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In celebration of The Great Big Green Week (8 - 16 June), we are excited to share our Sustainable Trail in Dorking, offering you the chance to win a shop local voucher.

Nearly 40 local businesses have joined in, showcasing their efforts towards sustainability and promoting their initiatives.

Sustainability Trail

Here are some examples of how our businesses are leading in sustainable practices:

To learn more about Big Green Week, please visit our Big Green Week blog or Circular Dorking.

The Dorking Business Improvement District (BID) is seeking an experienced leader to fill the role of BID Manager. 

As the Manager, you will be responsible for overseeing the operations of the BID. You will be supported by an established communications, marketing and tech team with a proven track record in Dorking.

The ideal candidate will be a natural leader, possess excellent communication skills, and have a passion for fostering economic growth and vitality within Dorking.

Apply by 14 June 2024

Job description

Job title:

Dorking BID Manager

Salary:

Commensurate upon experience; £45-£55,000 per annum. A contract with a service company will be considered.

Hours:

Full Time – based on 37 Hours per week (some additional hours may be required to support events at weekends and Bank Holidays). Flexible hours considered.

Job type:

Permanent subject to successful ballots to extend the Dorking BID every 5 years. Notice period is three months. Current BID term to November 2027.

Employee benefits:

Full time employed with pension scheme, 20 days annual leave in addition to statutory Public Holidays, statutory sickness pay.

How to apply

Submit your resume, cover letter, and any additional materials relevant to your application to Kathy Kyle a kathy at dorkingtownpartnership.co.uk. A fuller job description is available on request.

In your cover letter, please highlight your relevant experience and why you are passionate about leading the Business Improvement District in our community. We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

We thank all applicants for their interest in this position. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Looking Forward


Our BID Manager is moving on at the beginning of August and we are now seeking an experienced leader to fill the role of BID Manager to oversee the operations of the BID. This person will be supported by our well-established communications and marketing team with a proven track record in Dorking.

The BID's Impact


We've successfully planned and hosted two well-attended large scale events, which directly supported our BID being named a finalist for both an Association of Town and City Management 'Best Social and Community Contribution Scheme' and also a finalist for Comms2Point0 Best Comms Team. 

Kathy and her team have led and hosted events and trails, professionalised BID services, provided business support, launched creative campaigns, collectively raised the profile of Dorking’s business community, featured businesses in the press, received regional and national recognition in The Times and BBC, and advocated for our members' interests as valued members of the community.

Together, we've brought prosperity, pride in place, and raised awareness of Dorking's offerings with more people than ever before. Stay tuned for our new BID destination website and brand identity.

This BID term will continue to be a success, and we will build on our momentum, bringing together BID community partners to enhance our town's vibrancy and foster prosperity in Dorking. 

BID Manager Recruitment

Thank you to our BID Members for joining us for our Social Media Drop In Clinic, and to Brodie and the team at The Old House for your hospitality.

One constant in digital media is change. Once you have mastered the algorithm on a particular channel, it feels like they've gone and changed the goal posts. (Whisper: they have!) We like to think of our digital landscape a bit like 'digital real estate':

What do you own:

Email list / Subscriptions

Website

What do you rent:

Social media

Press / Earned Media

It is so important to have a plan on how you will approach this and use the tools you have at your disposal to market, measure and evaluate how you are reaching your audience and convert to sales.

How are you going about connecting with your audience?

Social media, email, websites, press, in person events - they are all part of a broader digital strategy that helps drive customers to your physical premises, no matter what kind of service or product you offer. The key is to have a plan to execute, measure your results, learn from them and share your impact with your audience. Our advice is to:

Stay positive.

Remember that there is already a lot of negativity on social media and it can be amplified for people. Everyone probably knows about the weather, the economic challenges, the global conflict. Cultivate an experience online and offline. Tell them why your shop, your services, your product - will add value and help their lives. Tell your story in a positive way. Don't point out the negatives; instead share the positives. And you'll convert that positive content into something good for your business.

