Freo's View

BUSY EVENING AT FREMANTLE COUNCIL

Posted in city of fremantle, community, democracy, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on April 19, 2018

 

It was a busy night at the full Ordinary Council of the City of Fremantle last night.

The Destination Marketing Fremantle was on the agenda, that will probably mean the demise of BID, and it sailed through with just a few mentions that BID had done a good job connecting small businesses and that the Economic Development and Marketing Department had a gap to close with the retailers in that regard.

Councillors expressed they hoped BID would survive in a kind of precinct form so that traders would stay connected and helped as volunteers at events.

It was unanimously decided to go ahead with the new marketing concept but $ 50,000 will be allocated from the budget for the Winter Festival and the Long Table Dinner.

Also-yes still!-on the agenda was the Sunset Venues lease for the No 1 unit at J Shed.

Councillors disagreed with speakers that the operators would not get the go ahead from the Western Australian Planning Committee for a smaller tavern, as there were examples on Rottnest Island and elsewhere where hospitality venues had been allowed on A Class Reserves and in heritage precincts.

It was mentioned that it would be hard to find another business that would be willing to spend a lot of money to put all the required infrastructure in and that Fremantle would get an improved asset.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said they had taken it back to where we originally wanted it to be as a small bar/cafe and restaurant that would activate the area.

The proponents will only have 12 months to start substantial development or the lease will be terminated. Only Councillors McDonald and Jones voted against the item.

Only Councillor Strachan did not support the License Agreement with the South Fremantle Football Club for Fremantle Oval. He questioned why the city was giving the club so much financial support in difficult fiscal times for the City.

The adoption of the new Precincts Policy was also approved with Councillor Sullivan expressing that he would like a more organic precincts system where groups would be less formal.

And the Dog Exercise and Prohibited Area Policy also got the tick of approval from our elected members.

Roel Loopers

WORLD OF RENOVATION CLOSED DOWN

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, lifestyle, living, Uncategorized by freoview on April 18, 2018

 

liquidation

 

It is disappointing but not a surprise that the World of Renovation shop by the Million Dollar Makeovers renovation experts in Fremantle’s High Street has closed down.

The business was ostentatious and pretentious, and three of the businesses of owner Sasha deBretton have gone into liquidation, according to the West Australia today.

The quite lovely cafe at the back already closed sometime in January.

Roel Loopers

NEW BUSINESSES FOR FREMANTLE CENTRE

Posted in backpackers, city of fremantle, clothes, fashion, hospitality, retail, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on April 17, 2018

 

academy brand

 

A brand new clothing shop will open in Fremantle soon. The Academy Brand will be offering clean and classic men’s and boys clothing from their Market Street shop on the corner of the High Street mall.

The Academy Brand was established in 2007 with a boutique at Bondi Beach and now has several shops in New South Wales and also one in Brisbane.

The brand is very popular here in Australia and New Zealand, so gents go and check it out.

 

tavern

 

While walking down High Street I noticed men putting up the sign at the Orient Hotel for the retrospective change of use to tavern at the Fremantle Beach Backpackers upstairs.

I don’t know if that will mean the end of the hostel or if the tavern will be an addition for the backpackers and in competition with the Orient.

Roel Loopers

NEW MARKETING MANAGER SHOULD HAVE SAY ON NEW FREO STRATEGY

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on April 16, 2018

 

I have been thinking a bit about the push for Destination Marketing Fremantle, which would likely mean the end of Fremantle BID, and why there is a sense of urgency when we hear that Tom Griffiths, the present Manager Economic Development and Marketing, will be leaving the City of Fremantle.

There is no doubt that the new marketing manager will have her/his own thoughts about retail versus destination marketing, or a combination of both, so would it not make more sense for Fremantle Council to wait with its decision until a new marketing manager has been appointed and our elected members can find out from that new officer which direction (s)he wants to go with a new marketing strategy?

I agree with critics that BID has not worked as well as it could have. It connected Freo’s traders well but failed to have a big picture approach, but let’s also be clear that BID specifically was created for the CBD retailers and hospitality traders. But I also believe that the City’s Fremantle Story is not a great marketing campaign because it too did a lot of small things and there is far too much and hard to find information on that website.

Destination marketing will attract people to Fremantle, but an essential part of it needs to be to communicate with visitors what they can do in Fremantle every day, but also on the specific day(s) they are here. That has been lacking forever and it needs to change, so that people will linger longer in Fremantle. Getting back to basics with a What’s On In Freo Today might just be the start.

