The It’s in Nottingham Independent initiative returns once again and this year it is bigger than ever with a two month campaign starting on 1 June designed to showcase, promote and celebrate Nottingham’s unique mix of independent businesses.
With an independent scene to rival most UK cities, the aim of the campaign is to help people discover and support the extensive range of independent outlets that the city has to offer from designer boutiques to family friendly leisure venues as well as to publicly acknowledge them.
This is the eighth year that Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) has organised this event which includes competitions, workshops and tours of the city.
The campaign will kick off with a competition to find Nottingham’s Best Independent Business when the public are encouraged to nominate their favourite independent located within the area of the city covered by Nottingham BID in seven different categories. The categories are:
• Attractions & Things to Do
• Cafés/Coffee Shops
• Health, Hair & Beauty
• Homes & Giftware
• Pubs, Clubs, Bars & Music Venues
• Other retail businesses
People can make their nominations either by completing a voting card that they can pick up in one of the city’s many independent businesses and posting it in the ballot box in the Nottingham Tourism Centre or by voting for them online at www.itsinnottingham.com/vote. Everyone who votes will be entered into a free prize draw, with one lucky person winning a £100 voucher to spend at 2018’s best independent business – Bar Iberico. The closing date for nominations is 4pm on Thursday 27 June 2019.
The top three businesses in each category with the highest number of nominations will be visited by mystery shoppers and an independent judge who will rate them on various criteria including staff friendliness, customer service, product range, knowledge and individuality. The winning business in each category plus an overall winner will be announced at a breakfast event on Thursday 4 July 2019 – Independence Day.
A Special Achievement Award will also be presented to a business that the judges believe should have special recognition for their contribution to the independent scene in Nottingham city centre. Last year this went to Weaver’s Wine & Spirit Merchants on Castle Gate.
The individual category winners last year were as follows:
• Attractions and Things to Do: Broadway Cinema, Hockley
• Café/Coffee Shop: Wired Café Bar, Pelham Street
• Health, Hair and Beauty: Steele Hairdressing, Trinity Walk
• Homeware and Giftware: Handmade Nottingham, St James’s Street
• Pubs, Clubs, Bars and Music Venues: Malt Cross, St James’s Street
• Restaurants: Bar Iberico, Carlton Street
• Retail and other: Knit Nottingham, Trinity Walk
Dan Lindsay who jointly owns Bar Iberico with executive chef Jacque Ferreira, said: “There is a huge independent scene in Nottingham so it was amazing to win the restaurant category and just wonderful for the fantastic team at Bar Iberico who work so hard to be recognised. And in a city of amazing independents, it was such an honour to win the overall award too.”
In addition, this year independents will be creating special window displays and competing for the title of best dressed window. The window displays can be viewed around the city between Monday 1 and Sunday 7 July 2019.
Also to celebrate there will be an Independents Festival on Saturday 6 July at Trinity Square where local businesses will present a family fun day with free entertainment, music, stalls and activities. Special events and workshops will also be taking place at some of the city’s most popular independent shopping destinations, including St James’s Street, Hurts Yard, Kings Walk, Trinity Walk, Derby Road, West End Arcade, The Lace Market, Market Street, Friar Lane, Flying Horse Walk, Bridlesmith Walk, Pelham Street and Hockley
In addition, there will be opportunities for people to take part in free tours of the areas of the city where there are clusters of independents with Nottingham’s favourite outlaw, Robin Hood. The tours will be taking place on Saturday 6, 20 and 28 July with three different tours to choose from. For more information and how to register for a city tour visit: www.itsinnotingham.com/independents
Geoff Williams, one of the directors of Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID), the organisation behind this It’s in Nottingham initiative said: “Independent businesses play a huge part in shaping a city to make it stand out from the crowd. Nottingham is the envy of many towns and cities for its reputation of being home to a great range of independent businesses. It is therefore important that we recognise and celebrate them.”
Fellow BID director Polly Reade said: “We are very proud to have so many great independently owned shops, restaurants, bars, pubs, cafes, music venues and visitor attractions in the city which help to set Nottingham apart from other places so it’s really important to highlight them through initiatives like this.”
For more information visit: www.itsinnottingham.com/independents