Top Tips

  1. Invest in building your target audience with an email newsletter.
    Cultivate a trusted community of brand ambassadors who will join you in sharing your message with their own audience on and off line. If you don't already have one, start a newsletter. We use the best practice 'PESO' (Paid, Earned, Shared, Owned) model when generating coverage and attracting customers on or offline and on a campaign basis. With so many changes to digital, you will always be able to build trust and have a direct line of communication to your audience with email, where on a campaign basis can send a message about important updates.
  2. Create a plan.
    Do you have one? Are you measuring success? We created a few last night on the spot for our businesses. We have a simple approach for businesses to take to help them write a plan and we can help each one of you create a plan that they can use and repurpose. We all had our phones last night and looked at the back end of our business accounts, reviewing analytics to dive into some great questions:
    • How do I know who's looking at and engaging with my content?
    • How do I get them to take action?
      • There are published best practices on how to compose content for every channel (and customer funnels) and we have our own tips that we can share with you.
    • What do I do with a testimonial on Facebook?
      • You can ask for permission to reuse it across other channels. Create a carousel post (be sure to use a great photo of your product, face, or business first) or create an engaging video. Make sure your content is useful to your audience. Does it pass the 'so what' test?
    • How do I use Canva more effectively?
      • Here are five quick ways to use Canva - but there is so much more. We could do a whole session on this. Before you do anything else, create your brand identity on Canva. Sort out your logo, colours, font. There are loads of tutorials and we can help you with them.
    • How can I create content? Do I need a logo?
      • It all starts with a plan:
        • Who are you
        • Why do you exist (IMHO the most important bit)
        • Who are your customers and how will they find you
        • And yes you need a brand identity.
      • Should I use Google My Business?
        • Yes it certainly helps
      • What's the 'best channel' to use?
        • There is no magic answer to this. You've got to put the work in, test and discover what works for your business, understand where your audience is, and go there and engage. Creating a new audience on a platform, like say, Substack, is work. But it might be well worth it depending on your business model.
  3. Tell your story.
    Everyone loves a good story. What makes you different from your competition? How can you collaborate with others? Whether we are seeking coverage and engagement on social media - which has become more about entertainment and video - or PR, which is still more about expertise and newsworthiness, your audience does not want to be sold to. Your narrative matters. When we have a solid go to market strategy, which includes a brand identity, routes to market, and a comms approach, one can repurpose all of that content for social media. And it makes the life of a busy business owner a whole lot simpler.
  4. Set expectations and measures of success for digital.
    Focusing on success and being aspirational is important. We must try, test, evaluate and try again. If we don't measure our marketing efforts, we will surely give up. And so will your customers on you. Marketing must have a goal, be measured and have an outcome. "I will share this content, invest this time to achieve this sale and evaluate my results." Social media and - digital in general - are simply a channel - a route to market - that we must use to communicate our messages.
    • When a customer purchases from you, or when they sign up to your services, do you have an email funnel developed to thank them and to encourage the next action you want them to take?
    • Are you upselling your services?
    • Are you asking for testimonials?
    • How are you evaluating your marketing spend?
      • You've invested in products, staff, infrastructure. How are you sharing the value of your services with customers? How do your customers communicate? Not just the customers you have now, but the customers you want in the future? You must go to where the eyeballs are.
  5. Be authentic.
    In a crowded marketplace and indeed in a crowded online world, we must stand out. And the only way to do this is to live your brand. It is vital that we use high quality imagery, a great hook and to be optimistic. Trends change. Best practices on hashtags, reel length, algorithms (LinkedIn 2024 Update) - it all changes and we need to stay updated on them (Facebook / Insta Reels update). But rest assured, if you stay true to your brand and your value proposition, your customers will stay true to you.

Any questions?

Your BID team is always here to help.

Join a committee

Are you a Dorking BID Member business looking to up your social media game?

Then keep reading because we’ve got something for you!

Dorking is filled with your brilliant businesses; you are talented experts - from accountants to bakers, baristas to stylists, and everyone in between.

But are you shouting about it? Join us:

Our town has so much to offer, and we want to help you share your expertise with the world. We've seen amazing success with our Faces of Dorking campaign showcasing your businesses, reaching over 20,000 engagements on single posts across Instagram and Facebook. And we want to make sure you have the tools to continue the momentum.

