CuparNow -2021 Quarter 2 Report

The roller-coaster of lockdowns, restrictions and re-openings has continued throughout the second quarter of 2021 – and we have continued to support all sectors to share content with our ever-growing audiences.

Businesses have been affected in so many different ways – some open throughout and working almost around the clock to meet demand, others opening and closing as guidance varied … and some who have been closed either as a result of the advice or because they have had to take the very tough decision to cease trading. We hope and pray that we are through the worst.

We are delighted that through this quarter we have been able to share brighter news as more have re-opened to welcome back customers fboth old and new. Our Ambassador, Karen, is back out visiting businesses face-to-face where we are able to do so. The end of April was a key time. We visited businesses to gather their messages and shared through a series of videos

In the hospitality sector, we maintained a listing throughout – highlighting ‘what’ has been available ‘where’ and ‘when’. Even as lockdown eased, hundreds read, used and shared our online directory – keeping up to date on what’s been available.

Now Cupar’s food & drink operators are getting back to some kind of normal, we have continued to share and promote a series of videos to announce the re-openings – covering hospitality, the town’s pubs as well as restaurants and bistros. The videos have reached more than 20,000 people through their respective campaigns … all helping to get the message across that Cupar is …

Open for Business!

And when it comes to business, we are always conscious that we are not just covering the town centre. Cupar has hundreds of businesses across the whole town – including those in the business park and trading estate.

Throughout lockdown, many have turned their attention to improving their homes and gardens, so we have taken the time to share products and services from Cupar’s businesses to that effect. We are creating and sharing content every day so can’t show it all: as a snapshot – just as three to highlight promoting a broad range of messages for our audience …

Cobra Building Supplies featured on a short clip showing their delivery of aggregate for a driveway. Many of our audience eagerly awaited the return of Caulders Garden Centre – and our video highlighted their BBQs and more … and we shared a short video featuring some wonderful products available from Scaramanga.

In May, we also turned our attention to Sustainability – and Cupar’s WhyteGoods featured on a repair job that brought a home appliance back to life!

Combined, the videos we have created and shared on Facebook this quarter have generated more than 71,000 views – equal to over 350 hours of viewed time … all promoting the town and its offering.

Sustainably Yours

On the Sustainability front, we ran a month of activity throughout May. We chose a few hot topics and also invited businesses to get in touch so we could tell a bigger story. Mitsubishi on the Trading Estate featured with their new Outlander PHEV, Cupar Motorcycles joined the environmentally-friendly line-up with a blog piece on the all new Keeway e-Zi mini electric bike  … and we returned to town to raise a glass to Luvian’s Bottleshop and their support for sustainable wines.

By Business, For Business …

We email businesses across the town on a regular basis: 243 are subscribed to our B2B database enabling us to keep in touch. We have shared all manner of business support links and information including access to grants and more. 65% of recipients are “highly engaged” in the content we share – so thank you!

If you run a business in town are are NOT on our database, simply click here to tell us who you are – and we’ll be back in touch to confirm your details and add you.

Are you sitting comfortably?

We encourage businesses to share their stories with us. In this quarter we have run features on our Blog covering several. Maisie & Mac, the contemporary gift shop and gallery ‘neath the Burgh Chambers celebrated their tenth anniversary in April. RS Robertson Financial Services became our latest CuparNow KnowHow feature focusing on the work on director, Gordon Laing: to date, close to 200 have read the article.

And in this quarter we’ve been delighted to offer support to some of the town’s newest arrivals – from Pawws, the family-run salon, dog grooming & pet pantry on Bonnygate, to the young start-up Goteo Streetwear as well as Go Zeco – based at Enlighten, also on Bonnygate.

All of our posts and features are helping to spread the word. If you’d like your business to feature, just follow this link, complete the questionnaire and we will be back in touch.

Our Blog really has become a ‘go to’ resource for many. We have just clocked 27,000 readers – and we know more and more people are using our categorised and mapped listings to help find local businesses. As just one example, JACS Joinery & Construction Supplies has had more than 100 clicks on their listings page since the start of this quarter.

Beyond Business

CuparNow is ‘by business, for business‘ and all that we do is guided by that principle – not least of all because it is the investment made by the town’s businesses that funds our services. But through their support, we are able to deliver so much more for the benefit of the town and our community. As a flavour of activity through this last quarter …

In Q1, we launched our Community Directory and are so pleased that hundreds of people are making us of it as a resource to find information on more than 80 community groups across the town. In Q3 and beyond, we will be looking to expand the resource to include community groups in Cupar’s catchment area. If you run or work with such a group and would like it considered for our list, please drop us a line with your details.