Starting a new marketing strategy just months before a new marketing manager will be appointed makes no sense, so Council should be very careful not to rush a decision about Destination Marketing Fremantle prematurely.

Roel Loopers

ANOTHER SUNDAY IN FREO PARADISE

Posted in art, city of fremantle, culture, photography, retail,, Uncategorized by freoview on April 15, 2018

 

Freo lifestyle

 

Just another beautiful Sunday morning in gorgeous Fremantle! I took this photo at the East West Design warehouse in South Fremantle a couple of hours ago.

Roel Loopers

FREO KINGS SQUARE DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

 

Myer

 

The  former MYER building at Fremantle’s Kings Square is a mere skeleton now that the part demolition is at an advanced stage with large sections of the Queen Street facade now also removed.

Roel Loopers

CAN BID SURVIVE FREMANTLE DESTINATION MARKETING?

 

The future of the Fremantle Business District-BID is in doubt after the FPOL Committee of Fremantle last night approved the Destination Marketing Fremantle concept, which will see the additional differential rates CBD businesses pay go to the marketing department budget and no longer to BID.

It is very doubtful BID will be able to continue without funding from the City of Fremantle, although several councillors mentioned that there was a need for something like BID and that is had done grassroots work well.

There were public speakers in support of continuing BID and others supporting the new destination marketing strategy, but the consensus of the elected members was that a new marketing approach is needed and that BID was not the way forward.

Supporters for BID said BID was a lifeline and a voice for small retailers and that BID had businesses working together for the first time. That is true and nothing stops traders from continuing to work together in a kind of precinct format, I believe, so not all is lost and the good momentum BID created could continue.

BID wanted another 12 months extension and believed it could become self funding, but they had already been granted the extension and could not show they were raising enough money to be able to continue without council giving them the differential rates.

Councillors said this was not a debate about BID versus the destination marketing strategy but if Council wanted a new marketing approach for the city. It is not either or, Councillor Andrew Sullivan said. He also said the City needed to support the concept of BID and offer more support for retailers.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton said that we needed to acknowledge the incredible work BID had done and that BID was always about collaboration and grassroots level liaising with businesses, and that can continue.

Councillors agreed the City needed to try something different as the present marketing is not working and businesses are not happy with it.

Councillor Doug Thompson wanted to know before the item goes to full council next week who the marketing experts would be the marketing department wants on a panel of experts.

Councillor and FPOL chair Hannah Fitzhardinge said clarity had been lacking about what BID does and what the marketing department does.

I want to make one point that gets ignored at the Freo City marketing department and that is the lack of information the City sends out to tourist destinations in the city. More often than not the tourist guides at the Roundhouse are not informed about festivals and events, so they can’t send tourists to them. We have never had a poster or leaflets for example to promote the Winter Festival and other events that happen on the Esplanade. We have begged for info about the Hidden Treasures music festival, Street Arts Festival, etc.etc. We can’t even tell tourists what’s on at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

There is also no communication between the tourist destinations, so Roundhouse volunteers don’t know about special exhibitions or events at the Maritime Museum, Fremantle Prison, etc. That needs to be coordinated by the City’s marketing department and could be as easy as emailing a short list of what is on next week. It’s very good to get more people visiting Fremantle, but we need to be able to keep them here longer and tell them what else they can do.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE BID FUTURE IN DOUBT

Posted in advertising, bid, city of fremantle, economy, local government, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on April 11, 2018

 

The FPOL Committee of Fremantle Council will consider tonight the City’s future role in delivering destination marketing also known as the ‘place marketing’ service. Some of the reasons for it are :

The service aims to support the viability of the Fremantle business community by improving awareness of the overall Fremantle offering to visitors, improving perception of the overall Fremantle offering to visitors, and ultimately increasing visitation to Fremantle to provide opportunities for local businesses to capture expenditure.

The service encompasses the marketing of all business-to-customer or population-driven industries including (but not limited to) retail, hospitality, professional services and traditional tourism attractions.

Combining the City’s destination marketing budget with the use of the central area differential rate to enable a greater investment in destination marketing, and

Establishing an ‘arm’s length’ group comprised of a marketing professional as chairperson and key representatives from the business community with appropriate skills or experience in marketing to set the plan for:

the overall strategic marketing approach, including different stages over next four years

how to achieve ongoing business community engagement in marketing activities

appointment of a marketing agency and/or marketing contractors (via a normal City procurement process) to deliver destination marketing services, and

sponsorship of existing and new private events and grass roots business activation projects.