So we’re holding a Social Media Drop-In Clinic just for you.

It’s an excellent opportunity to come and get expert advice, share tips, and ask questions about social media and digital marketing.

Get ready to boost your social media presence!

If you have any questions or want to learn more, drop us a message. We can't wait to see you there!

Social Media Training

The Star in Dorking has recently commissioned local artist Uncle Stubble to repaint its ceiling with a mural. You can also enjoy his artwork on display this month.

Did you know that in addition to also encouraging local artists to exhibit their art on a rotating monthly basis, The Star hosts music and open mic nights?

Local artists need only display their artwork with pricing and a short bio. They can even invite their friends and family along and host an exhibition!

The Star takes no commission at all - whatever sells is the artist's to keep. The Star just keeps the cash behind the bar for them, and buyers can walk out with a piece straight away. Now that is a match made in heaven!

Get in touch with Joel or Aggie to learn more at The Star:  01306 889734.

Uncle Stubble and The Star collaboration

How is your Dorking BID supporting BIG Green Week, 8 - 16 June? We are so glad you asked!

We know that it can sometimes feel overwhelming when you hear 'climate', 'sustainability', or 'net zero'. However if you want to make a positive impact in your community, it can often start with simple actions: shopping locally, helping on a litter pick to keep our town tidy, and reducing single-use plastics.

What the BID is doing for Big Green Week

Sustainable Trail

In celebration of The Great Big Green Week (8 - 16 June), we are excited to announce the launch of a Sustainable Trail in Dorking, offering participants the chance to win a shop local voucher. As a valued member of our business community, we would love to showcase your efforts towards sustainability and promote your initiatives.

If your business is already engaged in sustainable practices, we invite you to share them with us so that we can highlight them to the community. Here are some examples of what you can promote:

Simply let us know which aspect of sustainability you would like to promote, and we will design a poster for your window to showcase your commitment to a greener future.

Thank you for your dedication to sustainability, and we look forward to collaborating with you on this initiative.

Email us to get involved or DM us at @HelloDorking.

For our businesses, remember, it is all in the journey - not only the destination. Let us know if you are interested in learning more or need support. Your BID team is here to help!

10 ways to encourage customers to reuse, repurpose and recycle your products

  1. Offer a buy-back or trade-in program for used products, where customers can receive credit or discounts on new products in exchange for their used items.
  2. Provide education and resources on how customers can repurpose, reuse or recycle products at the end of their life cycle.
  3. Partner with local repair and remanufacturing businesses to offer repair and refurbishment services for products they sell on eBay.
  4. Create a product line that is modular and can be easily upgraded or repaired with interchangeable parts.
  5. Create a product line that is designed to last longer and made of durable materials that can be repaired and repurposed.
  6. Offer repair and maintenance services for products to prolong their life and reduce the need for replacement.
  7. Incorporate circular economy business models, such as product-as-a-service or leasing, to help extend the life of products and reduce waste.
  8. Implement a take-back program for end-of-life products to ensure they are recycled or repurposed in an environmentally friendly manner.
  9. Encourage customers to recycle and repurpose the products they sell, and promoting circular economy business models.
  10. Regularly reviewing and updating your marketing and communication strategies to ensure they are aligned with the circular economy principles and promoting product life extension.

10 ways to eliminate single-use plastic and other non-natural materials

  1. Source products that are made from natural materials such as bamboo, organic cotton, or jute.
  2. Use biodegradable or compostable packaging materials, such as paper or plant-based materials.
  3. Offer customers incentives to bring their own reusable bags or containers when picking up their orders.
  4. Implement a recycling program for plastic packaging materials used in shipping.
  5. Incorporate sustainable materials into the production process, such as recycled or repurposed materials
  6. Create a product line that is designed to last longer and made of durable materials that can be repaired and repurposed
  7. Research and investing in new, innovative, sustainable materials and production methods.
  8. Offer a take-back program for end-of-life products to ensure they are recycled or repurposed in an environmentally friendly manner.
  9. Encourage customers to reduce plastic consumption through education and promotion.
  10. Continuously review and update the materials and methods used in the production of products to make sure they are aligned with sustainable and environmental standards.

