Business Forum

Sandgate Business Forum Minutes 30 May 2018

Please find below the minutes of the Sandgate Business Forum meeting of 30th May 2018, discussing the Sea Festival and Parking among other items.

The next meeting of the Sandgate Business Forum will take place on Wednesday 25th July at 5.30 for 5.40 in Sandgate Library chaired by Marjorie Findlay-Stone. If you have any items you want to see on the agenda please contact Marjorie at

Sandgate Business Forum

Minutes of meeting 30/5/18 starting at 17.40 in Sandgate Library

Apologies – Liz and Bryan (LH Properties); Jane (Inn Doors); Tim (Prater Raines)

Present – Traci – Hoard Gallery; David and Karen – The Dog House; Jo and Jeanette – Fabulous Nellies; Jon – Orchard Lane; David – Sandgate Vaults; Andre – Old English Pine; Lorielle – Escondidos; Jackie – Encore; Andrew – The Sandgate Society;l Patrick – the Village Shop; Kurt – Acula Fashions; Marjorie – Sandgate Parish Council; Paul – Sandgate Trading; Ann Berry – Folkestone and Hythe District Council.

1. Parking – Anne Berry summarised the outcome and follow-up of the meeting held with F&HDC officers earlier in May. F&HDC had expedited consultation on changes to the High Street CPZ as follows:

  • To change controlled parking from 88 – 102 The High Street from shared use to 2hours free parking no return within 2 hours from 8.00am to 6.00pm;
  • The “toast rack” to have changes in bay marking to reduce reversing out onto the highway;
  • The purchase of monthly Car Park tickets for staff was being considered;
  • Ann agreed to review the yellow lines in Sandgate.

There were some heated comments and discussions which demonstrated the strength of feeling around issues of parking.


It was agreed that 4 members of the forum should get together to review parking spaces available throughout the village. They would report back to Ann Berry via the forum.

F&HDC were thanked for their consideration of Sandgate problems and their prompt response.

Ann Berry left the meeting.

2. The Sea Festival –

  • The Saturday kitchen on Sea Festival weekend – well received. Orchard Lane and Sandgate Vaults expressed interest and Comemos and Escondido’s would inform TP if they were going to take part. Without sufficient support this would not take place
  • Printing/Publicity in the Sea Festival Flyer – Jon will prepare this. Marjorie would find out the deadlines for entry.

3. Sandgate Christmas Lights – Suggestion boxes as to how the village might become better involved in this event would be placed in Encore and Sandgate Trading.

4. Marketing – Tracy distributed a sheet with some ideas about marketing. She stressed:

  • The need to operate as a business hub;
  • The need for simple strategies with definite decisions to formulate a proper ‘game plan’ for businesses;
  • The need to market Sandgate as a developing business community;
  • The need to avoid a singular approach.

Tracy mentioned how Sandgate might get involved with:

  • The Creative Quarter
  • Publications in the Wealden Times, Coast and Verve (I have since learned that Verve has gone out of business)
  • Production of a video on Sandgate for viewing on Instagram


  1. Quick fix – Jon would get a small group together and work on the business web site and Instagram
  2. Tracy would get a group together to work on an advertising poster for Sandgate

5. The Sandgate Society

Andrew had a quote of £150 for 2 x A1 business advertising boards . The forum agreed to proceed with this.

Marjorie had enquired about bunting – to be made locally at a cost of between £8 – £16 for 4 – 6 metre lengths. The forum agreed to progress this.

Next meeting – Wednesday July 25th in Sandgate Library at 5.30 for 5.40 pm.

Posted by Tim Prater in Business Forum, Minutes

Sandgate Business Forum Minutes 21 March 2018

Please find below the minutes of the Sandgate Business Forum meeting of 21st March 2018, discussing the Sea Festival and Parking among other items.

The next meeting of the Sandgate Business Forum will take place on Wednesday 30th May at 5.30 for 5.40 in Sandgate Library chaired by Paul Mercier-Herring of Sandgate Trading. If you have any items you want to see on the agenda please contact Paul at or call 01303 487757.

Sandgate Business Forum

Minutes of meeting 21/3/18 starting at 17.40 in Sandgate Library


Present were:

  • Paul Mercier-Herring [Sandgate Trading]
  • Tim Prater [Prater Raines & Parish Councillor]
  • Joe and Jeannette Zammit [Fabulous Nellie]
  • Tracy Vardell [Hoard Gallery]
  • Jacqui Wilkinson [Encore]
  • Melly Henning [Old English Pine]
  • Patrick Butler [The Village Store]
  • Laurielle Hampton [Escondido Restaurant]
  • Marjorie Findlay-Stone [Sandgate Parish Council]

Apologies were received from Kurt and Tracy Stephens [Acula Creations]

Sandgate Sea Festival

PM-H introduced the item, seeking ideas for this year to make the High Street more of a “centre” for the Festival on both days and extend the bust period of the Festival earlier on the Saturday and later on the Sunday.

Sandgate Trading will have a pavement table outside both days.

