Chichester city businesses stick together

Patrick Burfield with his Relax and Explore scheme    Picture by Louise Adams
Patrick Burfield with his Relax and Explore scheme Picture by Louise Adams
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IN THE spirit of looking out for one another, a city centre hotel has launched two new schemes to promote businesses and attractions.

General manager of The Ship Hotel Patrick Burfield believes the scheme will not only help the hotel by keeping its customers happy, but it will also help out the city’s retailers.

Candice Ayling from Champneys in East Street

Candice Ayling from Champneys in East Street

“It is not just a business thing, we are independent, we are here and we are involved,” said Mr Burfield.

Relax and Retail is a partnership with independent shops and small chain shops in the city, giving discounts to the hotel’s residents.

The residents of the hotel are given a leaflet and map, helping them explore the city.

Relax and Explore features 16 local attractions, again with discounts for customers of The Ship Hotel.

The hotel is home to 25,000 people every year, so Mr Burfield’s hope is the maps will direct his guests to local shops and attractions.

“It makes it a bit more interesting for people to come to Chichester,” he said.

There is a wide range of shops and attractions involved in the scheme and Mr Burfield said, if a group stayed at the hotel, the women could have a spa day at Champneys and the men could go to Chichester Golf Course.

The maps given to hotel residents pinpoint the business which are on board which include Manuka Wholefoods, Champneys, Gold Arts, Pushka, and many more.

“We did a pilot for three months and it went very well,” said Mr Burfield, who has now launched the scheme as a permanent fixture.

“Retailers were really happy, our residents were happy, so we are really happy.

“The smaller stores that are hidden around the corner – we are directing people straight to them.

The hotel has 30 businesses on board, and hopes more will get involved in the future.

“It is completely free,” said Mr Burfield. “We pay for everything, the cards the leaflets.”

“Chichester is a great place, what more can we so to make it a fun experience.

“The investors are very keen that we should be in the middle of the city. We take care of all the customers. It’s good for us, good for them and it’s going to get people through the door.”

Heidel Cambell, owner of Pushka Fashion Boutique said: “I think it looks really promising. When you visit a city and stay in a hotel you think ‘I do not know where to go’ so it’s brilliant.

“We are always trying to push other businesses in town to keep business coming into Chichester as a whole.”

Candice Ayling, who works in Champneys, said she hoped it would attract tourists: “It is all extra business.

“Obviously, it is good for word of mouth promotion.”

Businesses involved in the Relax and Retail scheme are: Moda and Pelle, Hotel Chocolat, Stephen Lawrence, Manuka Wholefoods, Present Surprise, Musto, Chesca, Orvis, Pushka, Champneys, S&L Flowers, Susie Watson Designs, Rohan, Rachel George, Buzby and Blue Hairdressing, Crabtree & Evelyn, Little London, Il Lusso, Strawberry, Guilt Lingerie, Jack Wills, Goodrowes, Tucan Beuaty and Grooming, Gold Arts, Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe, The Flower Gallery and L.K.Bennett.

The attractions featured in the Relax and Explore scheme are: Fontwell Park, Weald and Downland Museum, Pallant House Gallery, Cass sculpture Foundation, Staunton, Bluereef Aqurium, Fishbourne Roman Palace, New Park Cinema, South Downs Planeterium, Chichester Golf Club, Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Arundel Wetland Centre, Westgate Leisure Centre, Lakeside Superbowl and The Body Suite.