Camberley Be Enchanted 2018 - Supporting town centre businesses, driving footfall and bringing enjoyment and festive cheer to shoppers and visitors


Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Surrey Heath Borough Council led a festive campaign for Camberley town centre bringing an event to the town centre every weekend throughout November and December 2018 leading up to Christmas.  


The event campaign drew on support from the town’s Business Improvement District (BID) ‘Collectively Camberley’, The Square shopping centre, Camberley Theatre and The Atrium; a large centre which is host to shops, a Vue Cinema, soft play and bowling – bringing together cross-town events into one uniquely branded event programme. 


Be Enchanted in Camberley’s events were varied and unique.  They included a Christmas Parade with Santa arriving in Camberley in a horse drawn carriage accompanied by local schools, dance groups, gymnastic clubs, faith groups and community groups.  A Nutcracker ballet event was held in The Square shopping centre to coincide with Vienna Festival Ballet’s Nutcracker ballet performance in Camberley theatre.  The event included professional dancers and dances performed by Camberley’s Bluebell Ballet School.  Other events in the Be Enchanted programme included music concerts, carol singing and finding eight reindeer positioned all around town after being decorated by local schools. 

In addition to the event programme Camberley’s Santa’s Grotto was given a significant overhaul.  A unit in The Square was transformed into a magical winter wonderland complete with singing penguins, a cosy cottage for Santa and an enchanted forest walkway.  The windows of the former BHS retail unit at Ashwood House were decorated by council staff to create beautiful Christmas displays.  Hillier Garden Centre provided the town with many snowy Christmas trees for Santa’s grotto, winter forest and the children’s Christmas craft area, Pixie House,' in Cambridge Square. 

The campaign was enhanced by strong branding and marketing collateral which was created in-house by SHBC and incorporated the town centre partners.  This was supported by an extensive online and offline marketing programme compiled by SHBC, The Square and Collectively Camberley to promote Be Enchanted in Camberley across digital, print, radio adverts, door drops and bus backs.  Secondary catchments were particularly targeted to drive footfall from neighbouring towns including Aldershot, Fleet, Bracknell, Sandhurst and Farnborough. 


Data received during the campaign has shown the Be Enchanted campaign has had significant positive impact to Camberley’s visitors. 


The Christmas Parade held on Saturday 1 December increased visitors by 10% from the same date in 2017. 


The Christmas Switch Light On event on Saturday 1 November had increased footfall by 2.5% from the same event in 2017. 


Data gathered at the light on event demonstrated Camberley is being visited by lots of people living in secondary catchments. 


Councillor Moira Gibson, Leader, Surrey Heath Borough Council said;  


“As part of our investment in Camberley town centre we are actively supporting our local retailers and businesses by organising these fantastic events together with The Square, Camberley Theatre, The Atrium and Collectively Camberley to attract people into the town.  These events also provided wonderful free entertainment for our local families and communities.  Be Enchanted has been a huge success and many thanks to everyone who has helped to organise the events and also to everyone who has come into Camberley to support them.  We hope everyone has enjoyed Camberley this Christmas.” 


Karen Whelan, CEO, Surrey Heath Borough Council said; 


“Camberley has been an amazing place as we led up to Christmas this year.  As part of SHBC’s investment in Camberley we are committed to supporting the town and doing everything we can to enable it to thrive and continue to be a great place to visit.  The Be Enchanted event programme has been carefully designed to provide something for all our residents, in particular families and children.  Next year we plan to build on this success with the Be Entertained event programme in 2019.  More details to follow very soon.”   

Camberley set to inspire    


Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC) is committed to supporting and regenerating Camberley town centre.  SHBC’s investments have already seen the unique acquisition of The Square shopping centre, commencing its refurbishment programme within the first year of ownership.  Followed by an ambitious set of projects to improve the roads, pavements and street scene.  A redundant office building has also been purchased to create 116 high quality town centre apartments, with proposals to re-deliver new business space.  

SHBC is also currently in the process of sourcing an innovative developer partner for the London Road site.  Situated fronting the London Road, opposite the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the 5.5-acre site has the potential to create a mixed-use development.  


The regeneration work is supported by a comprehensive events programme, grant schemes for independent businesses and cultural and enrichment projects to ensure Camberley is a key destination and experience. 


In Camberley we are committed to reshaping and enhancing the town centre to support our community and local businesses while high street retail faces challenges nationally.