Blog: Archive July 2012

Chichester Community Chess - officially launched!

Chess players of all ages enjoying the free chess

Chess players of all ages enjoying the free chess

Yesterday saw the official launch of our community chess initiative and we were pleased to welcome the Chichester Observer and Spirit FM for a game or two!

Magician and Street Entertainer Nick Stein - custodian of our community chess - will be out whenever the sun is shining from around 10am until around mid afternoon from Mondays to Saturdays, if you fancy a challenge!  Players of all levels are more than welcome to join in and there have been plenty of exchanges of chess skill and knowledge already!  So if you need to polish up your skills, take advantage of Chichester's masters!

Patisserie Valerie is happy to take orders for refreshments while you're playing, so why not make this a weekly - or even daily stop in your schedule?

Thanks to Spirit FM for their coverage of our launch which you can read/ hear on their website

Chichester Community Chess launches!

Our pilot scheme kicked off in the rain last week!

Our pilot scheme kicked off in the rain last week!

City Centre Manager Kim Long was approached by street entertainer and magician, Nick Stein with the idea of free community chess and together with Patisserie Valerie, they’ve worked to put it into place.  The pilot over 5 days saw more than 200 games take place!

Nick Stein comments: “Chichester boasts being one of the top cultural destinations in the country but there’s nothing on the streets that shows this.  I’ve played chess since I was a child and having seen free chess available in cities throughout the world, I was convinced it would work here. I was thrilled when Kim said she could help; no one else would have been abple to get it done so quickly!”

Keen to put the chess into place, Kim Long comments: “This is just the sort of thing the Business Improvement District is here for; to draw more crowds and custom to Chichester City Centre businesses and to encourage them to stay here. So I was thrilled when Nick approached me with this idea. It’s such a simple idea, with such a big impact!"

Patisserie Valerie was keen to be involved in a city centre initiative and so Kim Long approached them with the opportunity of sponsoring the chess equipment. Helene Bailey, Store Manager of Chichester’s Patisserie Valerie, comments:  “I am delighted we are able to support such a great scheme here at Chichester Patisserie Valerie. As a national company, we are always on the lookout for ways to get involved with the towns in which our cafés are based. We know that no two locations or the people in them are the same and as the store manager of the Chichester branch, I have a personal interest in ways in which we can support our city centre. I think the Community Chess Programme is a fabulous example of this and a brilliant way of inspiring local people to get involved with local events.”

Free to play, players are invited to make a donation to support chess clubs in schools, the first recipient being The Academy in Selsey.

The chess sets will be available for games on sunny days, overseen by Nick Stein who is happy to take on challengers... So go on! See how you get on! Patisserie Valerie will be taking orders from players to keep you all sustained!

5-way partnership working recognised with an award

In 2011 an issue emerged with homeless unemployed Eastern European workers causing significant anti-social behaviour and crime in the area.  An illegal makeshift 'encampment' had been set up just outside Chichester and three pedestrians were sadly killed crossing the A27 to reach it.

Sussex Police, ChiBAC, Chichester District Council, UK Border Agency and local homeless charity Stonepillow formed a partnership to identify the best way of solving this problem.  Working together and with landowners, Sussex Police were able to lawfully remove the encampment and nine individuals were administratively returned to their country of origin.  

UKBorder Agency staff stated that this was the best partnership working they had encountered, so the award given to ChiBAC and Sussex Police was well deserved!  

Since this award was received ChiBAC and Sussex Police have removed a further three people, which means the twelve who were originally identified have all been removed.

Neighbourhood Management Panel - City Centre update

Parking on double yellow lines at South Gate causes problems for pedestrians and traffic

Parking on double yellow lines at South Gate causes problems for pedestrians and traffic

The three issues currently facing residents and businesses in Chichester City Centre are shoplifting, parking outside Argos at South Gate and cycling through the City Centre and on pavements .

We've already started talks with West Sussex County Council about replacing the signage on North Street and surrounds about cycling in the pedestrianised areas of the City as it is rather ambiguous and has caused confusion for cyclists in the past. 

Shoplifting is an ongoing initiative that ChiBAC is working on with retailers and other business owners, by providing the annual radio scheme to keep abreast of shoplifters and troublemakers in the city. Additional measures include working closely with the police and CCTV monitors to deter and / or apprehend anyone shoplifting within Chichester. 

