Town Centre Events
To inform the Special Scrutiny Committee of the Councils process for funding Town Centre Events.
The Chair indicated that due to the personal interest he had declared and any potential conflict of interest arising from this, he would leave the meeting at this point. The Vice Chair, Susan Hayes took over as Chair of the meeting.
The Chair welcomed Councillor Marlene Haworth and Victoria Tindall to present the item.
Victoria presented the report and spoke in detail on the thorough application process for funding and events. Applications are assessed against 4 primary objectives:
- Increase visitors to the town centre (increase footfall)
- Engage with people who live in and around Hyndburn
- Create an event which can engage with the widest possible audience
- Demonstrate value for money and maximise the event outcomes
Victoria informed the Committee that both she and the portfolio holder have spent time looking at other area events and researching them for best practice, which she will use to help develop events in Hyndburn.
Cllr Marlene Haworth indicated that there was a capacity issue. Some Councils have Town Teams which support the organisation of events, with others having a larger team of officers. The Council’s current team is Victoria plus an Events Coordinator, who supported over 100 event applications right through the ESAG process, which is resource intensive. Victoria agreed, indicating that there is much more she would like to do in terms of research and evaluation if capacity allowed.
Councillor Zak Khan said it seemed from the report that there was a clear preference for larger scale events with big pull factors rather than smaller events, and he supported this. However, he did indicate that he would like to see a more robust evaluation of the events funded through the Council to get a clearer picture of what works and what does not. He also said he hoped the process of funding large events would be a catalyst for smaller events to pop up on their own without the need for Council funding. He also indicated that the list of event organisers seemed to be the same group of organisations over and over and suggested more could be done to encourage other groups or organisations to apply for events funding.
Councillor Kate Walsh agreed with the need for more robust evaluation of events including customer feedback, and suggested the possibility of working with local education providers to work on evaluations.
Councillor Noordad Aziz said a simple measure of asking people if they had a positive experience at strategic points around the town would also provide vital feedback.
Victoria thanked members for their comments. She said that the Council’s ambition is for Accrington Town Centre to become a destination, where people will visit because they know there is always something going on.
Resolved - That the Committee makes the following recommendations to Cabinet:
- Cabinet considers providing additional resources to the Events Team to increase their capacity and ability to support events further.
- Cabinet requests that the Portfolio Holder work with the Events Team to come up with ways to improve data collection and the evaluation of events funded by the Council
- Cabinet requests that the Portfolio Holder make contact with local colleges/education providers to support the above recommendation
- Special Scrutiny Committee Report Event Expenditure, item 128. PDF 291 KB
- Appendix 1 - Request For Proposals- 2022-2023, item 128. PDF 658 KB
- Appendix 2a, item 128. PDF 554 KB
- Appendix 2b, item 128. PDF 450 KB