PB wanted clearer promotion (handout leaflets / posters) in advance, to make it easier to signpost people to come back the following day.

MH strongly expressed the view there should be more EVERY week not just at Sea Festivals. Tables outside shops each week, regular promotion etc. She also mentioned lights strung across the High Street as something that had been done before and worth trying, and that Riviera Court residents often don’t use their parking spaces so they should be used.

TV felt the theme of the event wasn’t clear or drawing people in. Requires more focus on what Sandgate is good at.

LH was keen to see the Festival feel open earlier on Saturday, drawing people in from earlier than just for the fireworks.

JZ proposed a Treasure Hunt style event to draw people to different shops.

It was suggested FHODS should be asked to do a dressed-up walk-around on the Saturday or Sunday.

It was confirmed that the Chichester Hall would hold (as usual) a Craft market on the Sunday.

Brocante Day in Deal was mentioned as an example of a theme that works well for the area.


Shops are asked to come up with stalls to go outside their shops for the Saturday / Sunday. Any theme welcome (food for sale, give away, shop themed, sale items, whatever) to give the High Street a draw for the Saturday Sunday. Ideas that work for children are especially welcome: there are many on the day. Ideas notified by May to PM-H will get promotion as part of Sea Festival related publicity.

Equally shops are asked to consider events and promotions for the weekend: from pop-up restaurants to tables outside, bunting: all welcome. Again, themes, events and promotions notified by May to PM-H can get promotion as part of Sea Festival related publicity.

Treasure Hunt contributions would be welcomed from each business.

All shops are encouraged to maximise their outside presence especially around Farmers Markets (1st and 3rd Saturday of each month) to “draw” people along the High Street.

CPZ Parking Update

Shepway Parking Cabinet Member Ann Berry did not attend as expected (she later called to explain she had mis-recorded the time in her diary).

PM-H updated on the position. He viewed parking as a two half problem, with those at the East end of the High Street mainly content the revised parking scheme was working better, and a number of businesses at the West End feeling parking was not working as well. Some businesses even from the west end however felt that there were generally spaces available Mon-Fri days, but it was harder to park evenings and weekends.

Businesses at the West end would prefer the parking from 88-102 SHS to be short term only and to exclude permit parking. The view was expressed that residents would not agree with that, but it is a reasonable view for the Business Forum to put forward. It was further noted that it was previously not expected for that parking to change from short-term only, but that was imposed by SDC who did not want to see different types of parking restriction on the same street as “confusing”.

It was felt signage for Castle Road Car Park from the High Street and at the entrance to the car park itself.

The loading bay by 88 SHS is welcomed, but useless if not enforced regularly as it is getting used for long term parking.

A message from Andrea at Old English Pine explaining the current parking restrictions were having a serious detrimental impact on her business were received.

With parking charges likely to be imposed at Wilberforce Road Car Park, options of staff from outside the area parking were becoming still more limited without paying.


PM-H to pass to Shepway that the Business Forum would like to see:

  • Some provision for staff of Sandgate businesses to park for free / low cost in Sandgate;
  • SHS Loading Bay to be policed to ensure it is used as intended;
  • 88-102 SHS parking should exclude permit holders;
  • Residents permits to be allowed to apply to Castle Road car park to mirror arrangements in Wilberforce Road;
  • Better signposting for both Castle Road and Wilberforce Road car parks;
  • Better signage to clarify that people can also park in roads off High Street including seafront, Castle Road, Riviera etc.

Next Meeting

The date of the next meeting was agreed as 30th May in Sandgate Library, starting at 17.40.

Posted by Tim Prater in Business Forum, Minutes

Sandgate Business Forum Minutes from 17 January 2018

Please find below the minutes of the Sandgate Business Forum meeting of 17th January 2018, discussing the Sea Festival, Sandgate Summer Flowers, Christmas Light event and Parking among other items.

The next meeting of the Sandgate Business Forum will take place on Wednesday March 21st at 5.30 for 5.40 in Sandgate Library chaired by Paul Mercier-Herring of Sandgate Trading. If you have any items you want to see on the agenda please contact Paul at or call 01303 487757.


Sandgate Business Forum

Minutes of meeting 17/1/18 starting at 17.30 in Sandgate Library


Present were:

Paul Herring [Sandgate Trading]

Tim Prater [Prater Raines & Parish Councillor]

David [Portland Studio]

Jo and Jeannette [Fabulous Nellie]

Liz {L H Property]

Jackie Wilkinson [Encore]

Albane [Albane Studio]

Robert Bliss [Parish Councillor and Sandgate Sea Festival]

David and Karen [The Dog House]

Jane Sharpe {Inn Doors Micropub]

Patrick [The Village Store]

Sandgate Sea Festival Update

Robert Bliss gave an update on the Sea and Food Festival and fireworks, which are being organised for August Bank Holiday weekend. The fireworks (and this year seafront band) are planned for the evening of Saturday 25th August, and the main market, entertainment stages and Festival on Sunday 26th August.

