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The popular “Linlithgow Visitor Guide” booklet has been updated for 2017! Linlithgow Town Centre BID was proud to be part of an effective partnership between seven different community organisations, all of whom have worked tirelessly to deliver a fully revised document in time for the tourist season. A print run of 20,000 copies, chiefly funded by the BID and managed by Pride & Passion Linlithgow, is expected to last throughout 2017, after which each partner intends to collaborate on production of the next edition. Primarily designed as a companion guide for visitors it also serves to remind (and maybe even surprise) Linlithgow veterans just how richly diverse our town’s offer is, in terms of attractions, history, activities, shops and services.

The Guide is available at all businesses in Linlithgow town centre and at busy locations across a wider area across the Central Belt. Town centre businesses have already started reporting running out of guides within the first week, which have been replaced by the BID.

If our two-page spread in last week's Linlithgow Gazette didn't get the ideas flowing to make your dear old Mum happy on Mother's Day, we're not sure what will... If you still need an extra poke with a sharp stick, have a look at our interactive guide to a complete, fantastic Mother's Day in Linlithgow! Find out where to get cards and a pressie, where to eat, where to have Mum pampered, and much more. After all you've put her through, it's the least you can do!

The lucky winners from the March draw of the Linlithgow Loyalty Lottery are:

1st place: Helen Dixon of Falkirk, who shopped at Complete Health at the Mill Stone and wins £50.

2nd place: Kenny Galloway of Linlithgow, who shopped at Fairtrade Winds and wins £30.

3rd place: Mrs Sewell of Edinburgh, who shopped at Nifty Needles and wins £20.

Congratulations all, and "welcome on board" to Linlithgow DIY, the latest business to join the Loyalty Lottery project!

The winners have all been contacted and will collect their vouchers from the shops where they entered the competition. It’s a great opportunity to get a picture of the winner for your social media feed! One winner asked the town centre BID to pass on her thanks to the businesses taking part. She says that she loves shopping in Linlithgow because “its clean, friendly and so many good shops”.

Please remember to contact Stewart at the BID if you receive vouchers from customers - he will arrange to buy them back from you.

Thanks for your continued support of the project.

The new winners join the ranks of Kay Connor, Mrs. W. Tucker, Mr. Withers, Alison Griffin, Roz Coe, Mr. Rowe, Libby Gilliver, Janice Bennet, Jennifer Miller, C Bothwell, Alice Bayne, John Fleming, Jenny Hammond, Hazel Hunter, Mark Brock, Tracey Smith, Alan Craig, Joyce Adam, Danielle Walker, Claire Rainey, John Galloway, C. Duthie and Lee Ramsay, who won vouchers in previous draws.

With November 2016 marking the first draw to see over 1,000 Loyalty Lottery tickets handed out to customers at participating outlets in a single month, the project went on to beat that record with the special festive draw, and the bonus Late-Night Shopping draw, the following month. By the close of the year, £860 worth of vouchers had made the day of scores of loyal Linlithgow shoppers and now, with more town centre outlets taking part than ever before, it'll be putting more smiles on more faces in 2017!

Nifty Needles proprietor June Stevenson, said: "It has been very well-received by my customers. It's encouraging people to shop locally, and they can use the vouchers in other participating shops, too. It's much better than having my own loyalty card - it gives freedom of choice. If someone wants to use a voucher towards a steak from the butcher, that's fine! It's a win-win for everyone and I'd love to see more town centre businesses taking part!"