It is recommended that the destination marketing advisory group will operate for a four year period (2018/19 – 2021/22) with agreed terms of reference, and process for nomination and appointment by council. The group would make recommendations to council on matters related to destination marketing. In many ways, comparisons can be made to the way the Design Advisory Committee operates.

The Group will consider the ‘brand values’ and ‘unique selling points’ of Fremantle within the context of increasing competition from competing Perth metropolitan centres, global customer trends, disruptions to major industries such as retail, and the economic development aspirations of Fremantle.

Following organisations that have submitted letters of support: Experience Perth, Tourism Council of Western Australia, Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, Fremantle Prison, Fremantle Tourism Association, Fremantle Accommodation Association, Fremantle Markets, MANY 2.0 and Sirona Capital.

The current recipients of the differential rate, the Fremantle BID and some of its supporters, have submitted letters opposing the proposal. This is an expected and logical position for the BID to take as the recommended model requires discontinuing the BID’s funding after this financial year.

This report does not comprehensively evaluate the performance of the Fremantle BID but does assume that the recommendations in the report will deliver a more effective use of the differential rate money. That assumption is made by comparing the expected outcomes of the officer’s recommendation and the level of business support for it, against the level of support for the Fremantle BID and the outcomes delivered for the approximate $2.2 million in funding provided to the BID since 2012/13 FY.

One of the issues that is not addressed is that the additional differential rates are only paid by businesses who operate in the CBD, while the new destination marketing strategy will be for all of Fremantle, so how will the City make this fair for inner city traders that are paying the extra rates?

Roel Loopers

FREO-SUCH A BEAUTIFUL CITY

 

Freo 1

 

Some Fremantle impressions I took yesterday. A tiny hole in the wall cafe, two bookshops combined in a reflection, the Fishing Boat Harbour early morning, and lots of bikes at another cafe.

Freo is full of hidden treasures and surprises. Explore it!

Roel Loopers

TIMING TO SCRAP BID ALL WRONG

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on March 28, 2018

 

Fremantle Council is considering scrapping the BID but the timing for it appears to be all wrong. Why do it now when there is major development going on and much more starting soon, that impacts negatively for the next years on CBD traders. They need nurturing, and at least that is what the Business Improvement District is good at.

Jenny Marslen of BID is a great nurturer. She connects regularly with our traders with positivity and great energy and that reassures them. BID is good at doing small things right but I don’t know that they get the big picture yet.

The scrapping of BID is probably driven by the Economic Development and Marketing department director, who expressed from the moment he started his position in Fremantle that he was not a fan of BID. I probably agree with him that BID in its present form does not work as well as it could, so it needs to reinvent itself, step up and change, or falter.

But is handing over $ 300,000 to the ED&M department a better idea? I can’t see much evidence that the Fremantle Story marketing is making a tangible difference, and while it gets a lot of hits on its website it is a hard to navigate the clutter of hundreds of small promo windows.

I also wonder why the officers suggest to council to create a group of marketing experts to guide them, and even to engage a marketing company. Why do we pay marketing officers  high wages when they need outside help to do their job? It happens all the time in all forms of governments and should be strongly scrutinised.

A marketing, PR or advertising consultant will want at least $ 200-300 per hour to sit around a table for a chat, without any guarantee of improvement, and the plan to also have a member of the Chamber of Commerce on the expert marketing panel is baffling, unless the FCC does have a professional marketing person on their board.

I agree that BID needs to improve or go, but why do it now when the inner city looks like it has been bombed, and it won’t get any better soon with the development of the Manning building, and two developments in Henderson Street due to start, and it will get a lot worse once the massive Woolstores shopping centre development starts.

The scrapping of BID is not a priority as it makes little sense to start a new major marketing campaign for Fremantle before the Kings Square Project is finished. What the city should do instead is to start working on creating a marketing and festivities campaign that will be implemented in the last quarter of next year when Kings Square will become a great attraction for shoppers.

I suggest to leave the nurturing of the CBD traders to BID for the time being but put them on notice that if they do not change BID will be abandoned at the start of the 2019-20 financial year in July next year. But if Fremantle Council scraps BID make sure to offer a job to BID’s Jenny Marslen who is a great asset to the group and Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

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