Drive for new members at Brid Chamber

NBFP PA1515-3a
NBFP PA1515-3a

A drive to recruit more businesses, attractions and residents was high on the agenda at the latest Chamber of Commerce meeting.

Members of the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce discussed the performance of business and industry in Bridlington, with the general forecast for growth and regeneration remaining optimistic.

However a push for new members and even members of the public to become more involved topped the chamber’s wishlist, with current members reiterating a need for townsfolk to take pride in their town.

Speaking at the meeting on Tuesday 7 July, Vice president of Bridlington Tourism Association, Andrew Warner, said: “We need to be a voice for change in Bridlington.

“We have to change and do things differently. We are bringing younger committee members with new ideas and that’s really important to us, because we did have a number of people who were a little bit old-style.

“We need fresh ideas to make it work. We need to work with other people in the town.”

It follows the Association’s success in helping to promote and involve the community at the Tour de Yorkshire, coupled with an increase in the town’s profile and a fleeting surge in hotel and guesthouse bookings.

Mr Warner continued: “There was so much bunting on the properties and that was down to the Bridlinton Tourism Association. We made a profit out of that but that was not the reason, because we felt no-one was helping. The Council was not and we sold 22km of bunting in total.”

Guesthouse owners and hoteliers have seen an increase in trade, however the Tour’s legacy in Bridlington left more to be desired for some who reported a less-than-expected number of guests.

Isla Pickup, the Bridlington Tourism Association membership secretary and co-owner of Sunflower Lodge Guesthouse, said: “We are extremely busy and don’t have a problem. This time last year we were 44 per cent up.

But Sylvia Wright, owner of Lincoln House said some business owners have seen a decline in guest numbers: “A good majority of members on the service side are down on last year. Others are doing really well. There is a massive surge in holiday park and camping holidays. A lot are going for the cheaper option which the self-catering.

“They are staying 3-4 days instead of a week. We are still there and trying. They are springing up in fields! It’s amazing.”

Sylvia also declared her support for the construction of a bigger hotel in Bridlington, something she believes will kickstart a regeneration in the town’s tourism and visitor industry.

She also thinks a large hotel will attract business people and other groups hoping to hold conferences and events in the town.

It comes after the East Riding of Yorkshire Council and hotel chain Premier Inn announced plans for a new 80-bedroom hotel at Beaconsfield Car Park.

The £7.1m project is expected to bring around 45 permanent jobs to the town.

The next Chamber of Commerce meeting will take place at 5 pm, Tuesday, October 13 at East Riding College.