Businesses of Linlithgow Town Centre are also encouraged to get involved and spread the good word, too. If you would like to participate at your outlet, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To be in with a chance of winning yourself a treat this month, all you need to do is shop at one of the 21 participating outlets:

A Wee Mindin(48 High Street, 01506 848313)
Beautique Beauty Salon (222 High Street, 01506 844002)
Brodie's of Linlithgow (145 High Street, 01506 843036)
Brodie's Vintage Tearoom (121 High Street, 01506 843036)
Complete Health at the Millstone (159 High Street, 01506 847270)
Elevation Cycles (103 High Street, 01506 845390)
Ellie's Cellar (57 High Street, 01506 840123)
Fair Tradewinds (131-133 High Street, 01506 840348)
Far From The Madding Crowd (20 High Street, 01506 845509)
Fone Republic (276b High Street, 01506 847444)
Hendry Optometrists (17 High Street, 01506 842751)
J. Walker Carpets (2 The Vennel, 01506 670777)
Kapital Kilts (114 High Street, 01506 843658)

Linlithgow DIY (167 High Street, 01506 670924)

Linlithgow Papercraft (230 High Street, 01506 238300)
Mackie & Brechin Ltd. (256 High Street, 01506 842374)
Nifty Needles (56 High Street, 01506 670435)
So Strawberry Café (3 The Cross, 01506 843333)
T.D. Anderson (165 High Street, 01506 842140)
Taste Café Deli (47 High Street, 01506 844445)
The Line Gallery (238 High Street, 01506 670268)
Truly Scrumptious Designer Cakes (1 The Cross, 01506 671133)

The Rotary Club of Linlithgow Grange has been granted permission by Linlithgow Town Centre BID to adopt the tree outside Linlithgow Library and tap into the lighting that adorns the tree at Christmas.  This will be designated Linlithgow’s Rotary Tree of Light.  Linlithgow Grange Rotary is grateful to BID for their co-operation.

Linlithgow’s Rotary Tree of Light will be illuminated for the first time on the evening of this year’s Advent Fayre, November 26.  The Tree of Light allows donors to celebrate the memories of loved ones during the Festive Season whilst, at the same time, raising funds for worthwhile causes which support others who are in need.  The name and the symbolism of Linlithgow’s Rotary Tree of Light are reminders that there is light and hope in the bleakest circumstances.

Donor envelopes can be collected from a number of premises along the High Street (plus Mannerston’s at Cauldcoats) and sealed envelopes containing the forms along with donations can be handed into the Post Office or RGM Solicitors.  The names of loved ones will be uploaded immediately onto the dedicated website, www.linlithgowtreeoflight.org.uk so that it can be shared with members of the extended family wherever they are in the world and will be placed on a Roll of Dedication in the library window from November 26.

All donations received will be shared equally between three worthy causes that support those who are infirm of body or mind as well those who are their carers.  They are St Michael’s Day Centre, Maple Villa (Craigshill) and Carers of West Lothian. Additionally, money from any Gift Aid will be distributed locally by the Benevolent Fund of the Rotary Club of Linlithgow Grange which is organising the project.

It is an inescapable statistic that one in every three of us will experience dementia or Alzheimer’s either directly or indirectly.  It is fitting to give what aid and support we can to those organisations that give relief to those who are carers and comfort to those who suffer.  It is fitting therefore, that the Rotary Club of Linlithgow Grange has launched this project at Christmas, the season of giving.  It is hoped that Linlithgow’s Rotary Tree of Light can become an annual community-centred event.

More information can be found at www.linlithgowtreeoflight.org.uk or you can keep up to date at Facebook.com/Linlithgow-Tree-Of-Light

Linlithgow has been named as having one of Britain’s best high streets in the third annual Great British High Street competition. Named in the Top 5 of the "large market town" category, Linlithgow beat over 85% of entries and just missed out on going through to the public vote to decide the winner. The Top 5 in the large market town category are:

Bridgnorth, Shropshire

Hinckley, Leicestershire

Market Harborough, Leicestershire

Andover, Hampshire

Linlithgow, West Lothian

*The bolded top 3 go through to the public vote.

 

High Streets Minister Andrew Percy said: “Linlithgow demonstrated many of the things we were looking for: a commitment to revitalising the high street as a unique place for living, working and shopping.

“Linlithgow just missed out on the public vote this year but can take great pride in reaching the final 5 and being named one of Britain’s best high streets.”

