WHAT THE BID DOES FOR DORKING
The Dorking Town Partnership has been operational since 2017, and while we are governed by Terms of Reference and Articles of Association, our purpose is very straightforward: to support our levy-paying businesses with strategic and tactical initiatives which will drive long-term prosperity across the town.
We do this by listening, understanding, co-operating and taking action.
- Listening to the concerns and ideas that our levy payers put forward, and acting on their feedback on the work that we do. We balance that feedback, working through our board and our sub-committees, to best reflect the needs of the town, and to keep moving forward.
- Understanding the context of doing business today – coronavirus, Brexit, new technology and the evolution of high street retailing are all having an enormous effect on the way we live. These are often national or global trends that we must evolve to meet, so that we can promote changes that will work for Dorking’s businesses, its residents and the town’s many visitors.
- Co-operating enables the BID to get things done. We work closely with Mole Valley District Council, supporting its business-friendly initiatives and keeping the council in touch with the town’s commercial community. We also work with other governmental bodies, BID associations, landlords and national retailers, seeking to ensure that Dorking benefits from broader opportunities and ideas.
- Taking action quickly and decisively is essential. In a fast-changing business environment, we have the flexibility in decision-making to drive changes in a way that will work best for the business community in Dorking.
- Since the Dorking Town Partnership was launched, our core actions have included:
- Outreach: building social media platforms that enable us to promote individual businesses and Dorking/Surrey Hills as a whole to a growing number of followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – as well as the website you’re now reading. This keeps Dorking’s multiple attractions “front of mind” both for residents and for visitors.
- Adding value: the LoyalFree scheme delivers discounts for shoppers across the town, as well as directing customers towards our members’ online shops, and to professional service providers across the town.
- Innovative events: these have included the monthly Artisan Market, which brings new customers into the town and provides opportunities for traders; the very popular annual Christmas Festival; and one-off events like the Rob Walker celebration, when grand prix cards roared down the high street in front of huge crowds.
- Training and development: businesses must change and evolve, and we work with MVDC to provide a programme of training and mentoring for our levy payers, keeping them in touch with business trends and new opportunities.
- Analysis and assessment: all of our actions are carried out with a view to the cost/benefit to our members. In addition, we have instituted sophisticated customer counting in key locations across the town, to help us understand where and when businesses can capitalise on consumer behaviour.
- Planning ahead: it’s essential that we take a decade-long view of options for Dorking’s business community. We’re working with MVDC on the Opportunity Dorking strategy, as well as ensuring that we have a DTP Investment Prospectus for businesses looking to relocate or expand within Dorking.
- Accountability: the DTP board of directors meets monthly to understand and advise on all proposed actions. In addition to members representing every business sector in town, MVDC and residents also have a voice at board meetings. In addition, we have a marketing sub-committee that also meets monthly; a dedicated Facebook page where BID members can raise issues and ask questions; regular feedback emails; and an AGM open to all levy payers.
Finally, a word about Covid-19: at the time of writing, we do not know what form business and community recovery from the coronavirus will take. We do know that recovery will not be immediate, and that many elements of business, residential and social life in Dorking will change, perhaps permanently. We are adjusting our focus and priorities to ensure that we provide the best tools and solutions for our levy payers in this fast-changing situation.
BID Board Meeting Minutes
Dorking BID 2018 Roundup (PDF)
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