MTA Chair’s Report 2017/18
Presented at the AGM on 17th April 2018
This past financial year has been one of mixed fortunes for our Trading Association. Our finances remain strong, our ‘Vivid’ website continues to be one of the best and membership remains both strong and loyal. Our trading district continues to be buoyant and rare empty shops continue to quickly attract new businesses. Overall, throughout our stretch of Wimborne Road and Castle Lane West together with our out-lying areas, business appears to remain resilient to economic and social winds of change.
Last year Tony Bowyer Print produced ten thousand new ‘Shops and Services’ maps and The Local Eye helped distribute them far and wide. A shared stall with the Winton Traders Association at the Winton Carnival also helped raise our profile and offer an opportunity to hand out hundreds of maps while promoting Moordown as a diverse shopping destination.
A new initiative proposed by Mike Stokes Motoring has been to invite MTA members to write a short feature to accompany a photograph promoting their business. The Association post the article on the front page of the MTA website and in association with the Local Eye magazine the article also appears as a full-page feature. The MTA committee agreed to fund this initiative from existing finances and review the position periodically.
On a slightly more disappointing note the Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce decided to withdraw a funding initiative that had been in place for well over a decade. The Chamber had a scheme whereby Trading Associations would receive a financial return if a business wished to become a member of both the BCTC and the respective Trading Association. Strong links between Trading Associations and the Chamber were forged but this bond has now been broken and a valuable funding stream extinguished.
Lastly, I would like to comment on the social side of our association. In my 2017 report I expressed concern about the longevity of Trading Associations in general. Charminster who had once been strong and vibrant disappeared and is now struggling to revive itself. Boscombe similarly positioned. Kinson trying to adjust to the BCTC funding change while Winton continues to do surprisingly well. Southbourne and Westbourne enjoy the benefits of the ‘Coastal BID’ strategy and the Town Centre remains the focus of commercial attention.
Moordown Traders remain constant and have a strong core of members that enjoy Christmas and summer events, however, we all move on and meetings and socials become harder to attend in our fast-moving digital age. Even the temptation of complimentary sandwiches is not enough to attract regular attendance at monthly meetings. I often wonder if we are a victim of the area’s success. Crime is quite low, we don’t have the begging that Winton had, graffiti is not excessive, boarded up shops do not blight our streets, the Moordown in Bloom committee continue to get flowers on the pedestals and in the tubs while the Council keep our streets fairly tidy. A. O. B. does not attract a stream of complaints so therefore Moordown must be a good place to do business. I certainly hope that is the case.
Best wishes to the businesses in Moordown, may 2018/19 be a good year for you all.
Roger Eede, Chairman
Moordown Traders Association