Half-term sure to be eventful in Basingstoke

An intimate pop-up venue which will host entertainment for all ages is coming to Basingstoke for a wide range of activities and performances throughout the February half term.

The Event Box is a temporary indoor venue which will be in the Market Place at the Top of Town in Basingstoke from Monday 18 February until Saturday 23 February. A full programme of free daytime activities for the family will be on offer as well as ticketed events for children and adults in the evenings.

The initiative is being run and organised by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Basingstoke Together, which is the face of the Basingstoke Business Improvement District (BID). The BID’s aim is to help Basingstoke town centre to thrive by creating destination events, engaging with consumers and supporting retailers and businesses.

Lucy Boazman, Chief Executive of Basingstoke Together, said: “We’re so excited to be hosting such a fabulous calendar of events here in Basingstoke at The Event Box. At this time of year, we’re all a little more inclined to stay at home or indoors. However, we want to encourage people to venture out and explore the fun activities which are on offer during this traditionally quieter time of the year.

“We hope that lots of people of all ages will make the most of this fun opportunity to come and join in the fun at The Event Box. We also hope that it helps to cement Basingstoke as a great destination for families as well as visitors of all ages.”

The full schedule includes:

Monday 18th February, 11am – 6pm, The Jurassic Box
Head off on a dino dig to discover T-Rex bones, train your dinosaur and find out about the world when dinosaurs used to roam. Arts, crafts and dino dress up for youngsters.

Credit: Basingstoke Together

Tuesday 19th February, Midday – 6pm, The Bricks Box
Children can indulge their imaginations in a world of LEGO®. Marvel at the amazing brick unicorn made of 37,800 individual elements, take control of the Brick Kingdom or get a selfie in the LEGO brick throne. Play tables also available for children to get creative too.

Credit: Basingstoke Together

Wednesday 20th February, 11am – 5pm, The Art Box
Get messy with Artventurers to make your own creations with glitter, paint and everything in between. Free face painting for children aged three and over.

7pm – 10pm, The Art Box After Dark
A pop-up art gallery will showcase up to 30 new works from local and visiting artists, hosted by THAT Gallery, Basingstoke. Some of the artists will also be on hand to discuss their work. Free to attend but pre-booking is required.

Credit: Basingstoke Together

Thursday 21st February, 11am – 4pm, The Circus Box
A day of circus skills workshops and demonstrations for your budding greatest showmen, as well as puppetry workshops and interactive shows.

5.30pm – 7.30pm, Film Box Kids
The Greatest Showman (PG) 1hr 40mins
£3 per ticket which must be pre-booked

8pm – 10pm, Film Box Adults
Top Gun (15) 1hr 50mins
£5 per ticket which must be pre-booked

Credit: Basingstoke Together
Credit: Basingstoke Together

Friday 22nd February, 11am – 4pm, The Games Box
Test your skills against Miss Pacman, beat your friends at Air Hockey or take yourself back to the 1980’s and try your hand at Space Invaders.

5.30pm – 7.30pm, Film Box Kids
The Lego Movie (U) 1hr 40mins
£3 per ticket which must be pre-booked

8pm – 10pm, Film Box Adults
The Wedding Singer (12) 1hr 40mins
£5 per ticket which must be pre-booked

Credit: Basingstoke Together

Saturday 23rd February, 11am – 4pm, The Tech Box
Test your skills as a drone pilot or take part in a live virtual orchestra. The drone racing is suitable for children who are able to ride a bike as hand-eye coordination is key.

5.30pm – 7.30pm, Film Box Kids
Despicable Me (U) 1hr 35mins
£3 per ticket which must be pre-booked

8pm – 10pm, Film Box Adults
Shaun of The Dead (15) 1hr 40mins
£5 per ticket which must be pre-booked

Some activities will require pre-booking due to a strict capacity restriction. All of the daytime activities will be free of charge although some evening activities incur a ticket cost. More information can be found here: www.basingstoketogether.co.uk

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Basingstoke is Flying the Purple Flag

Photo by Basingstoke Together

Basingstoke has retained its Purple Flag accreditation for the seventh year running which is testament to efforts made to keeping the town a safe, entertaining and enjoyable place to spend an evening.

Basingstoke’s Purple Flag celebrates the town’s diverse number of venues for different ages, groups, lifestyles and cultures, its crime reduction and prevention measures and the ease and availability of nighttime transport links.

Basingstoke’s accreditation has been spearheaded by a number of authorities including Basingstoke Together, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Basingstoke Town Centre Pubwatch.

Basingstoke Together is the face of the Basingstoke Business Improvement District (BID). The BID’s aim is to help Basingstoke town centre to thrive by creating destination events, engaging with consumers and supporting retailers and businesses.