Updates for 2018 are that again there are likely to be more stands than 2017, it is planned to use Castle Road Car Park for stands and entertainment as last year, and there will be a range of stages along the sea front and also on the village green to seek to “pull” people onto the High Street.

The Forum then discussed the event.

The view was expressed that the event may feel more of a whole if the Fireworks ended the Festival on the Sunday night, rather than preceded it on the Saturday, with many “missing” the fireworks. It was understood that this increased the logistical challenge however, and that it essentially reduced the impact of the Festival from 2 days to one.

A range of ways of extended the Festival with local businesses and venues offering people more reasons to turn up earlier on Saturday (before the Fireworks) and stay later on the Sunday (after the Festival) as well as ways to encourage people into the High Street were discussed.


  • All businesses would be asked to think of an event / promotion / stall / display they could bring onto the High Street and around on the Saturday and / or Sunday and bring proposals to the next meeting.
  • The Sea Festival Committee to be asked if they could get some entertainment / attraction near Sir John Moore Statue area to encourage “spread” and people walking down the High Street
  • Suggestion that a Treasure Hunt requiring visits to / looking into local shops could be organised
  • Noted that a full published programme / leaflet to be available in advance and on the day was a really useful tool for local businesses, especially if specific entertainments / events / promotions / stalls by businesses could be featured.

Business Forum Structure and Purpose

The suggestion was that the Business Forum should feed thoughts, ideas and requests to the Parish Council who have some resources to support and promote business locally.

Robert Bliss suggested that the Forum should develop its own voice as an organisation to speak for local businesses.

Jane Sharpe offered to act as Secretary / write meeting notes for future meetings.

AGREED that meetings will be approximately 4 times a year, timed to plan towards events as required. The next meeting will be in March.

Future Events

Flower display

The recent history of the hanging basket scheme (and why they were removed from streetlights in 2017) was explained. There will be a display throughout the village and at the Golden Valley precinct in 2018, with displays going up in early May.

The colour scheme will be “Red, White and Blue” and there will be an offer to provide hanging baskets to shops and businesses at cost from the Council’s supplier – the more businesses that take part, the more impact the displays will have. However if businesses wanted to arrange their own displays (especially in red, white, blue) that would also add to the impact and be welcomed.

Christmas Light Turn-on

Although it was agreed that the Christmas Light Turn on was a good draw for people, at the Saga Pavilion it was felt it had little impact on the High Street and Village at this time.

It was discussed why the Pavilion is a good, safe venue for much of the event (being away from roads, covered, large enough for 100’s of people etc) and discussion focused on ways to encourage people to come down to the village after the Pavilion events. Suggestions included:

  • a parade / procession from the pavilion down to the village after the event;
  • Lights / trees on the pavement outside shops or on buildings;
  • a firework display (similar to the Sea Festival display) after the lights turn-on event.

It was noted that a Firework display would cost somewhere in the region of £2,000, and that 20 sponsors paying £100 each would cover that cost.

Royal Wedding

The suggestion of an event around the Royal Wedding was raised, but it was generally felt it wouldn’t be a huge impact, especially on FA Cup Final day. Businesses were encouraged to have themed window displays instead.

Easter Egg Hunt

Was proposed, with a number of people enthusiastic and some keen to focus on the Sea Festival and Christmas event in this year.

ACTIONS To contact local businesses and seek potential sponsors towards a Fireworks event. To bring suggestions of potential evening events after the light-turn-on and potential additions to existing decorations (such trees) and costs.


The recently extended CPZ scheme was discussed. It was noted that the impact had been particularly harsh on staff of businesses who could no longer park for over 2 hours in much of the area. There were some positive and some negative views on the impact of the changes.


  • Request to Shepway to offer some sort of staff business permit;
  • The new loading bay by 90 Sandgate High Street needs additional enforcement as it is currently regularly blocked by long term parking;
  • Two Hour Free Parking signs to be made and put into local businesses to make it clear that visitor parking was FREE and available; [NOTE: these signs are now available and in a number of local shops: please contact Tim Prater at if you haven’t got one and would like one for your window]
  • Ask Saga about the status of their previous offer to allow free parking in their grounds at weekends. Is this offer still ongoing, and can we promote it to visitors?

Next Meeting

The date of the next meeting was agreed as 21 March in Sandgate Library, starting at 17.40.

It was agreed the next meeting would primarily focus on businesses input into the Sea Festival and Christmas events.

Marjorie Findlay-Stone would also be asked to attend and present on the Sandgate Society and the support it can offer to local businesses.

Posted by Tim Prater in Business Forum, Minutes

Sandgate Business Forum Minutes 17/01/18


The Sandgate Business Forum is a regular meeting of local businesses to discuss events and issues of mutual concern, and to keep Sandgate a great place to do business. The Forum is not a part of the Parish Council but aim to work alongside them.

For more information on the Sandgate Business Forum and meetings, contact Chairman Paul Mercier-Herring at or 01303 487757

Posted by Tim Prater in Business Forum, Minutes