ChiBAC and police are liaising with the parking attendants at Chichester District Council to alert them to issues around Argos customers parking illegally outside the store at  South Gate. As well as causing a hazard for pedestrians crossing at that point of the road and other drivers coming up South Street, buses are frequently finding the junction a challenge to navigate around.  The challenge is that the double yellow lines have worn off the road so people may not be aware they are parking illegally and as the lines are not visible, 'no parking' is not able to be enforced.  We're liaising with the Highways Agency to re-paint the lines here.

Chichester cheers on the Olympic Torch

The view from the CCP office

The view from the CCP office

The rain could not dampen the enthusiasm as thousands came out all along the route, in a sea of umbrellas, to watch the torch come through North and East Street, before heading off to Arun. Footfall reached 47,549 , more than 10,000 over the previous Monday's count (36,576) and 18,000 more people compared to the previous year on Monday 18th July 2011, 29524. Let's hope the turnout of gold medals is as good!  Go Team GB!

Working together against anti-social behaviour for a safer city

Businesses in Crane Street recently reported an increase in anti social behaviour in the street which was affecting their businesses to the City Centre Manager. 

Speedy liaison with ChiBAC and Sussex Police identified that due to the closure of St Josephs Homeless Shelter for refurbishment for three months over the Summer, The Glassworks is now serving food in the evenings so there is an increase in users of the facility. 

As a result, Sussex Police are putting on more patrols in the evenings to support The Glassworks and ease the problem for Crane Street businesses. 

Thank you to all of those who kept us updated on this. Only by working together can we ensure the right people know about the right things – and can do something about them!

For more information on ChiBAC and the good work it does or if you want to join the scheme, please contact:

Tessa Callingham, ChiBAC Manager
07785 715873

Crane Street Gateway, Chichester design competition winner announced!

Joanne Calcutt's winning design; showing people what Crane Street has to offer!

Joanne Calcutt's winning design; showing people what Crane Street has to offer!

We are pleased to announce that Joanne Calcutt, the public art officer from Eastleigh Borough Council, has been selected as the winner of the Crane Street Gateway competition.  Following much deliberation, three companies were shortlisted from the 12 submissions received for the competition and they were Adam Richards Architects, Colman Architects and the winner, Joanne Calcutt.

The City Centre Partnership (CCCP) is committed to developing a number of initiatives that support the local business trading environment over the next five years which were highlighted last year in the Business Improvement District business plan.  Whilst many of the UK’s high streets have suffered in the past few years, Chichester has become one of the best performing historic centres in terms of visitor numbers and retail activity and the City Centre Partnership is keen to maintain or even improve on this with a series of initiatives, the first of which is the Crane Street Gateway Project. 

CCCP received 56 expressions of interest in response to the invitation for competition entries and of these, 12 submissions were provided for consideration as solutions to the issues faced by businesses in Crane Street which have been highlighted as

  • a way of identifying Crane Street and enticing people to come down and see what there is
  • a hanging sign initiative, whereby each business has a new hanging sign with matching brackets to support the gateway design
  • lighting issues in the street
  • the introduction of a monthly specialist market to the street

Judges included the businesses of Crane Street and key organisations in the city centre who selected the shortlisted designs on their aesthetic appeal, their practicality and the likelihood of implementation. 

As one of the judges of the competition, Justine Cockersell from Crystals in Crane Street comments: “It was a really difficult decision, but eventually we saw a clear winner that met Crane Street’s requirements, was realistic and could definitely be implemented. Joanne Calcutt’s design is really striking and will definitely make people look again at Crane Street and what it has to offer!” 

Barry Jenkins, of Broome Jenkins and a Director of the City Centre Partnership adds: “It’s easy to be creative and fanciful with competitions like this, but in order to make a difference to Crane Street, we needed to believe the idea was realistic in terms of planning permissions, partners involved and the likelihood of it actually happening, otherwise it’s just lip service.” Barry continues, describing the installation, “The two-metre high crane bird flying out of Crane Street will really grab people’s attention as they’re walking up or down North Street! They’ll be compelled to take a closer look!” 

£22,000 of Business Improvement District levy money will be invested into these schemes to improve Crane Street and Crane Street businesses are working hard together to market and promote the street collectively. There will be a full presentation to the businesses about the winning design at their next working party meeting.