Welcoming Merthyr Tydfil
Enhancing the town centre experience
Links to Out of Town Developments (ongoing)
The opening of Merthyr Trago in April 2018 and the ongoing success of Cyfarthfa Retail Park presents bot opportunities and threats for the town centre. The BID has undertaken a range of initiatives to maximise the potential benefits of new visitors to the area including:
- Radio campaign: development of the #merthyrmazin campaign on Capital FM to promote the excellent summer festivals programme in Merthyr Tydfil as well as the Christmas retail and hospitality offer / new Merthyr Gift Card.
- Promotional literature: production of new literature covering Merthyr’s Shopping, Merthyr’s Food & Drink, Merthyr’s Events & Festivals and Merthyr’s Sense of Fun, available from the new Touris Information Centre at Trago and from Redhouse.
- Merthyr Hoppa: the BID has supported MTCBC with the pilot ‘hop on hop off’ free bus service on Saturdays from Trago to the town centre and other key locations.
Merthyr Town Trails (ongoing)
This series of themed town centre trails was launched in March 2018 as part of the Carnegie Trust UK’s Twin Towns project. Each trail is launched with a guided walk led by the trail compiler. Printed versions in both English and Welsh are subsequently available from Redhouse and downloadable versions from the We Love Merthyr website.
Trails launched to date are:
- A Petticoat Trail through Merthry Tydfil
- A Vision Trail through Merthyr Tydfil
- In the Footsteps of Dic Penderyn
- Off the Rails: Rail, Steam & Speed
- Look Up in Merthyr – to be launched in late September
Merthyr After Dark Evening Economy (ongoing)
The BID is an active member of this multi-agency partnership which is responsible for developing the town’s evening economy strategy and oversees the delivery of a linked action plan. The action plan targets measures which help to make the town centre safe, secure and attractive to visit in the evening and nighttime.
Business Crime Reduction Partnership (ongoing)
Now in its 4th year of operation, the partnership involves some 40 businesses, South Wales Police and The Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil, working together to reduce crime in the town centre.
The partnership aims to reduce business related crime such as shop lifting and scams, so saving our businesses money and inconvenience as well as making the town centre a safer and more pleasant place to shop. Membership is free to BID members. As of August 2018 there are some 65 exclusions served for shoplifting or ASB offences, as well as 14 Criminal Behaviour Orders in place to ban persistent offenders from the town centre at all times.
Saturday Parking Promotion (ongoing)
The Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil is continuing to fund the Saturday £1 to park all day promotion which it launched so successfully in 2015.
In its 3 full years of operation, the scheme has seen a 50% rise in the number of cars parking in the town centre pay and display car parks on Saturdays which is a very positive outcome for town centre businesses.
NiteNet (project discontinued)
Following on from the success of the daytime Storenet radio system, we introduced the NiteNet radio system in November 2015 to the evening economy to encourage better communication between our licensed premises, to tackle violent and anti-social behaviour and to improve safety and security during the evening in the town centre. The Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil purchased radios to support this initiative but actual usage by businesses and liaison with South Wales Police and the CCTV operators was not deemed as sufficiently effective to warrant its continuation when the Storenet system was upgraded in autumn 2017. This will be reviewed on a regular basis through the town’s Evening Economy Action Plan.
Christmas Safety Campaign (November and December 2015)
The Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil worked with South Wales Police to provide reassurance to visitors to the town centre in the lead up to Christmas and to support businesses to tackle the problem of counterfeit notes. The BID funded the provision of purse dipping bells, UV permanent marker pens and counterfeit bank note detector pens as part of this project.
Training Opportunities for Pubwatch Members (October 2015 – ongoing)
The Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil is working with Pubwatch to deliver additional training opportunities for the owners and staff of licensed premises. A course on Authorisation to Sell Alcohol by Retail was delivered in October 2015 and a BIIAB Level 1 Award in Responsible Alcohol Retailing delivered in December 2015. An Award for Personal License Holders Level 2 course was delivered in January 2016.
Saturday Parking Promotion (January 2015 – ongoing)
The Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil is funding a special car parking promotion to enable parking all day on Saturdays for only £1 in all pay and display car parks. Launched at the start of January, Saturday car park ticket sales in the town centre were excellent with 2015 seeing a 45% increase in the number of tickets sold compared to 2014.
Evening Economy Action Plan (January 2015 ongoing)
We have joined with Merthyr Tydfil Town Centre Partnership to undertake an assessment of the evening economy looking at such issues as the diversity of the overall offer, perceptions of safety, management of the town in the evening, effective use of licensing and enforcement powers and so on, with a view to drawing up and delivering an action plan for improvement over the next 3 years.
Christmas Saturday Free Car Parking (November & December 2014)
The Big Heart jointly funded, with the council, free car parking all day on the 6 Saturdays leading up to Christmas as part of the wider Christmas marketing campaign.
Free Car Parking for Summer Festivals (June to August 2014)
The Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil funded free parking on all town centre car parks for the three major summer festivals – the Chilli Fiesta, Merthry Amazes and Merthyr Food Festival. This was to rtemovve any barriers to attendance, to encourage visitors to spend longer in the town centre overall and to generate positive publicity. Feedback on social media and through the visitor research undertaken at the three events suggests that this was well received and Heart Radio proved to be a very effective means of informing potential visitors about the free parking offer.
Business Crime Reduction Partnership (February 2014 onwards)
The crime reduction partnership was successfully launched in April 2014 with around 70 town centre businesses participating. The aim is to reduce business related crime such as shop lifting and scams so saving our businesses money and inconvenience as well as making the town centre a safer and more pleasant place to shop. Membership is free to BID members. As of November 2015 there are some 70 exclusions in place for shoplifting or ASB offences.
Bus Station Welcome Signs (January 2014 onwards)
Visitors to the bus station will have seen the 20 large themed posters displayed on the windows promoting Merthyr and its many facets.
Safe Place to Socialise Campaign (December 2013)
We ran this campaign in the lead up to Christmas to support the town’s evening economy and promote it as a safe place to visit in the festive season.
Christmas Free Saturday Car Parking (November & December 2013)
We jointly funded with the council free parking in all car parks on the 6 Saturdays leading up to Christmas as part of our extensive Christmas marketing campaign.
Christmas Park & Ride November & December 2013)
The free Park & Ride service ran daily from mid November until Christmas to support the town’s shops whilst car parking spaces were limited due to the major roadworks. The scheme was jointly funded by the Big heart of Merthyr Tydfil, the council and Alun Griffiths Contractors.
Food Hygiene Ratings Project (July to October 2013)
This project provided free support to our food businesses to help them achieve higher Food Hygiene ratings in advance of changed to legislation in November 2013.
Christmas Free Saturday Car Parking (December 2012)
We jointly funded with the council free parking in all car parks on the 4 Saturdays in December in the lead up to Christmas as part of our Christmas marketing campaign for the town and its businesses.