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Archive for September, 2014

Plans afoot for the Penrith Winter Festival

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Santa’s Elves have been working hard over the past few months on plans for the 2014 Penrith Winter Festival, sponsored by Cumbrian Homes Ltd & Discover Penrith, ensuring the town will be full of festive sparkle and Christmas cheer from the 29th November to 24th December – including new and improved Christmas lights, back by popular demand!

Once again each weekend of the Winter Festival will have a theme and an event, which is hoped to draw more people to the town.  Organisers are encouraging community groups, schools, musicians, businesses and individuals to get in touch with their own ideas, events and activities which can be part of the festival and make it even bigger and better in 2014.

The main weekend events scheduled so far include:

  • Saturday 29th November – Elfin’ about with Razzamatazz

The first weekend of the Penrith Winter Festival will be truly festive as the town comes alive with a plethora of Santa’s Helpers taking to the streets.  There will be programmed activity throughout the day as Razzamatazz theatre school Penrith entertain with song and dance, to get everyone in the Christmas spirit whilst doing their Christmas shopping.

Also, in 2014 there has been significant investment from the Penrith Business Improvement District into some stunning new Christmas Lights for the town, which will be switched on at 4pm on the 29th November.

  • Saturday 6th December – Totally Locally Fiver Fest & Small Business Saturday

Penrith is well known for its cobbled streets and hidden gems and the Totally Locally scheme celebrates all local businesses, from Penrith’s florists to accountants, from clothes shop to gift shops.  These small businesses support many other local businesses, which keep the local economy alive. It’s what the whole fabric of a town like Penrith is built on.   Lots of independent shops and your favourite ‘hidden gems’ are coming together to celebrate Christmas with a unique Fiver Fest, which will run from 15th November and end on Super Saturday – visit the town for lots of special offers in the run up to Christmas.

  • Saturday 13th December – Gifted, Arts, Crafts and Gifts Market (11am to 4pm)

Penrith’s festive craft market, GIFTED returns to the town for a second year.  An undercover market, full of artisan arts and crafts created by ‘gifted’ people.  A great opportunity to find unique Christmas treats and precious presents…helped along by a glass of mulled wine to really get us in the festive mood.

  • Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th December – Brunswick Yard Christmas Fayre

The very popular Brunswick Yard Christmas Market makes a welcome return to Penrith this year and promises the last minute Christmas shopper a unique chance to purchase locally handcrafted and sourced products, vintage goods & antiques all within a fusion of festive food and entertainment.

  • Saturday 20th December – Festive Family Fun, with Churches Together and community groups.

Working with Churches Together and other community groups the final weekend of the Winter Festival will be a fantastic opportunity to really celebrate the meaning of Christmas.  Town will be filled with festive tunes played by the town band and of course the final weekend for Christmas shopping and grabbing a last minute gift in some of the town’s independent shops.

The Winter Droving will be taking place earlier this year on the 15th November – so even more reasons to visit Penrith this festive season.

For local businesses there is the opportunity to enter the Window Dressing competition, Sunday opening, free listings in the events programme and website, join in an ‘elfin’ about’ social media campaign or to run your own event or activity in the run up to Christmas.  Event organisers want as many people to join in as possible – all ideas are welcome.

The Penrith Winter Festival is possible thanks to funding, sponsorship and support from Penrith Business Improvement District, Pride in Penrith Lottery, Cumbrian Homes, Discover Penrith, Elite Fitness and Penrith Building Society.

Further announcements are due to be made about the Festival in the coming months. to see a full schedule of events or find out how to get involved.

Christmas Marketing – but it’s only September!

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

I bet many of you won’t have even started thinking about Christmas yet (what…I hear you gasp!) Well, you might be shocked to hear we’ve been planning Christmas campaigns since as early as January!  It is essential as a Marketer you work in advance, plan ahead and capture every opportunity going.  Christmas is a key time of year for many businesses, but being organised can ensure that opportunities are maximised and you’re not being reactive and doing things last minute that may not result in an effective campaign.

So, why do we start in January?  Well, for the Penrith Winter Festival, it is essential to initially look back at the event which has just gone and evaluate the success of it.  This ensures we can make events even better next time round.  We take a few months off, but then start planning again early summer and come up with a strategy of how we’re going to ensure the event is successful for the forthcoming year.  For this particular festival we need to ensure any funding and sponsorship is in place early on.  This then dictates what we can do with our marketing and also gives our supporters the maximum amount of exposure.

After this through August to October we work hard encouraging businesses to get involved and ensure they know about the event, we programme activities, create promotional material, update the website and start our social media campaign.  As you can see there is a lot to get done to make sure the 4 week event is effective…this would be impossible if we did not plan in advance and have a strategy in place.

Before we know it, Christmas adverts will start appearing on the TV, I even saw advent calendars and Christmas cards in a local shop today, which I swiftly walked past; sure enough though it will be here in the next few weeks. I can guarantee that these marketers will also have been planning for months, buying stock and getting reading for this key trading period.

If you have a business it’s not too late to start thinking about Christmas – can you run a special event, offer your customers an incentive or even send out a Christmas card to clients?  There are lots of things you can do with your marketing over the festive period…just try to plan it in rather than rushing what you do.

Penrith Winter Festival funding secured

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Penrith Chamber of Trade and Commerce has announced it will host the Penrith Winter Festival once again from 29th November to 24th December 2014, after securing vital funding and sponsorship.