Here are more resources for all

Ellen Macarthur Foundation

Small Business Britain Planet

Small 99 Carbon Calculator

SME Climate Hub

Big Litter Pick 7 June 2024

Yesterday we held our very first Dorking BID Guild Talk. These are a fantastic opportunity for our business community to come together in a forum to share knowledge with each other.

Our Dorking business community is full of brilliant, creative, knowledgeable experts who deserve to have their voices heard. We have so many fantastic businesses in our town - from artisans to chefs, to accountants, stylists, baristas, and technical experts, fashion-forward style makers, and storytellers -- who are true masters of their craft. Our team is committed to raising their profile and helping them be successful. When one of us succeeds, we all succeed.

Our town is filled with inspiring people whose businesses help our town thrive. That's the way we see it.

We want to continue this tradition of knowledge transfer, and share expertise, friendship, and events to highlight all that our experts and town have to offer.

Our Dorking Guild speakers align to an issue or event the Dorking BID or high street is facing. The first four deal with:

We also invited our local policing team to join the Surrey PCC last night but they were unavailable on this occasion. However we are very pleased to share that they will join us for our Guild Talk in July and look forward to welcoming them to the event.

Yesterday our businesses were given a forum to discuss ideas and feedback regarding ASB, shoplifting and the various community policing issues our business community has been facing. For those businesses unable to attend, as promised, I provided the Surrey PCC with comments and themes that were sent to me ahead of the meeting. Members of our board and businesses were in attendance, and the PCC provided a few helpful tips I promised to share with the business community:

Join us

We meet at Ralph James Estate Agents on West Street (44 West St, Dorking RH4 1BU) - thanks to the generosity of Sam and his team at Ralph James - and all BID Members are welcome.

Each meeting begins with a welcome, talk with our speakers, Q&A, networking, and refreshments. On this occasion, we enjoyed delicious catering by Nikhil at Tikkanation.

Thank you to the 20 businesses for joining in and sharing their ideas, expertise, concerns and experiences with us. It was a positive evening full of knowledge sharing, and I am grateful for the support of our local business community for joining in and making our first event a success.

We hope to see you all next month as we kick off Restaurant Week in Dorking and celebrate Surrey Day with Mark Carter, the Managing Editor of BBC Surrey and Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey.

Photo by Ralph James

Guild talks

Celebrating Surrey Day 11 May

Whether you’re in the mood for traditional British, Mediterranean, East Asian or classic favourites, or even upscale Michelin dining, you’ll find it in Dorking. From Sunday roasts to classic pub favourites, Dorking is a welcoming spot to unwind and enjoy great food. 

We like to think of Dorking as the place full of heritage with heart.

Locals and visitors alike rave about the atmosphere and carefully curated seasonal menus featuring locally sourced ingredients. It's a top choice for all occasions – from romantic getaways to weekends with friends, Dorking is a must visit for cyclists, hikers, families and everyone who loves the great outdoors.

Restaurant week is the perfect time to indulge in seasonal dishes, specials and uniqueness that defines Dorking, crafted by amazing chefs. Book directly with our restaurants. To celebrate Surrey Day and Dorking Restaurant Week, our restaurants are curating amazing offerings - check them all about below.

Win Prizes for joining us during Restaurant Week

Aside from the amazing food, experience and ambience, everyone wins during Dorking Restaurant Week.

Tag us at @hellodorking or email us directly by 17th May 2024.

Who's joining in?

We will be offering our Sri Lankan menu:

A free bottle of Sri Lankan Lion Lager with a starter and main course from our Sri Lankan menu. 

We are also holding the early bird price of £15 for our Sri Lankan Sunday buffet during restaurant week if pre-booked - all you can eat and up to 2 children can eat free with 2 adults, which is on Sunday between 12-3.

WEDNESDAY : Breakfast Club : Enjoy a HolmeStores Breakfast (or Vegetarian Breakfast) and a tea or coffee for £15. Available 8:30am - 3pm. Mention ‘Breakfast Club’ to our team or include in your reservation notes. 

