with an antique & vintage market, a mini-railway, steam traction engines, pipe organs, classic cars and motorbikes, classic cycles, vintage farm machinery and a variety of traditional fairground rides, along with a Festival Stage featuring retro bands and vintage dancers, all surrounded by a variety of street food stalls.The night before the main event a Rock ‘n’ Roll dance also took place.

The festival event was conceived by Oundle Business Association who identified a lack of major events for a town of Oundle’s size. The festival was to act as a draw for visitors on the day, but also highlight Oundle as a year round visitor destination. This coincided with an appeal from the Friends of St Peter’s Church who were in desperate need of funds to repair the Town Clock.

A dedicated event organising group was set up that reported into the main OBA committee, with the Association assisting with banking and grants. The 2019 event not only received rave reviews from the estimated 5,000 visitors, but raised just over £10,000 for the Town Clock & Bells Repair Fund. Originally put on as a one-off, the Business Association took the decision to run the festival as a regular event following universally good feedback from festival-goers and many calls to repeat it.

Unfortunately the planed event in 2020 had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. Hopefully the event will return bigger and better than before with future proceeds being directed towards the newly established Love Oundle Fund to be overseen by Oundle Business Association with the aim of providing grants that will improve the fabric of the town for the benefit of residents & visitors. For latest news keep an eye out at: www.oundlevintagefestival.co.uk