Plans have been a foot for several months, with members of the Chamber pulling together ideas for this year’s Festival.  However, securing funding, sponsorship and support from local businesses was vital to ensure the Festival could take place.  Festival organisers are delighted to announce funding has been secured from the Penrith Business Improvement District and the Pride in Penrith Lottery for the second year running, with sponsorship from Discover Penrith.

Kelvin Dixon, Chairman of the BID comments,

“Penrith Business Improvement District is keen to support the Penrith Winter Festival again and ensure its future success.  It is an excellent platform to raise the profile of the town and promote the businesses in the BID area.  We are keen to support further events like this which really help the local economy and showcase Penrith as a forward thinking town and nice place to visit.”

The Penrith Winter Festival has also secured headline sponsorship from Cumbrian Homes Ltd, who is keen to see the Festival continue to flourish

Nigel Pallister, Managing Director of Cumbrian Homes comments,

“It is fantastic to see an event which celebrates our wonderful town, brings the whole community together and encourages people to visit Penrith to do their Christmas shopping.  We are delighted to be supporting the event and are looking forward to joining in with some of the great activities planned.”

The Festival was introduced in 2012 as a way of attracting more visitors to the town and giving businesses a platform to promote themselves.  The Chamber’s aim is to encourage people to come to Penrith to do their Christmas shopping and spend their money here instead of heading to larger towns and cities.  Over the years support has grown for the Festival and it is continually developing.  The Chamber hopes more and more businesses will get involved this year, to really help put Penrith on the map, show people what a great town we have and promote our fantastic independent shops at Christmas.

A lot of hard work goes into the planning of the Winter Festival and the Chamber needs support to ensure the future sustainability of the event – not only from funding, but from businesses, traders, organisations, community groups and  individuals to really make it work and improve on what has been done in previous years.


The money granted from the Business Improvement District and Pride in Penrith Lottery will be used to create another popular events programme promoting businesses in the town and a marketing campaign to help promote the Festival and the town at this key trading period, as well as going towards some of the key operational costs of putting the Festival together and ensuring it can build upon the success of previous years.

Richard Utting, President, Penrith Chamber of Trade and Commerce, comments

“We are delighted we have received such great support this year already from BID, the Lottery and Cumbrian Homes ltd.  It ensures our Festival can continue to take place and we can do some really positive PR and Marketing at Christmas time.  We want people to come to our town, visit our great shops and come back time and time again.  It is about the long term effect this type of event can have on a town like ours.  We have to look over the parapet to get noticed and that is what we’re trying to do with the Winter Festival.”

The Chamber has a long way to go in generating even more funds to make the impact of the event even bigger and is seeking additional sponsors or advertisers to come forward to be part of the event.  They are also encouraging businesses, community groups, shops…anyone to get involved; plan activities, events, workshops, special offers which will strengthen the whole event.

Further announcements are due to be made about the Festival in the coming months.  To find out more keep visit

Apple launch even more innovative ideas!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Apple really are one of the leading brands globally and it never ceases to amaze me how they continually come up with new ideas.  And it’s not just new ideas, but cutting edge ideas which innovate and lead the way in technology.

Yesterday they launched the new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and an apple smart watch.  The main feature it appears on the phones is that they go over the 4inch display size, usually found on android phones; with the 6plus and 5.5inches.  They have higher resolution screens, better camera, are faster, thinner and more powerful.  They also boast fancy new sensors to make the user experience even more magical as well.

The new smart watch is not just a shrinked down iphone, but a wearable watch which can tack things like your fitness with a whole host of special apps.  Apple have also created a new payment system called Apple Pay, where you could use your Apple watch or iphone 6/6plus to pay for purchases, like the texhnology used in contactless card payments.  OK, so it will take a while for this to catch on in the UK, but once again Apple have come up with some really interesting and innovative concepts and products.

As a Marketer I constantly watch out for advances in technology and digital marketing, so I can advise my clients on what is happening in the marketplace.  Sometimes it is really hard to keep track of how quick technology moves.  However, saying that it keeps me on my toes, keeps my mind active and ensures I can give my clients the most up to date information.

Penrith dentist calls a Toothbrush Amnesty

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

September is ‘Oral Heath’ month at Stricklandgate Dental Practice in Penrith and Principle Dentist Dr Satya Patel is calling out to all patients to join their ‘Toothbrush Amnesty’ helping to raise awareness and highlight the importance of oral health.

The team wanted to inform patients of the significance of maintaining a healthy mouth and with Oral Health Month in mind they are offering their patients who book an appointment during September to bring an old toothbrush into the practice and in return they will give a new one for free in their Toothbrush Amnesty.

A good toothbrush is essential for good oral health; a toothbrush can have 10 million bacteria living on it, which can cause gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath, so the best way to limit bacteria on a toothbrush is to replace it on a regular basis – Stricklandgate Dental Practice recommends every 3 months.

Everyone is probably guilty of using a toothbrush when it’s past its best; leading to less efficient cleaning and in the longer term poorer oral health. Simply changing your toothbrush on a regular basis not only helps to maintain a healthy mouth, but if used correctly should save money as less dental treatment will be required.

Dr Patel comments,

“I’ve seen lots of cases of poor oral health and some simple things can be done to ensure problems like tooth decay can be prevented.  We decided to run a Toothbrush Amnesty to help people recognise the importance of maintaining good oral health and give patients the opportunity to kick start their new regime with a brand new toothbrush!”

If your toothbrush is looking past its best, patients and new patients can simply take it along to Stricklandgate Dental Practice any day in September and they’ll exchange it for a new dentist approved one FREE – Now that’s something to smile about.