We’ve had our busiest year so far here at Visit Knowle we thought we’d spend a few moments looking back at 2021.
We’ve celebrated plenty of positive stories this year, and we kicked it all off in January with our A – Z of Knowle. Our followers contributed their own suggestions for each letter from “A” for afternoon walks to “Z” for lock down Zoom calls. Our favourite suggestions included words like community, friendly, independent [businesses], welcoming and home. Your suggestions inspired our Love Knowle video and reminded us of why Knowle is such a great place to live and work.
We’ve shared news from businesses including spotlight features and introducing the faces behind the businesses.
As well as our Love Knowle video, we launched our “Eat Local” and “Shop Local” videos, celebrating some of the fabulous businesses in Knowle. We also commissioned a new look for Visit Knowle with fresh dynamic branding which has shaped videos, social media and our new website showcasing what’s in Knowle including where to shop, eat & drink and our members Directory.
FiverFest came to Knowle in June with a number of our businesses joining in by creating special FiverFest offers.
Towards the end of the year, our attention turned to Christmas with our Late Night Shopping campaign, “Support local” Christmas campaign and our A – Z of gifts in Knowle.
With lockdowns and Covid Measures in place, we supported businesses reopening and once again we were overwhelmed with the support from customers and clients. We kept businesses up to date with news from Solihull Success and Solihull Chamber and in May we re-launched our “Open for Business” campaign.
Visit Knowle delivered social media training to local businesses in conjunction with Maybe Tech and continued these sessions with businesses through the Spring.
Members have had the opportunity to book onto three photography sessions to take advantage of some complimentary branded photography, and we’ve enjoyed using these in our business spotlight posts.
We’ve worked closely with Solihull for Success to enable us to keep businesses up to date with a number of issues and we’ve successfully secured significant funding from a number of sources including Solihull Council to help us deliver a number of our projects this year.
It’s fair to say 2021 was a challenging year for events, but we still had a good programme of activities.
In June we hosted our first fundraising dinner at Loch Fyne at which we raised over £800 to contribute to the work Visit Knowle does in promoting the village.
The Time Machine event brought a number of local organisations together to celebrate Knowle’s heritage and also to look to the future. We hosted artisan workshops, street entertainment, exhibitions and had trails around the village.
October saw our first augmented reality Albreje trail around Knowle, perfect for young children to follow over October half term.
November saw one of Knowle’s favourite events with the Christmas light countdown featuring carols, the traditional Christmas jokes from the vicar at Knowle Parish Church and Father Christmas once again leading the countdown. This was followed by the Late Night Shopping Night where many of our businesses kept their doors open into the evening. The support for both of these events was fantastic and a good night was had by all.
This year our events programme has run right up to the last Saturday before Christmas. We have really enjoyed seeing the smiling faces around the village brought about from our entertainers in Knowle on each Saturday in the run up to Christmas.
We celebrated the reopening of businesses in the Spring with our colourful bunting around the village.
We’ve worked with Knowle and Dorridge Lions and Solihull Council to increase the number of bins provided in Knowle and to optimise the timing of rubbish collections whilst our street scene volunteers hit the streets twice in 2021 for our Town Tidy days.
We also secured funding for a Parklet, to be located on the High Street. This project is currently progressing through planning and we hope to install the parklet in Spring 2022 along with progressing discussions regarding the maintenance of planters in the village.
None of our work would have been possible without the tireless support of our volunteers in each of our teams, our Directors, local organisations (including Solihull Council, Solihull for Success, Solihull Chambers, Knowle Society and Knowle, Dorridge & Bentley Heath Forum) and our members who between them have been instrumental in delivering our projects. Here’s to 2022.