We are very happy to be supporting a collective of community organisations that has been working hard since before last Christmas with a view to creating a weekend of celebrations for the town this September. More will follow through the summer – but we’d like to thank …

  1. Cupar Amateur Musical Society
  2. Cupar Arts
  3. Castlehill Community Centre
  4. Cupar Community Council
  5. Cupar Development Trust
  6. Cupar in Bloom
  7. Cupar Museum & Heritage Centre
  8. C In The Park
  9. Falkland Society
  10. Fife Folk Museum
  11. Kilmaron School
  12. Rotary Club of Cupar
  13. The Sunshine Kitchen
  14. The Lighthouse
  15. Three Estates Cupar

We have also been working with a group of eight community groups who have managed to put on the first two of what is planned as a series of free online talks – in partnership with the University of St Andrews. We have helped with the publicity for the talks – sharing with our audiences.

Similarly, we have helped community groups who are keen to ensure residents and businesses get involved with the consultation around Cupar North. A blog feature inviting engagement with an upcoming consultation has been published and hundreds of people read the information and providing feedback. We were also able to share information on the developer’s virtual consultation – shared online as well as to more than 1,100 folk subscribed to our consumer database.

From time to time, we are asked to recognise those in our community who go above and beyond: we were delighted to be able to share a piece from The Lighthouse Café and Bookshop on Bonnygate, recognising Jane Crockett’s long service as manager.

If you run a community group and have something to share – or you seek residents’ or businesses’ feedback on a project or activity – just click here to email us with your details and we’ll be back in touch as soon as we can.


KY15 … KY16 ... KY14 …

Combined, our audience now tops 36,500 people – across all ages …

The stats are slightly skewed for measuring those U18 as most social media platforms are for 13+ and Google Analytics don’t include those under 18 … so we know we are reaching more than the 2%. And as we head into the second half of the year, we are working hard to engage with youngsters in and around the town … liaising on projects with both Bell Baxter High School and Cupar’s Youth Cafe.

The vast majority of our audiences live and work within Cupar’s KY15 postcode area, so most of our content creation and sharing is made for them. Whether competitions – such as the one we ran at Easter with a Bunny Trail for children to spot and win prizes (kindly donated by many of the town’s businesses) – or activity that we publish and, in some cases, promote through advertising on social media … Cupar and our rural catchment is our core focus.

The scale of our audience – and their advocacy – means we have become a resource for information and a source for news: our most-read feature in the last quarter (with 600+ unique views) has been our update on the Retail Park being built off South Road. But as we come out of restrictions and start to welcome people back to Cupar from further afield, we are well placed to support our town’s businesses and organisations who are dependent on visitors …


Culture & Tourism

Cupar has a selection of self catering properties and we have recently promoted these through a Facebook ad – targeting and reaching several thousand within a staycation drive time.

And when visitors do return, we are able to provide them with free access to our public realm Wi-Fi in the town centre. Many thousands have used it since it was installed. In the last month, hundreds have continued to use the service and, when anyone subscribes to receive our updates, we are able to share information from the town – promoting businesses, organisations, events and more. If you run a business in town and have something to promote, please send it to us via this link.

And to build on this free and inclusive service, we’re exploring expanding the Wi-Fi service to provide more coverage across more areas of the town. Our hope is that our network can help to support a number of community asset premises who desperately need connectivity to improve their operations. We will keep you posted over the coming weeks.

As part of the town’s re-opening, we are happy to see Cupar’s Museum & Heritage Centre opening again from this weekend.  We caught up with the Museum’s Chair, Guthrie Hutton, on our latest podcast. You can listen by clicking on the image below.

We are also working on a Food & Drink Trail – centred on Cupar – that will allow us to reach more people to entice them into the town. Our plans are to launch the Trail this September. We are already working with businesses who want to be involved.

Again, if you run a business in town and would like more information, just send us an email via this link. As part of the Food & Drink Trail, we will also be running a series of events later in the year for businesses in that sector – looking at communication as well as training and employment.


Education & Training

The events planned later in the year will build on training that we have already delivered – to businesses and organisations in the town – helping them to better engage on digital channels. This has touched on creating social media pages, making videos, managing content and support for e-commerce work. If you run a business or organisation in town and require help and advice on your digital needs, please send us an email via this link outlining your plans and we will be back in touch.

As part of our support for education and training in the town, we also share content from all education providers and are liaising on projects with both Bell Baxter High School and Cupar’s Youth Cafe.

More on these in the weeks to come, but we are excited at the prospect of the projects we have discussed and know they will help to support youngsters in and around the town – and offer benefits to the town’s businesses.


Our Environment

There are many organisations who play a key role in our town’s environment. During our Sustainability Month we supported Sustainable Cupar by sharing their latest update on the group’s activities. We have also published two podcast that feature folk working in this area: firstly, we spoke with Alison Milne, covering her work with Sustainable Cupar and we recorded a session with Pat Mitchell and April Sheldrick – members of the town’s Cupar in Bloom team.

As with so many groups in the town, these are all run by volunteers who give of their time and energy to help make Cupar look the way it does. Hats off to them all!


Health & Social Care

Naturally, a huge amount of our work throughout 2020 and into the start of this year was in the sharing of information that related specifically to the pandemic and lockdowns. As things have eased, we continue to share relevant information when available. On our Blog’s business listings, one of the most searched items has been people looking for dental treatment. Just one of the town’s practices has had dozens of clicks through the last quarter.

