Operation Sparkle is continuing to create a shine in Stoke-on-Trent City Centre…

Stoke-on-Trent BID Introduced Operation Sparkle in March 2021 with the aim to ensure the City Centre maintains a quality environment to attract shoppers and visitors and increase footfall.

The BID has identified new areas of improvement for 2022 and is working closely with the local authority and City Centre businesses to help clean up the trading environment.

“After the success of Operation Sparkle in 2021, we look forward again to improving our City Centre throughout 2022,” said BID manager Richard Buxton.

“Working with our key partners, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and The Potteries, we have a programme of actions that will give our visitors and businesses alike a City Centre to be proud of. Everyone can get involved in our Spring Clean weekend in May and we will continue to deliver the City Centre we all deserve.”

Julie Davies, County Business Crime Partnership Manager PABCIS – Partnerships Against Business Crime in Staffordshire and Lead Director for Place Management, one of the key three priorities for the Stoke-on-Trent City Centre BID, is championing Operation Sparkle and stresses the importance of working together to achieve a City Centre we all deserve.

Julie said: “We all need to play our part in maintaining or improving our City Centre’s standard. A clean, healthy environment is good for our City Centre and our local economy. It plays an important role in improving our wellbeing and it helps our businesses to be more successful – after all, wouldn’t you prefer to shop, dine, and be entertained in tidy, gleaming surroundings?

“Eliminating litter and waste on our streets is an important part of this. Rubbish on our streets is a sign that people do not respect their local environment and it leads people to feel less safe in their communities.

It is important that all parties understand the significance of doing ‘their bit’ and working together towards one common goal. We expect all businesses to take personal responsibility for their surroundings whilst the BID will take on tasks that do not fall under either the local authority or a business’s remit in the aim to clean up and improve our trading environment. Together we can make a huge difference – but we do need everyone’s support to make this a success and that includes anyone venturing into the area who we ask to be mindful and to bin their rubbish or take it home with them.”

In 2021 the Operation Sparkle weekend 2021 took place and this year, Stoke-on-Trent BID is working in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council and The Potteries Centre to host a major clean up weekend for 2022 ‘The Big Spring Clean.’

The event will take place over the 21st and 22nd May and the BID is appealing to all local businesses, residents and the community to take part. Tasks across the weekend include graffiti removal, litter picking and general cleaning of target areas throughout the City Centre the BID has identified require attention.

The Potteries Centre environmental services team were out in force during last year’s Operation Sparkle weekend.

Amy Whittaker, General Manager of the Potteries Centre added: “We’re pleased to have had the opportunity to support Stoke-on-Trent BID’s Operation Sparkle back in 2021.There was a fantastic atmosphere as we all rolled up our sleeves to give Stoke a big spring clean. We are excited to be taking part in the project again this year.  We are proud to play our part in making our great City Centre the best it can be and look forward to seeing many Stokies getting involved again and making it a real team effort. It is important for us all to consider the part we have to play in keeping the City Centre a clean and welcoming environment for everyone.”

The BID has also set aside funding to be allocated on an application basis for City Centre Businesses. The ‘Business Visual Improvement Fund’ will provide additional support for local City Centre businesses who wish to improve their business frontage aligning with the BID’s objective to clean up the City Centre.

For more information regarding Operation Sparkle, The Business Visual Improvement Fund and how to volunteer during ‘The Big Spring Clean’ weekend please visit the Stoke-on-Trent City Centre BID website: www.stokeontrentcitycentre.co.uk/operation-sparkle

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