Newport city centre will start the countdown to Christmas with a
spectacular event packed with fun for all the family on Saturday,
November 18

Running from noon until 5.30pm, Countdown to Christmas will feature music, fairground rides, celebrity guests and cartoon characters, culminating in the official switching on of Newport’s extended Christmas lights and a fireworks display.

Organised by the Newport Now Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with Newport City Council and Friars Walk, Countdown to Christmas mirrors last year’s hugely successful Saturday event.

The event also marks a year since the BID took over the Christmas lights switch-on, and it has been an extremely busy 2017 for Newport Now.

The BID is halfway through delivering a five-year business plan voted for by city centre businesses in a ballot in 2014.

All BIDs work across five-year terms before seeking a further mandate in a re-ballot. Newport Now started work in April 2015 and its current term ends in March 2020. There will be a re-ballot of more than 400 city centre BID members in late 2019.

The BID is a private company financed by its members and governed by a board of directors, all of whom run businesses in the city centre.

Its role is to be the voice of city centre businesses and to identify or support ways to improve the city centre for businesses and visitors alike.
The BID works across three central themes.

Welcome to Newport delivers a marketing and events programme that aims to increase footfall in the city centre.

This year to date, the BID has organised or helped to fund a series of high-profile events.

These include the Festival of Classics car rally, the Big Splash Festival, Record Store Day, an urban beach in the city centre, the Tiny Rebel Food and Drink Festival, the Queen’s baton relay, and the Champions League Trophy Experience.

Events still to come include Countdown to Christmas on November 18, and Shop Local Saturday on December 2.

Safe and Secure Newport sees the BID working with a number of partners to make the city centre a safer and more welcoming place. The BID employs Ambassadors who patrol the city centre for eight hours a day, seven days a week, and who work closely with the city council’s wardens, community support officers and the police.

Newport Now pays for all its members to be part of the Newport Business Against Crime Partnership, giving them access to software where key information about regular offenders can be shared, and, for a small charge, a city centre-wide radio system.

Future Newport is aimed at using digital technology and collective procurement to save money for BID members. The BID provides free consultations for members to help them save money on utilities, telecoms and merchant fees. It offers shop front improvement grants for BID members, and finances the Newport Explorer app that helps guide visitors around the city.

The BID is launching an exclusive gift card before Christmas that can only be spent with participating businesses in the city centre.

For more details on the Newport Now BID and its activities, visit the website or follow on social media.

Facebook: Newport Now

Twitter: Newport_bid