Through our podcast, we have also been able to share information on The Sunshine Kitchen – a unique project for young adults with Additional Needs. We spoke with Gayle Nelson about the challenges the charity has faced through lockdown as well as their plans for the year ahead …

And on the community wellbeing front, we were really pleased to follow up on the Tarvit Woodland Park project that has now come to fruition after more than two years of hard work. Mairi Lumsden, mum of three and Chair of Tarvit Woodland Park Development Group, talked of the enormous support they have received from Cupar’s residents and many busiensses in helping them to make their dreams a reality.

Economic Development

Our number one priority is to share relevant content from Cupar’s businesses and organisations with our growing audience – at home and abroad. Our audience now uses our channels to find information on all manner of services – from barbers to boutiques, takeaways to local attractions.

We are also encouraging people to share content to help make people more aware of Cupar as a place to live: our feature on ‘Why Choose Cupar‘ has a growing number of readers and we maintain the piece to update with new information as required. We know it is shared and welcomed by the town’s property agents.

Adding to our economic support, last summer we launched CuparClicks – a platform enabling any business in town to promote and sell their products and service online. This quarter, those businesses’ products have been seen by thousands … not just close to home but across the UK and further afield. If you would like your business’ products or services to feature, just get in touch via this email link.

Followers, readers, subscribers, viewers and listeners

This unique and award-winning project would be nothing without our audiences – so thank you.Since the outset – at ground zero with no audience at all – it is your engagement that’s liking, commenting, and sharing with friends, family and colleagues at home and abroad that has enabled CuparNow’s audience to become the fastest growing and largest digital audience (by population) of any town or city in Scotland.

Today, we are managing …

These create a combined audience of more than 36,500.

Supporting our Town

All that we do combines to help make Cupar a better-promoted and more economically viable town, whether sharing content from Cupar’s training and education providers or showcasing environmental projects, supporting the area’s health and social care partnerships or highlighting the work of local charities and good causes … our day to day engagement is designed to benefit our whole town.

We are working with hundreds of businesses and organisations to help deliver this unique project.

From the outset, the project’s Steering Group has wanted to make it financially viable. As a result, when we wrote the business plan in 2018/19, it was agreed that – in the event of a successful ballot – the majority of businesses will pay an annual levy of £100.00 as their contribution to the service. This is how each levy is spent:

As a result of their support, we are able to deliver so much. Those businesses who choose to engage receive the best value in return.

Sadly, some choose to refuse – not following our pages, not signing-up to receive our regular updates and opting out from our ambassador visits. As a result, and inevitably, they will see a different level of support – at their choice.

None of this award-winning delivery would be possible without the support and engagement of our town’s businesses and organisations. Please show your thanks by supporting them wherever you can. Thank you.

As from the outset, our work is overseen and guided by the CuparNow steering group – a team of volunteers, business led with elected and officer representation from the local authority. We thank them all for their help and support.

Billing Delay

Our Steering Group took the decision in March to delay the issuing of the 2021/22 levy bills for businesses and organisations across the town. This followed a similar decision in 2020 at the outset of the first lockdown and CuparNow operated throughout without any disruption to our services, ensuring we have helped to promote the town, its businesses, community organisations and more – seven days a week across multiple channels.

Billing this year will be issued in August. The business-led Steering Group has decided to remove businesses and organisations who have non-domestic rateable properties that fall under ‘LAND’, ’STORE’ or ‘YARD’ on our database. This decision has been taken for two reasons:

  1. The vast majority of CuparNow’s role is to showcase businesses and organisations to members of the public. Our annual report demonstrates just how effective we are in this work. An assessment of these categories shows that the majority have little or no consumer-facing element to them – and little or no digital presence with which we can engage to promote or share, and so carrying their details on our business listings is counter-intuitive to the project. If we cannot list them to the benefit of our audiences, we think it is right that they should be removed.
  2. However, we know some welcome and support CuparNow and actively engage in the work we undertake. As a result, each will be invited to contribute voluntarily if they wish to continue their support by paying an ‘opt in’ fee – the same that applies to those out with the CuparNow area of operation.


Need more?

This is a snapshot update. Any business or organisation in and around Cupar can contact us at any time through a variety of channels – our social media channels, by email or phone. Just call 01334 870858, leave you name, nature of your enquiry and a number where we can reach you and we will call you back. We can arrange face to face (where possible), meetings via Zoom or just a chat to see how we can help.

Our next update will be in September 2021 covering quarter 3 of the year. If you have any thoughts or ideas on how we might improve our service, please let us know. And if you’d like your name to be put forward to join our Steering Group, please drop us an email explaining who you are, the business/organisation you own/represent and why you’d like to be on the group.

Finally, if you run a business and want to be keep up to date on all we are delivering, please make sure you are following us on the pages and channels most relevant to you.


Footnote: this Q2 report has been published ahead of time as the contents are being used in a presentation w/c 21st June that will be showcasing Cupar to a wider audience.

Where required, elements may be edited to update, ensuring all is covered to the end of June.


Thanks for reading.