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Looking ahead

HWBIDCo launches a series of ‘recovery linked’ projects, representing the first few positive steps towards creating a post-Covid town centre

Despite a second lockdown this November, the optimism embraced by town centre organisation, HWBIDCo, has not been swayed, with a series of exciting ‘recovery projects’ being put in place to prepare High Wycombe for a positive post-Covid world.

The programme of improvements – including a new ‘Parklet’ in Frogmoor, FREE Wifi and Covid-safe Christmas celebrations, has been designed not only to brighten up the town centre, but also offer a variety of new visitor services, firmly positioning High Wycombe as a destination for a post-Covid world.

Frogmoor Parket

Launched on Wednesday 11th November, the Frogmoor ‘Parklet’ is a welcome new outdoor destination in the town. Designed as a modern outdoor seating space, the ‘Parklet’ will offer a safe, green location for shoppers to relax and enjoy, whilst also supporting businesses in the Frogmoor area.

Town Centre ‘Enlivenment’

Adding a splash of colour to the town this winter, we’ve been working in conjunction with local artist, Dan Wilson to bring retail window displays and seating spaces to life – including the old Burger King unit. By installing creatively curated window vinyls and brightly painted benches, the streets of High Wycombe are already looking the part for the brighter future ahead.

Free Wifi & New Website

Visitors to the town centre will soon be more connected than ever, as a new FREE Wifi service is launched – the perfect provision enabling sightseers to access the NEW ‘soon to be unveiled’ High Wycombe website promoting the town’s heritage, news and upcoming events. Newly installed footfall sensors will also be used to measure footfall and track movement across the town, and will play a crucial part in providing evidence for future grant funding.

Christmas isn’t cancelled

Whilst Christmas looks a lot different for everyone this year, HWBidCo have been working hard to put plans in place to ensure that High Wycombe can still celebrate the festive season in a safe and socially-distanced way. The town’s ‘Light Switch On’ Event has been suspended this year in favour of an immersive shop window ‘Lights Trail’ as well as an interactive ‘Lights Experience’ taking place under the Pepper Pot.  The town will be ‘lit up’ from Thursday 19th November, and can be enjoyed every evening until Christmas.

Festive film buffs will be in for a huge treat with a GIANT LED CINEMA SCREEN popping up by the Frogmoor ‘Parklet’ from Thursday 17 to Wednesday 23 December. The ‘Festive Film Club’ will be screening two Christmas classics each day at 12noon & 2pm, featuring all the greats including Elf, Polar Express, Home Alone & more. Screenings will be FREE to attend for all and limited socially-distanced seating will be available – so bring a fluffy blanket and stop by for some festive family fun.

Finally, on Saturday 19 December, the Guildhall will play host to a special ‘Spin & Win – Festive Wheel of Fortune’ from 11am – 4pm, with shoppers trying their luck to win Christmas goodies galore. Simply show a receipt obtained from a town centre shop or restaurant that day, and take a spin – every player is a guaranteed winner, but will you hit the festive jackpot?

Chief Executive of HWBidCo, Melanie Williams, commented “As with any major town across the UK, High Wycombe’s recovery from the impact of the pandemic is going to take time, but by taking the first positive steps we’re optimistic in distancing ourself from any long-term doom & gloom. Throughout the year we’ve worked closely with many of our independent retailers to develop a robust ‘recovery plan’, which we’re now putting into action. With the installation of new town centre spaces and facilities we are starting to recognise a brighter future ahead, which, not only appealing to visitors, is of imperative support to our retailers who’ll benefit from the increase in footfall & engagement from the public.”

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