What we have achieved

The BID was elected into place in 2017, and since then we’ve been busy. We have undergone a logo rebrand to better engage with our audiences, re-implemented a town radio scheme to help spread information and deter anti-social behaviour, and we’ve installed footfall counters that will help us understand how many people visit Dorking and their habits when they visit. We have also collaborated with Friends to Dorking to improve the look of our town by adding hanging baskets and pavement planters. We have also hosted multiple events to promote the town.

We have hosted two hugely successful events in town that attracted thousands of people to the town: the Rob Walker Centenary Festival and the  Christmas Festival and Window Competition judged by Mole Valley’s MP culminating in Small Business Saturday. We also offered social media and first aid training for businesses.

Dorking Goes Digital

We engaged a local communications team to raise the profile of the town via a multi-channel communications campaign, social media training/ambassadors programme, and this website redesign. Together we also made three short films about Dorking:

Shop Local

Adventure Awaits

Escape to Dorking

Our digital strategy is designed to create a seamless experience for our customers, engaging our audience, and raising the profile of our beautiful market town. We are working with our business and community partners to share the heritage, culture and independent spirit of Dorking with the world. In addition to embracing digital channels to share our messages, we are also utilising loyalty-scheme technology via the award-winning LoyalFreeApp.

We have rebranded and launched our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) and can be found at @hellodorking. We were also finalists in the 2019 ATCM place management awards and have also received Special Mention in the 2018 Great British High Street Awards in the Rising Star Digital category, launched a Small Business Saturday Window Competition, and an ESS Rubbish Scheme.

We installed footfall counters (see below) to provide us with accurate details about Dorking footfall. From August to December 2018, we found that our footfall increased every month leading up to our incredibly successful Christmas Festival. Together with our positive coverage in the media (The Telegraph, The Times, Timeout London, The Telegraph with Steve Drake, London Standard), we plan to launch a targeted campaign to attract yet more businesses to invest in and open independent shops Dorking.

Footfall Counters

To help us monitor footfall, we have negotiated a contract with LDC who have installed footfall counters in ten shops/businesses spread across the BID area. This is a fantastic way for us as a town centre to understand how many people visit Dorking and when they come, who are regulars, how customers shop the town (through heat mapping) and it will enable us to benchmark our performance going forward.

If you are interested in having a footfall counter in your window all you need is a power source near the window and a discreet place to put it (it’s about the size of a mobile phone). Please contact charlotte@dorkingtownpartnership.co.uk.

You can view footfall counter results on this website.

Town Radios

Addressing theft and anti-social behaviour in the town centre is an important issue for all. We have therefore re-implemented a town radio scheme, which has been proven to help spread information and act as deterrent. Currently 10 businesses have signed up for the scheme, and we have negotiated great rates for our levy payers with Shopsafe. They will be in town promoting the scheme on the 5th of July. If you would like a free one-month trial radio please email charlotte@dorkingtownpartnership.co.uk ahead of this weekend so the radio can be prepared for you. The team will also be on hand to explain how to get the best out of the scheme.

Hanging Baskets & In Bloom

This year, the Partnership have collaborated with The Friends of Dorking to bring you the Hanging baskets. Further to this, in future we hope to participate in the National in Bloom scheme! In addition to the hanging baskets this year you will notice there are also several pavement planters too and we hope you agree that this is making Dorking look great for the summer!

For more information visit the RHS website.

Artisan Markets

Markets are a proven way of increasing footfall across the whole of the highstreet.

On select Sundays for the remainder of this year, we are hosting a new Dorking Artisan Market to complement our #ShopLocal offering in town. Our markets are part of a larger strategy to drive footfall to the highstreet.  We have launched a comprehensive print and digital strategy to support this effort.

Please feel free to complete the survey below to tell us your thoughts:

Dorking Town Partnership Market survey

Projects in Progress

Beginning in November 2019, our Mayflower celebration will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower. Dorking is home to the only remaining Pilgrim home in the UK. We are working closely with the Mayflower Society and the Alden Kindred of America to drive tourists to Dorking. We have created a promotional video and are collaborating with the Dorking Museum and the University of the Third Age to develop walking tours for visitors to town. Here are some of the year-long activities Dorking has planned for Mayflower 400.

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