December 29, 2019 11.30 am This story is over

Reflections 2019: Sarah Loftus – We’re gearing up for 2020

The Lincoln IMP Trail is coming in 2020

We’re waving goodbye to what has been an intensely busy year for the Lincoln BIG team– but we’re also preparing for an even busier 2020!

During 2019 we are proud to have fully-supported our levy payers and staged some cracking crowd-pulling events, that have brought thousands of extra people into the city.

Acutely conscious of the challenges facing the High Street, we have also introduced new initiatives. One of the most popular is the LoyalFreeApp, which shoppers and leisure seekers have eagerly downloaded to their smartphones and used extensively to snap-up special deals and great discounts.

Whilst we have recognised and responded to the need to stand firmly behind our “member” businesses and organisations at a time when the country has “felt at sea” with a looming General Election and continuing confusion over Brexit, this Autumn we had our own five-yearly re-ballot to think about.

With 800 levy payers eligible to cast enough YES! votes to return Lincoln BIG to power for the next five years, we knew it was crucial to do our homework if we were to get the necessary mandate when the votes were counted on November 6.

During the year we’ve provided a range of services, including street cleaning, chewing gum removal, bus and car parking schemes, security group services and administered the booking of public spaces and attended our area retail groups.

But what would persuade our levy payers to give us a strong YES! vote? We knew it was vital to canvas their views – before we even attempted to canvas their vote – and we assured them we were committed to helping to make a difference to their fortunes.

Their answers informed our robust 2020-2025 Business Plan, which is based on three clear priorities. They are easy to remember: WELCOME, EXPERIENCE, and VALUE.

Thankfully, they helped us to secure the BIG YES!

Together our priorities underline our determination to help create a more welcoming, brighter city for all who live, work, study in or visit Lincoln; to mastermind more of our trademark crowd pulling events (think 1940s Weekend and our Summertime family attraction The Beach) and to give all our levy payers the best value return for their money.

We will be spending about £1 million every year over the next five years (2020-2025) and kickstarting the New Year implementing our 15-point action plan for the delivery of our three priorities for success.

One of the key events we are planning for Summer 2020 is the Lincoln IMP Trail, which we hope everyone will love. We’re aiming to make it an even bigger success than our earlier Barons and Knights Trails. Watch this space!

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Sarah Loftus is the Chief Executive of Lincoln Business Improvement Group