THURSDAY : First round on us! Book a table for evening pizza and get your first drink on us when ordering a pizza or salad. Available from 6pm. Last orders 8:30pm. Please add ‘Restaurant Week’ to your reservation notes. 

FRIDAY: Free Coffee Friday! Enjoy a coffee on us when you order a meal from our all-day brunch menu, featuring our own HolmeStores house blend, roasted exclusively by Surrey Hills Coffee. Available 8:30am - 3pm. Just mention ‘Restaurant Week’ to our team when ordering.

SATURDAY : Boozy Brunch. Enjoy 20% off mimosas and beer-on-tap when ordering a meal from our all-day brunch menu. (Featuring Gin Kitchen and St Ives Brewery) Mention Boozy Brunch when ordering with our team. (Max discount : two drinks per customer) 

Book today at www.HolmeStores.com 

Calling All Cake Lovers in Dorking!

Are you ready to embark on a scrumptious journey during Restaurant Week? 6th - 13th May

Putty Cakes is thrilled to be a part of this celebration, and we've got something special just for you!

Introducing our irresistible Cake Tasting Menu: Treat yourself to 5 mini cakes for just £5! With 8 delicious flavours to choose from. From classic favourites to bold new creations, there's a flavour for every craving.

But wait, there's more! If you’ve not had enough of our cakes, you can enjoy an extra 10% off when you stock up to take home or eat in our cosy coffee lounge.

And for our returning customers, we've prepared a delightful surprise. Simply grant us permission to showcase your love for us on our social media, and when you visit during the week, enjoy a complimentary hot drink on us!

But that's not all! Join in the excitement with our "Which Cake is Your Favourite?" poll and put your taste buds to the test with our "Can You Tell Which Cake is Gluten-Free?" challenge. It's a chance to engage, explore, and indulge in all things sweet!

Don't miss out on this incredible cake extravaganza during Restaurant Week. Spread the word, tag your friends, and let's make this week a celebration to remember!

Tuesday: Burger Night

A choice of burgers accompanied by fries and your choice of a pint of beer or a glass of wine. £18

Wednesday: Mussel Night

 Succulent mussels paired with fries and available with your choice of cream and garlic, tomato, and Thai green curry sauce. 

Each serving comes with a glass of wine to complement the flavors.

Price £17

Thursday: Steak Night

Indulge in a luxurious three-course steak menu, crafted to satisfy your culinary desires.

£30

Special Wine Offer:

Enhance your meal with a bottle of our house wine for just an additional £20.

Restaurant Week Dining Discount (Tuesday to Friday)

What’s on Offer: Enjoy a 20% discount on all food items for both lunch and dinner sessions. Please note, this offer cannot be combined with other promotions.

Lunch Specials (Tuesday to Friday)

Opt for our specially curated two-course or three-course lunch menus, perfect for a midday treat.

Guests who mention 'Dorking Restaurant Week' when booking can enjoy an exclusive, seasonal curated dish. They will also receive Sorrel's signature miso fudge to enjoy later, along with a special branded gift to take home. To celebrate Dorking Restaurant Week, Sorrel has curated a special dish exclusively for their guests. This exquisite creation features fresh, in-season asparagus paired with the wonderfully earthy Bosworth Ash soft goat cheese, pickled shimeji mushrooms, toasted buckwheat, and delicately seasoned with dried scallop powder. They will also receive their signature miso fudge to enjoy later, along with a special branded gift to take home. Simply mention "Dorking Restaurant Week" when booking to enjoy this unique culinary experience.

With its breathtaking setting and warm, welcoming service, this year’s inaugural Restaurant Week promises a memorable culinary journey.

Dorking Businesses - get involved here.

Meet the incredible businesses joining us for restaurant week

Putty Cakes

The Queens Head

Tikkanation

Two Many Cooks

Sorrel

Harts at the Courtyard

Basil and Susan Doha - Mullins House

Mullins Coffee Shop

Old House at Home

The Old House

Cosy Moose

Cosy Moose

Arrack

Aroma

Swirl Wine Bar

Swirl Wine Bar

Rialto Lounge

Rialto

burgundy and black

Burgundy & Black

Arto Restaurant

Arto Restaurant

Louise Holme - Express Article

Holmestores

The Kings Arms

Kings Arms

Over the past few months, the Dorking BID has been working with Surrey PD and colleagues in Leatherhead to procure a DISC system to enable our business communities to report crime and make our towns safer places, reduce crime and collaborate across all of Surrey. 