Gail Boardman, Chair, Linlithgow Town Centre BID said: "Historically and geographically, with a diverse High Street and active community, Linlithgow is a destination centre which has an appeal for everyone. “From the canal to loch side, independent retailers, marvellous food and drink outlets, active cycling and sports groups, children’ activities and arts venues - Linlithgow welcomes all interests. Come and visit us!”

This year’s competition saw a record 900 entries across all 14 categories, including the new categories for individuals and shops. Now the shortlist has been drawn up and the public has the chance to vote directly for their best-loved high street online. Between now and November you can cast your vote for one of the top 3 finalists* in each of the categories for free via thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk. Winners will get a share of the prize pot worth £100,000, expert training from Google’s digital taskforce for shops, bars and restaurants and a trip to Twitter UK’s London office to boost their social media skills. The Great British High Street Competition 2016 celebrates the great work that is being done to revive, adapt and diversify the nation’s high streets. It is one of a number of initiatives to help champion high streets as the cornerstones of the community. To go online to cast your vote, visit the Great British High Street website and follow @TheGBHighSt on Twitter. Voting closes in November.

Regular customers may know that their outlet of choice is opening late on a particular day. Festive shoppers unable to visit during business hours, however, generally want to pick up a variety of gifts, enjoy the cafés and use other services later in to the evening. The more businesses take part, the more successful the event will be, and the greater likelihood of establishing a positive experience of festive shopping in Linlithgow to be repeated in the calendars of shoppers in years to come.

With this in mind, and after consultation with businesses already interested in opening late, Linlithgow Town Centre BID will be promoting Thursday 1st December as Linlithgow’s official festive late-opening day, on which businesses usually closing around 5pm will keep their doors open until 8pm.

During those hours, customers will be given a ticket when making a purchase at participating outlets and entered in to the £100 High Street voucher prize draw. The BID will also provide each participating business with festive “bags for life” as souvenirs for customers and will promote the event extensively ahead of the day. Free festive entertainment will be provided for shoppers and families, including free hot chestnuts!

There is limited availability of vouchers and bags. All businesses wishing to take part by opening late on the day should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. immediately, and join those already committed to taking part.

Linlithgow's Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) secured funding through EU Mobility Week, Scottish Government and BIDs Scotland to host a fun and informative event on Saturday 17th September 2016 at The Vennel.

Squarely aimed at getting locals hopping on two wheels, "Pedal 4 Linlithgow" saw locals, as well as visitors from the far-flung reaches of the globe, taking an interest, getting their bikes repaired free of charge (courtesy of Linlithgow's own Andy's Bike Clinic), enjoying a £2 cyclist's discount at cafés participating in the "Energy Boost" voucher scheme and having fun on the QR Treasure Trail around Linlithgow Loch. Even if you missed the event, you can find the first clue in the window of 28 The Vennel (opposite the library) and get hunting for clues! All you need is a smartphone, download any QR Code reader and you're ready to go!

Hundreds of goody bags were handed out, including a water bottle, high-visibility snap bands, cycle maintenance guide, maps and badges, not to mention the Linlithgow Town Centre BID "bag for life"!

We were joined by Sustrans, Transition Linlithgow and the Linlithgow Community Development Trust and had great fun in the sun with everybody who came down.

The Big Bike Revival launch event took place the following week, with a cool skills track and bikes to have a go on. Led rides and information about commuting are available right in to October, so it's not too late to get involved! You can also sign up for the National Cycle Challenge. This fun, free competition is designed to encourage local employees to experience first-hand the joys and benefits of riding a bike. This year the Challenge will run throughout September. There will be lots of fantastic prizes on offer to encourage you and your team. For more information and to sign your workplace up go to: www.lovetoride.net/westlothian/

The volume of Cruise passengers visiting Scotland has been increasing year on year, and now Linlithgow will communicate directly with the thousands of cruise ship passengers who disembark at Queensferry and Rosyth.The Board of The Linlithgow Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) have funded the design and print of over 40,000 leaflets, to be distributed to the visitors who are looking to soak up the royal burgh’s rich and fascinating history.

