Visit Knowle Celebrates Five Years of Success

On Wednesday 29th May 2019 businesses and residents came together in the Red Lion on Knowle High Street to talk about collaborating on projects to support the village. In that first meeting, we talked about what we loved about Knowle, ideas for some short term improvements and ideas for longer term opportunities. Meeting every month, we soon clarified our purpose and created four teams to deliver our action plan.

Over the last five years, teams have delivered a variety of projects that have supported our businesses, encouraged footfall and made Knowle an attractive place to be. Co-founder Dave Pinwell said “When we took the plunge and speculatively arranged that first meeting five years ago we could not, in our wildest dreams, have imagined just how far we could come and how much we could achieve in the years to follow. The strength of our membership, the popularity of our activities and events, and the impact we have had on our village, continue to amaze – yet we have hardly started“.

Events in Knowle

Over the last five years the events team has gone from strength to strength, with volunteers delivering events celebrating special occasions, our heritage and Christmas. Events include:

images of people enjoying High Street celebrations, markets and Christmas entertainment
  • 1 “Time Machine” Heritage Weekend with workshops, heritage walks & looking to the future
  • 2 Royal Celebrations on the High Street featuring a market, street food, community stalls and entertainment
  • 3 markets – two Christmas markets in the Greswolde arms and one Autumn Market on Station Road
  • 4 fundraising events including a quiz night, a dinner at Loch Fyne & two Spring Balls at Copt Heath Golf Club
  • 5 Late Night Shopping Events, including one virtual event
  • 11 Christmas street entertainers

Looking forward, the events team are excited about the forthcoming Midsummer Celebration on June 15th as well as The Greatest Showman Outdoor Cinema Experience & Party in the park coming to Knowle this summer.


Every place has hidden gems and we’ve spent the last five years sharing news from our businesses. We’ve promoted events in Knowle, ran shop local campaigns and we kept our followers up to date with who was open when during lockdowns. We’ve steadily grown our followers from around 1000 on both Instagram and Facebook. Marketing in numbers:

  • 1 website featuring directories of places to shop and eat, latest events and our business directory
  • 1 award win for Excellence in Sales & Marketing with Solihull Chambers of Commerce and finalists twice more
  • 2 Small Business Saturday Tours
  • 4 videos showcasing Knowle and its businesses
  • Twelve Small Business Saturday interviews
  • 20 radio interviews and press releases
  • +3500 social media posts celebrating our businesses & Knowle
  • +3575 Instagram followers
  • +5,800 Facebook followers

We’re looking forward to continuing to showcase our members, new openings and what’s on in Knowle.

Street Scene

From the first meeting, the appearance of the High Street & the centre of Knowle has been important to businesses, residents and community groups. Over the last five years the team has worked on:

  • 1 parklet
  • 1 set of street bunting to mark the reopening of businesses after Covid
  • 1 audit of the High Street with Solihull Council and local community groups
  • 2 town tidy days
  • 4 window vinyls for empty units
  • 4 refurbished planters & bins
  • 12 trees planted at the Gateway to Knowle
  • 25 knitted hanging baskets

The team is currently working the planting around the Gateway to Knowle and will be commissioning a wooden “Welcome to Knowle” sign soon.

Business Support

Knowle is home to many local businesses, with over 80% of them independent. Since forming, we have listened to what businesses want for their centre, kept them up to date with news, issues and opportunities and brought businesses together with our popular networking events. Over the last five years we have

  • 1 petition
  • 3 business surveys
  • 3 Solihull Council strategy papers commented
  • 5 vacancy rate reports
  • 6 grants awarded for projects
  • +10 social media training sessions
  • 13 networking events
  • 15 new businesses signposted to landlords
  • 40 newsletters sent to business members
  • 112 photoshoots generating over 1000 complimentary images
  • 131 businesses supported

We’ve also had countless meetings with stakeholders to discuss wider issues such as parking in the centre.

Five Years of Collaboration

Co-founder Kim Hulse said “The last five years have been a whirlwind! Since day one, Visit Knowle has thrived thanks to the support of our members and the incredible partnership between passionate businesses and volunteers. It’s only when you step back that you realise how far the team has come. We’re proud of what we’ve built together, and even more excited to keep fostering that strong sense of community at the heart of Knowle.”upport of our members and incredible partnership between passionate businesses and volunteers. It’s only when you step back that you realise how far the team has come. We’re proud of what we’ve built together, and even more excited to keep fostering that strong sense of community at the heart of Knowle.”

Looking Forward

For the last five years we’ve only selected a few projects each year to work on, whilst we build our teams, experience and capacity. Looking forward, there’s so much more we need to do. Our five year plan focuses on continuing our work on short term projects that make positive impacts in the village and raising funds to deliver even more as well as looking further ahead at the longer term strategy for Knowle. Our Board or Directors will work with other key stakeholders including Knowle, Dorridge and Bentley Heath Neighbourhood Forum, Knowle Society and Solihull Council.

Nick Lyons, Chair of Visit Knowle said “We’re ambitious for Knowle and its businesses. In the next 5 years I want Visit Knowle to have a membership benefits app which helps residents, businesses and Visit Knowle. We’ll also focus on driving footfall to Knowle with big events like Party in the Park (brought back this year by the request of Visit Knowle for the first time in 15 years). Marketing and social media presence will continue to be a key benefit for business members, as will business support. Watch this space – Every business, resident and visitor to Knowle. We are here for you“.

You can find out more about getting involved by emailing us at

A montage of images showing the work of Visit Knowle over the last 5 years