Crime is impacting the high street now more than ever; and reporting it can sometimes be a time consuming process for time-poor businesses. DISC helps to enable businesses to build a case against an offender and enable all Surrey towns, businesses and Police to engage and collaborate with each other through a case management system, creating a network who are working together against criminals. 

DISC enables BIDs around Surrey and other towns to:

DISC is currently used by shopwatches, pubwatches and larger Business Crime Reduction Partnerships (BRCPs) covering over 550 towns and city-centres across the UK. Schemes like these effectively identify early-stage offenders and reduce re-offending. They also help local policing identify prolific offenders and provide evidence for their effective prosecution.

Sadly we have learned that Surrey Police have decided not to pursue the system in the short term. This has had a knock on effect in Dorking as Leatherhead has decided not to invest in the system.

We have been advised by our colleagues in Guildford that there is an ASB training offering that Surrey PD is offering and has encouraged all businesses to join in.

27th March
1600 – 1700 via MS Teams
Tackling ASB in Retail and Night Time Economy Space featuring Jo Grimshaw – Surrey Police – Head of ASB, Partnerships, Youth Engagement and Tactical Lead for Serious Violence

“An on-line session to learn what is available to Surrey Police and Partners to tackle ASB. This session will help you understand the processes and how you can contribute to tackling ASB in your sector”

Please join the Dorking BID for the following collaboration opportunities:

Learn more about our Dorking BID Guild Talks and join in.

We are pleased to feature and share the grand opening of The White Horse, who is launching with a fabulous Housewarming party: a weeks' worth of festivities to celebrate the White Horse Dorking.

From 26 Feb – 3 March, join the us as we all celebrate the arrival of The White Horse! From gin-tastic tastings from Silent Pool, wine tipples from Denbies, dog photography and treats, live music, cycling races and much much more, check out this downloadable flyer for all of the celebrations.

WH Week One

What's more: anyone who dines with the White Horse during their first week will receive a complimentary glass of welcome fizz and be in with a chance to be entered into a free prize draw to win an overnight stay! Tables are quickly getting booked up so don’t delay…

Taking centre stage in our bustling high street and in the heart of our beautiful Surrey Hills Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The White Horse is a characteristic 13th Century inn that has held a special place in the local community for many years. A stone’s throw from the artisanal West Street, award winning museum and heritage centre, this popular pub with rooms is perfectly located to explore the highly acclaimed Denbies Wine Estate, breathtaking Box Hill and the unique independent businesses and antique shops that Dorking has to offer.

The White Horse has undergone an extensive refurbishment to lovingly renovate the bar, dining area and 56 beautiful bedrooms as it becomes part of the award-winning Heartwood Inns.

With three train stations within walking distance and only an hour from London and the coast, there is ample parking around town within walking distance from the pub, where The White Horse guarantees that real home from home experience. 

Why not come and see for yourself? Dorking looks forward to welcoming you soon.

Getting here

Dorking is under an hour from London and the coast with easy access from Gatwick and the M25. It is served by three rail stations: Dorking Station and Dorking Deepdene Station are a 10 minute walk to town from the east and Dorking West is about a 15 minute walk to town. For more rail information, please visit the National Rail website.

Bus Timetable

For information on bus timetables, please visit the Surrey County Council website.

Driving

Exit from Junction 9 of the M25, and then continue on to the A24 towards Dorking, turn right at the junction of the A24/A25 into town.

Alternatively, exit from Junction 10 of the M25 and then continue on the A25 towards Dorking, going straight over the A24/A25 junction into town.

From Guildford, use the A25 and from Gatwick use the A217 and A25.

Hero Image Credit: The White Horse Dorking

White Horse Dorking

Dorking Town Partnership
156 South Street
Dorking, RH4 2HF

T: 07377 0966892

© 2022 Dorking Town Partnership
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