One Linlithgow began in October 2019, with exciting new tourism proposals and a host of other projects, both new and continued from its predecessors, Linlithgow’s “Town Centre” and “Mill Road” BIDs.
Of course, many of those plans didn’t bear fruit in 2020, much like the plans of any other enterprise, but we’re proud of having pivoted quickly to help in the business response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and to have delivered many projects, both within and beyond the Business Plan. Not least, we secured £40,000 additional funding from a variety of sources (not including West Lothian Council match-funding).
We’ve included here a short overview of some of our activity throughout 2020 below, as well as plans for 2021. To take advantage of any direct support, or just to find out more, please contact us:
- Business grants and PPE
- Digital markets
- Christmas lights
- Security kits
- Support to community groups and events
- Press coverage
- MyLinlithgow website
- Loyalty Lottery
- Linlithgow Loves Local
- External funding
- Grants and rebates
Business grants and PPE: Between supplying direct grants to bank accounts, and delivering bespoke PPE kits to doorsteps, One Linlithgow has supplied over £10,000 of grants and PPE, using external funding sources (i.e. not using BID levy).
Digital markets: towards the end of 2020, as it became apparent that a second closure order would be issued to “non-essential” retailers, so we established an e-commerce function on the popular MyLinlithgow.com platform, to date making turning over £5,000 for local Linlithgow businesses and with more similar events in the pipeline.
Christmas lights: We think they look better this year than ever before. That’s thanks to One Linlithgow, Linlithgow PubWatch (which paid for 24 brand new motifs), and West Lothian Council (WLC). From next year onwards, One Linlithgow will be taking responsibility for maintaining and expanding all lights, except the Christmas tree at the Cross, which WLC will maintain.
Security kits: We always keep our member businesses supplied with security kits, aimed at preventing counterfeit notes being used, or items being stolen (and a greater chance of them being returned if they are stolen). They come in the form of a UV note checker lamp, DNA marking fluid, stickers, pens and guidance notes. If you still don’t have a kit, just let us know and we’ll provide one, just like items of PPE (above: masks, sanitiser, distancing stickers etc.).
Support to community groups and events: This included £2,500 towards watering and maintenance of Burgh Beautiful planters across town (an invaluable improvement to the trading area), and sponsoring the Linlithgow Academy “F1 in Schools” team £1,000 to help keep Linlithgow’s sons and daughters at the forefront of global STEM innovation: an investment in our future entrepreneurs, too!
Press coverage: We’ve generated more regular press articles than any other year of BIDs in Linlithgow so far. Our “Scotland Loves Local” campaign and “Linlithgow Digital Christmas Market” brought front-page publicity to the town, and citizens always know to read our double-page spread in the Black Bitch magazine.
MyLinlithgow Website: One Linlithgow, over and above developing its successful e-commerce facility, has ensured the continuity of MyLinlithgow.com as the go-to website for the town by financing expert personnel to keep it relevant and up-to-date. It’s already a great site, but LCDT and One Linlithgow have big plans for expanding it in the near future, too, so keep an eye on it…
Loyalty Lottery: The old, ticket-based system for the Linlithgow Loyalty Lottery worked well, but was often too time-consuming for businesses to take part. We’re now running a coffee-shop-style stamp card, which has been well-received, although we can’t really expect customers to engage too well until enforced shutdowns are over. Nonetheless, we’ve awarded over £2,000 in 2020, and are confident that the stamp-cards will drive interest in winning vouchers down the line.
Linlithgow Loves Local: Having already embraced the national “Scotland Loves Local” message, we were awarded with external funding to enhance Linlithgow’s profile online beyond the existing, hugely successful “Linlithgow Loves Local” campaign, for which Fiona Hyslop MSP has shown her full support, and for which we have received additional funding to extend in early 2021. Look out for your free “Linlithgow Loves Local” reusable, free masks to keep Linlithgow safe… and another leading article in the Gazette.
External funding: In total, we’ve secured £40,000 external funding in our first year, plus £10,000 WLC funding, which currently would make every £1 invested by a member business worth over £1.40.
Grants and rebates: Premises Improvement Grants are making a welcome return in 2021. Businesses wishing to make improvements to their place of business can receive up to £500 cash towards the total cost. Furthermore, businesses affected by enforced closures from October 2020 – February 2021 will qualify for a 50% rebate on “core” levy charges for One Linlithgow’s second year (subject to up-to-date levy payments). Please check with One Linlithgow which of these grants are available to you.
CCTV: It’s no secret that the town-centre CCTV project has been marred by setbacks, but One Linlithgow is working to complete the system as efficiently as possible. Two columns (eight cameras) are now operational in Linlithgow town centre, with Police Scotland already supplied with invaluable evidence in two separate cases. At Mill Road, One Linlithgow staff continue to provide the same service via its similarly high-resolution system.
ANPR: Additionally to standard CCTV cameras, automatic number-plate recognition will soon be installed in Linlithgow town centre (it’s already operational at Mill Road). As well as helping to further deter/prevent crime, this allows One Linlithgow to monitor traffic flow, improve access and parking, lobby for more business-friendly policies, and improve citizen health through improved air quality.
Communication: While One Linlithgow was in development, members of its predecessor “Linlithgow Town Centre BID” told us that it didn’t operate openly or transparently enough. We’ve done our best to improve on that by publishing updates and information on this site, including minutes of meetings and profiles of Directors and staff. We also publish our full accounts online, not just the “micro-accounts” required by law.
One Linlithgow has many more plans for 2021. Watch this space for updates, and please remember you can always contact us.