Bray unites as a community to help Bray bounce back safely
Covid-19 has hit our country and Bray extremely hard. As the country gradually reopens safely, while trying to minimise the risk of a second wave, it was really important to restart the local economy here in Bray responsibly, so a special committee was established by Wicklow County Council. This committee took a collaborative approach – one voice / one strategy.
We are currently reworking our shared vision for Bray in a post-COVID world. We will continue to work with all stakeholders to help deal with the social and economic impacts of coronavirus.
We will build on the spirit of the togetherness, which has seen the council, the local community and the business sector support each other throughout the crisis under the ‘Unity in our community’, ‘Bray bouncing back’ and ‘Summer in Bray’ initiatives.
Unfortunately, there will be no straightforward route to recovery as the virus and the measures taken to deal with it will be here for some time to come but we have all the ingredients needed to attract inward investment and tourism.
We are determined to help make what is already a great town an even better place to live, visit, work and do business.
The Bray Reopening Committee is a joint initiative with local stakeholders across the community, including members of Bray Chamber of Commerce, the Health Service Executive and An Garda Síochána to plan for a considered, responsible return to civic life which is vital to help to restart the local economy in the town. This is in line with the Government’s phased roadmap for reopening the country socially and economically.
The Committee focused on understanding best practices, planning for protections and protocols that businesses and the community will need in place in order to feel confident about resuming activities, once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted while emphasising a message that as a society, we all have a collective responsibility to ensure that reopening proceeds smoothly and safely.
Topics the Reopening Committee considered included:
- Looking at workable solutions so that businesses can reopen safely from queuing in public spaces, delivery times to waste collection times
- Temporary changes in the town centre to make it safer and more spacious for pedestrians to encourage social distancing including looking at the feasibility of widening pavements, pedestrianised zones, putting up new signage, setting down two-metre marker dots to provide a ‘visual guide’, removal of some on-street parking, the introduction of one-way systems, relocating bus stops and the removal of street furniture
- Business and public consultation
- A comprehensive communication strategy
- ‘Shop Local First’ marketing campaign
- Robust cleaning and maintenance regime
- Promote positive mental health and wellbeing
It is now clear we are on a slow and careful journey of recovery, but we’re determined to get the balance right so that interconnected pillars, namely the economic, social, environmental and cultural dimensions of the town can once again prosper.
In recent weeks several joint initiatives have been implemented across the town to help drive a message of ‘Unity in the community’ during these uncertain and challenging times. They include:
- We agreed on a strong communications strategy using the tagline ‘Bray bouncing back…’ which was supported by a PR, Marketing and digital plan – we mirrored bray.ie’s seasonal campaign planning and execution model.
- The dedicated COVID-19 information hubs help connect local businesses with customers, share some practical hints, tips, supports and links to help our town and community bounce back. The dedicated COVID-19 information hubs can be accessed via:
- Dedicated special times for people who are aged 70 and over, or who are medically vulnerable to exercise outdoors were implemented at the People’s Park and Bray Promenade.
- Council engineers have implemented some temporary changes throughout the District to ensure a safe space for people to navigate and businesses to operate in.
- The Council’s cleaning staff continue to clean street surfaces in high footfall areas around the town.
- Free standardised temporary ground graphics have been issued to local main street businesses in order to help them implement queuing measures to encourage social distancing.
- ‘Shop Local First’ marketing campaign was launched back in March; we’re continuing to encourage consumers to spend locally and help businesses bounce back. Read more about the initiative here: https://www.bray.ie/shoplocalfirst/.
- Work is currently underway to have the new look fully functioning community and business directory for the district completed by the end of August 2020.
- ‘Unity in our community’ flags fly high on the seafront to show a symbol of local strength, unity and pride.
- Temporary ground graphics showcased ‘Positivity Stones’ which aims to help promote positive mental health and wellbeing. It has brightened up Bray with inspiring words and aims to encourage good positive vibes within the community during this difficult time. The ground graphic installations can be seen throughout some of the main public spaces around the town. The initiative is supported by Connect Bray Neighbourhood Youth Project, Be Well Bray, Comhairle na nÓg, Wicklow County Council and Bray.ie. Read more about the initiative here: https://www.bray.ie/brays-positivity-stones-helping-spread-good-vibes/.
- We know that infectious disease pandemics like coronavirus (Covid-19) can be worrying. This can affect your mental health so we shared lots of advice and tips on how people can look after their mental wellbeing, stay active and stay connected via https://www.bray.ie/covid19updates/.
- ‘Soak up the long summer days in Bray safely‘ tourism campaign was launched in July and it focused on promoting the town and includes messages about ‘taking a staycation in Bray safely’ to ‘helping the retailers, hospitality and tourism sectors bounce back’. Read more about the initiative here: https://www.bray.ie/summer2020/.
- A strong united message from all the Bray Municipal District Councillors as they collectively echoed the need to help Bray businesses bounce back. Read more here: https://www.bray.ie/strong-united-message-from-bray-councillors-to-help-bray-bounce-back-safely/.
- A beacon of hope shone from the foothills of Bray Head as the town stood in solidarity with all of those across the world affected by Covid-19. Read more about the initiative here: https://www.independent.ie/regionals/braypeople/a-bright-beacon-of-hope-for-bray-39127960.html.
- A presentation was made to Paul Reid and HSE representatives on behalf of Bray Air Display and Wicklow County Council to recognise the dedication of frontline workers during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Read more here: https://www.bray.ie/frontline-workers-honoured-with-bray-flypast/.
The ‘Unity in our community’, ‘Bray bouncing back’ and ‘Summer in Bray’ campaigns are supported by Bray Chamber, Wicklow County Council and Bray.ie (Bray.ie is a trading name of Bray Tourism).
We implemented a comprehensive communications strategy utilising bray.ie’s digital platforms extensively to drive our initiatives and increase engagement. The campaigns continue to be supported by public signage, radio advertisements and social media engagement.
Measuring Our Success
The ‘Bray bounce back safely’ joint initiatives and campaigns so far have had an engagement reach of 1.87m users.
Our Overall Message
As a working group we will continue to work collaboratively in driving a message for consumers to invest in our town, shop local first and let’s have unity in our community.
Join the conversation
Campaign hashtags are #SummerInBray #UnityInOurCommunity #BrayBouncingBack #MakeABreakForIt
Bray.ie was launched back in 2011. It was part of the Bray Town’s Economy Think Tank outputs. Bray Economic Think Tank was an economic forum established in 2009, its aim was to create a sense of local pride, community spirit & to promote the Bray Brand.
Bray.ie and its network are a massive contributor to helping promote the Bray Brand at home and abroad. Bray.ie endeavours to promote Bray to its fullest as a place to live, work and visit.
In 2019, bray.ie’s total social engagement reach was 4.7m.
Bray.ie won ‘Best Connected Council‘ at the All-Ireland Community & Council Awards in 2017. Read more: https://www.bray.ie/bray-ie-wins-best-connected-community-award/.