Bournemouth Coastal BID literally lit up Christmas across the area – from Tuckton to Westbourne.
The seven miles of coastal communities saw tens of thousands of lights put up to mark the festive season.
Indeed, when the tree in Pokesdown looked like its branches would be barren, a BID angel arranged for it to be decorated with lights at no cost to the levy payers in the area.
The levy payer-funded lights along the conurbation’s coastal villages created littoral illumination that attracted visitors and locals alike.
In Westbourne the festive visitors felt the tidings of comfort and joy by following the bright stars above.
In Tuckton, the BID organised for Christmas trees to be put up above the shops and on the East Cliff and West Cliff trees were put up next to the hotels, and on the Overcliff.
Staff also managed to secure a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery, specifically for Boscombe.
This funded, amongst other things, a singing snow queen with a sleigh who serenaded the shoppers with Christmas carols in the Sovereign Centre.
This year, BID staff want to help each coastal village set up its own company so they are permitted to apply for grants. BID staff can help organise it and fill out the forms – they just need a trader or two from each village to get involved.
Raising money was not just done through the National Lottery – locals and well-wishers raised more than £1,000 to replace the Nativity Shed in Southbourne after it was vandalised beyond repair.
A crowd-funding page set up by a BID member of staff galvanised locals who showed the real spirit of Christmas.
The Christmas Tree Wonderland – now in its second year – brought in thousands of people to the conurbation. Coastal BID levy payers again contributed to the attraction.
BID also supported its coastal villages with targeted advertising through the year, especially around the Great British High Street campaign.
Through 2019, the BID team delivered for its levy-payers by organising a series of events, including Frankenfest in Southbourne for Halloween. It also helped secure £10,000 to put it on.
Other events included Easter celebrations, which involved a giant bunny, a May the 4th Be With You Star Wars celebration in Boscombe, Chinese New Year fun as well as the Southbourne Revival.
The BID levy-payers also provided the seed-funding for Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe (BEAF) so it could apply for more money from other bodies.
In 2020 Bournemouth Coastal BID is looking to build on the success of these events to drive footfall to all of the villages so watch this space!