 

BID Board member Duncan McIntyre said: “During the set up of the BID, businesses highlighted the fact that thousands of Cruise Ship passengers are only a stones throw away. The Board recognise the opportunity we had and we are determined to make the most of it.”

 

The brochure, designed in collaboration with Historic Environment Scotland, Annet House, Linlithgow Union Canal Society, Visit West Lothian and Cruise Forth and printed by local Linlithgow companies, highlights Linlithgow’s attractions and shows the town as a destination for heritage, history and fantastic, unique shops. There will also be a German version, to target this key visitor group.

 

Duncan says that this is just the start. “We’re using the initial print run to raise awareness of Linlithgow to this important visitor market. Along with the development of Linlithgow.info, the new online resource for the town, and listings on cruiseforth.com, the next phase of this project is to develop our own tour of the town. We’re planning several pilot events this year to try out various options. We’d be keen on hearing from anyone who wants to get involved.”

For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PIGSThe Premises Improvement Grant has proved to be one of the most popular projects that the Linlithgow Town Centre BID has delivered. The Year One budget for the project was £10,000 and that saw a total spend of over £20,000 in the BID area. A total of 14 grants were paid out on a range of projects, from flooring to display equipment and lighting to furniture. The Board were pleased with the uptake and allocated another £10,000 to the Year Two Premises Improvement Grant budget. To date, there have been applications received for nearly £4,000 representing over £9,000 of projects. There is still time for levy payers to take advantage of this project and access funding for improvement projects. Businesses are encouraged to contact Stewart on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07717 865225 to discuss further.

Kidsafe

Following the project’s launch, including a branding competition at Linlithgow Academy and extensive coverage in the Linlithgow Gazette, the BID’s KidSafe Wi-Fi project is now firmly established, but continues to expand as more businesses recognise the benefits of providing the service to customers at no cost over and above their existing broadband.

The project has seen uptake across a wide variety of businesses in the town centre and is already operational in:

   - The Auld Hole in the Wall                 - The Wee Fruit & Veg Shop

   - The Barber                                          - Linlithgow Town Centre Hub

   - Black Bitch Tavern                             - Livingston's Restaurant

   - Complete Health at the Millstone   - Sebastian Kobelt Chocolatier

   - Detail Hair                                           - Star & Garter Hotel

   - Far From The Madding Crowd        - Taste Café Deli

   - J. Walker Carpets                              - Truly Scrumptious Designer Cakes

Since the launch, several more businesses have signed up, strengthening the network, promoting their business and providing an ever more necessary service to customers and clients. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more, or arrange for KidSafe to be installed at your premises.

The residents and visitors who crammed into Linlithgow for the annual festive lights switch on as part of the Advent Fayre event got the shock of their lives. As the switch was thrown, the Burgh was bathed in thousands of twinkling diamonds from the brand new lighting displays. Over 2000 people were in Linlithgow town centre to witness the ceremony of the torchlight procession when it marched along the high street to the Christmas tree.

The newly formed Linlithgow Town Centre Business Improvement District Company have made an immediate impact in the town by delivering a complete package of brand new festive lighting in the town centre, and, it’s been hailed as the biggest improvement to the occasion in years. It was decided that if an improved festive lights package could be delivered in time for Christmas, it should be - and boy did they deliver!

The Kelpie maquettes’ visit to The Cross, right in the heart of Linlithgow’s town centre, went down a storm! Originally intended as a spiritual accompaniment to their creator, Andy Scott’s, appearance at the Linlithgow Book Festival, the word spread far and wide.
 
Truly Scrumptious Designer Cakes displayed their own beautiful twin Kelpie cakes with pride, businesses offered Kelpie discounts, which were promoted in the Linlithgow Gazette, and the BID’s own “#SelfieWithAKelpie” hashtag saw shoppers, residents and revellers alike posing with the Kelpies all throughout the weekend, some unable to wait until they were offloaded from the lorry!
 
Congratulations to Helen Stewart, whose winning “Selfie With A Kelpie” saw her bag a signed copy of Andy Scott’s new book.