Vote yes so ERBID2 can build on achievements of last five years

Faces of the Feast - Ash Hamilton from The Curious Kitchen in Brixham

Faces of the Feast - Ash Hamilton from The Curious Kitchen in Brixham - Credit: ERBID Company

I am a director of the English Riviera BID Company and chair of the ERBID Food and Drink Focus Group that represents more than 300 food and drink businesses operating across Torbay.

Outside of this voluntary role, I work as an independent hospitality consultant supporting a diverse range of businesses, helping owners to achieve their goals within the vibrant food and drink economy that we have in the area.

I have a passion for progress, excellent customer service, developing talent and championing local produce and suppliers.

I love the hospitlaity industry and our beautiful English Riviera. 

I know I do not only speak for myself when I say how supportive the ERBID Company have been and continue to be throughout the Covid-19 pandemic - continually 'fighting our corner' and providing vital information so businesses could get ahead in becoming Covid-19 secure prior to opening.

In my role as an ERBID director, I am most proud of what the food and drink focus group have achieved in the time we have been together.

We have met regularly, listened and worked together to deliver an exciting new programme of targeted marketing and promotion that had never been done before including:    

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  • developed the 'first of their kind' destination pub, bars, restaurant and café guides featuring all levy paying food and drink businesses, their contact information and key services 
  • invested in high-quality photography and visuals of our amazing local produce, our skilled local personnel and suppliers, delivering new digital marketing campaigns and shared creative assets that all levy payers can use to help them market their own businesses   
  • developed new curated online content and digital marketing around national days, seasonal produce and to show the journey from where local produce is sourced to it being served here locally  
  • launched and successfully executed the first two Seafood Feasts in our shoulder months with many successful collaborations resulting in great media coverage - a true celebration of our incredible local seafood from England’s Seafood Coast  
  • introduced a new ‘Faces of the Feast’ campaign bringing our chefs out of the kitchen to the forefront showcasing to the public the incredible talent that we have within the area. It was great to be able to communicate to the public the passion the chefs have for local produce, cooking and creativity. Most importantly, the feedback from the public following the campaign was very positive 
  • introduced a new Riviera Nights digital marketing and bus stop campaign in Plymouth and Exeter to attract new younger visitors to the area specifically promoting our very important night time economy  
  • we invested in a fantastic new Santa at the Seaside Christmas campaign with a top-quality Riviera photoshoot. 

Collaboration is, in my view, key to the English Riviera continuing to excel against other leading seaside destinations.

The work that is done by the ERBID Company provides our sector with a voice and a platform for us all to work more closely together.

After the challenges of the last 18 months, it's more vital than ever to continue to build on the achievements of the last five years attracting people safely year-round to spend their time and money here on the English Riviera over choosing other UK seaside destinations.

I would encourage all levy-paying hospitality businesses to vote yes s in the ERBID2 ballot so that we can jointly secure a further £3 million for continued proactive and professionally co-ordinated destination marketing and promotion for the next five years.

Kelly Widley, director of the English Riviera BID Company and chair of the ERBID Food and Drink Focus Group

Kelly Widley, director of the English Riviera BID Company and chair of the ERBID Food and Drink Focus Group - Credit: ERBID Company