Lucy Boazman, Chief Executive of Basingstoke Together, said: “We are so pleased that Basingstoke has once again held onto its Purple Flag accreditation. A huge number of organisations and authorities work so hard to keep the town friendly, fun and safe for people from all walks of life in Basingstoke. So, this accreditation shows that we are successful in doing so.

“However, we will not rest on our laurels. We will keep striving to ensure that Basingstoke is a great place to spend your free time whether it’s shopping during the day or enjoying a meal, a theatre show or a glass of wine in an evening at a one-of-a-kind bar or restaurant – all of which we’re lucky to have on our doorstep.”

The Purple Flag initiative is run by the Association of Town Centre Management. It operates in a similar way as the familiar Green Flag scheme for parks and Blue Flags for beaches. The aim is to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town centres throughout the UK as evening or late night venues to support thriving local economies. Basingstoke is one of 70 towns throughout the UK to have this accreditation having first secured recognition in 2013 and has held onto it ever since.

The Purple Flag committee commended Basingstoke’s diverse calendar of events including Basingstoke Festival, the Exit 6 Film Festival and Independent Business Month. It also positively rated the independent venues in the town including Flip Out, Duck and Tipple and the Escape Rooms to cater for a wide age range. It also considered efforts made to keep Basingstoke safe including anti-social behaviour measures and in light of the terrorist attacks across the UK in recent years.

Find out more about the Purple Flag accreditation here or find out more about Basingstoke Together here.

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Small Business Saturday in Basingstoke this weekend!

BID to support independents in Basingstoke this weekend

Shoppers are being encouraged to love the local and independent businesses in Basingstoke this weekend to celebrate the UK-wide initiative, Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday, which takes place on Saturday 1 December, is a national celebration of the smaller and independent shops which line the UK’s high streets. Basingstoke is home to a diverse selection of shops for different and unique Christmas gifts and restaurants to take a break from the shopping frenzy.

Cool!Merchandise, photo credit Basingstoke Together

Small Business Saturday is largely viewed as the antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is dominated by the big brands. An estimated £748 million was spent on Small Business Saturday last year, making it the most successful year so far. It also has the support of growing number of local authorities, with 87% pledging their support last year.* However, Small Business Saturday still lags behind Black Friday, as we reportedly spent £7 billion during last week’s buying blitz.** Basingstoke Together, the public face of the Basingstoke BID, wants more people to embrace the town centre independents, particularly in the Top of Town, to recognise its potential as a vibrant shopping hub.

To celebrate Small Business Saturday, Basingstoke Together have created a series of short videos to put small businesses in the town under the spotlight to showcase their products and services. Independent businesses in Basingstoke have also been provided with printed hessian bags reading ‘I supported a small business in Basingstoke’ to gift to customers free of charge with any purchase.

Lucy Boazman, Chief Executive of Basingstoke Together, said: “We’re lucky to have some fantastic national chains in Basingstoke, particularly in Festival Place and The Malls. But, a stone’s throw away at the top of town is the home to shops and businesses which you simply won’t find anywhere else. We hope that people in Basingstoke will support our independent and small businesses in the town centre as they do their Christmas shopping this weekend as well as in the future.

“There has been a lot of coverage in the media this year about the struggling UK high street. However, Basingstoke is bucking the trend. We have welcomed eight new businesses to the town in the last couple of months; the majority of which have been small and independent.”

The Salt Lounge, photo credit Basingstoke Together

Basingstoke Together aims to help the town centre to thrive by creating destination events, engaging with consumers and supporting retailers and businesses. It will soon be launching a campaign to develop a regional community of Basingstoke’s small businesses.

As part of the campaign, independents in Basingstoke can display posters and window stickers, share their stories on social media using the #BIndependent hashtag. Basingstoke Together also offers free training with small businesses in Basingstoke on how to support growth in the town.

Joanne Goodman, Director of independent business Wax Works on Church Street, said: “It is a very difficult time to be a small business on the high street. We’re lucky to have such a diverse range of small and independent businesses in Basingstoke so a campaign to draw attention to them is a fantastic idea. It is also great to be able to reward people who choose to support small and independent businesses. When you support a small business, you support not only someone’s dream but the backbone of the town’s future. ”

For more information, visit www.basingstoketogether.co.uk

For more information on Small Business Saturday, visit https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/

The Secret Garden, photo credit Basingstoke Together

 

*Source: https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/articles/2018/11/small-business-saturday-helps-smes-fight-back-against-black-friday/

**Source: /www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/26/cyber-monday-uk-weekend-sales-spend-over-7bn-black-friday

Basingstoke Together supports local businesses by creating cultural hotspots within the town centre to draw visitors into the town and promote the business and leisure opportunities on the doorstep.

Basingstoke is a BID – a Business Improvement District, which is a business-led and business funded body formed to improve a defined commercial area. The improvements made by a BID are determined by the businesses themselves. It may include additional cleaning, security or projects such as recycling and improved infrastructure as well as destination branding and promotion.

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