Sutton Coldfield Farmers Markets To Continue In 2023

Sutton Coldfield town centre’s successful Farmer’s Markets are to continue in the New Year, after the last event before Christmas drew thousands of festive shoppers. The Grinch entertained crowds at the market on Sunday, November 27, which was the last of three pilot events which aimed to see if local residents would back regular markets. Now organisers Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District (BID) – who have more festive attractions planned in the coming weekends before Christmas – have confirmed that the Farmers Markets will return in 2023.

Bid Manager Michelle Baker said: “The Christmas Market was absolutely fantastic, with a great turn out. Lots of families came along to see the Grinch – who behaved himself most of the time – and there was a brilliant response to the stalls that ran all the way along the parade. “When we first started these markets in September, we wanted to see how local residents would react and we have been blown away by how many have supported them. “They have significantly increased footfall to the town centre whenever they have been held – lots of people have said how wonderful it has been to see the Parade so busy. “So, we can confirm that the markets will continue in January. Now we are looking forward to Christmas, and all of the brilliant entertainment we have lined up.

“Next weekend we have Santa, some roller skating Christmas presents and the animated elves, visiting – and if you missed the Grinch at the weekend, don’t worry – he’s coming back!” The Farmers Markets and  extended Christmas activities are part of the new Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield programme of year-round events which aims to encourage more people to choose the town centre as a destination to spend time, eat, drink, shop and relax. Christmas activities include an amazing life-size snow globe in the town centre over a three-day period, which shoppers can step inside for a free Christmas photograph. And Christmas characters will be roaming among shoppers, including giant Christmas Penguins, life-size Gingerbread Men, Father Christmas and The Grinch.

Bid Manager Michelle Baker added: “We want to make Sutton Coldfield town centre a big attraction, with regular events to bring people in. “Residents have responded really well to the markets and the characters we have introduced, along with free music and face painting. “We’re also employing BID Guardians, special security guards, in the evening to make a night out in Sutton Coldfield feel even safer.”


3rd Dec           Meet Santa, Roller Skating Christmas Presents and the animated elves

9th Dec            Giant snow globe, the Grinch, amazing animatronic Polar Bear

10th Dec         Giant snow globe, meet Santa and the Grinch, the Gingerbreads

11th Dec         Giant snow globe, the Grinch

11th Dec         Breakfast with Santa – Bottle of Sack (8:30am-10:30am)

17th Dec         See Santa, meet the Grinch and the Gingerbreads

Caption : The Grinch wowed the crowds at the last Farmers Market in Sutton Coldfield before Christmas. Now the popular events are to continue in 2023.



A new security team is set to patrol Sutton Coldfield Town Centre this Christmas to deter crime and anti-social behaviour, after local businesses decided to fund four new ‘Guardians’. The Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District (BID) company will be launching the new on-street town centre security team who will watch out for anti-social behaviour and crime, while providing support, visibility and reassurance to businesses and locals. Sutton Coldfield BID – which represents hundreds of local businesses – will be employing four new uniformed security guards to be known as ‘BID Guardians’ throughout the Christmas period to provide additional security for party-goers and revellers.

Coinciding with the World Cup and Christmas party season, the BID Guardians is a trial project that will conclude on 1st January 2023.               The BID Guardians will be patrolling the entire town centre and providing reassurance on the streets of Sutton from 7pm – 1am every Friday and Saturday and helping to reduce anti-social behaviour. BID Manager Michelle Baker said: “The addition of the BID Guardians in the evening will make a night out in Sutton Coldfield feel even safer.

“They will act as the eyes and ears of the town centre and provide a welcoming face to visitors and a reassuring presence for local businesses and residents during the busiest time of the year”. The four BID Guardians will be SIA (Security Industry Authority) licenced and First Aid trained and will look to work in partnership with the Police and local pubs and restaurants.

Many towns and cities employ private security including Shrewsbury, Rugby and York.

The Guardians are the latest improvement to be announced by the BID, since the launch of the new Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield – a programme of year-round events which aims to encourage more people to choose the town centre as a destination to spend time, eat, drink, shop and relax.

Six Weekends of Christmas Fun


Sutton Coldfield town centre will be spreading the festive fun this season, with events every weekend over the Christmas period – including a visit from the Grinch!

Instead of a one-day Christmas lights switch on event, organisers at Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District (BID) will be spreading the Christmas magic over six consecutive weekends, so that more visitors and families can enjoy the festive activities in Sutton Coldfield town centre.

Starting on Saturday 19th November and running up to and including Saturday 24th December, the BID is funding six weekends of Christmas fun and entertainment for festive shoppers in the town centre. The extended Christmas activities are part of the new Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield programme of year-round events which aims to encourage more people to choose the town centre as a destination to spend time, eat, drink, shop and relax.

Christmas activities will include an amazing life-size snow globe in the town centre over a three-day period, which shoppers can step inside for a free Christmas photograph. And Christmas characters will be roaming among shoppers, including giant Christmas Penguins, life-size Gingerbread Men, Father Christmas and The Grinch.

The town’s Christmas lights switch on event has historically been funded jointly by Gracechurch Shopping Centre and Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District (BID) but the event did not go ahead for the last two years due to the Covid pandemic.

This year Sutton Coldfield BID would be the sole funder and has taken the decision to do things differently and spread the Christmas magic over six weekends instead of focusing one evening of entertainment. It is hoped this change will benefit local businesses and boost footfall each weekend in the run up to Christmas.

Bid Manager Michelle Baker said: “We’re aiming to make Sutton Coldfield town centre a big attraction, with regular events to bring people in.“So, we thought for Christmas this year instead of putting all of our efforts into one lights switch on evening, we would do something different and make the fun last throughout the festive season, with something every weekend. “Residents will love the visitors and attractions we have lined up for Christmas – we just hope the Grinch doesn’t spoil everything!”

In recent weeks events organised under the vibrant new Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield brand – including a visit by a giant T Rex and a popular new Farmer’s Market – have seen thousands of extra people flood into the town centre.

The next Farmer’s Market is due to take place on October 30th, with a Halloween theme. 

VRSC XMAS 1 Grinch

The Grinch will be visiting Sutton Coldfield Town centre for Christmas.

VRSC XMAS 2  Snowglobe

A giant snow globe will be available for shoppers to get free photographs.

VRSC XMAS 3 Father Christmas

Father Christmas will mix with the crowds.

VRSC XMAS 4 Christmas penguins

Giant festive penguins will be one of the attractions across the six weeks.


Santa’s elves will be there to greet shoppers too.

Sutton’s New Farmers Market is Huge Hit




Thousands of shoppers turned out in the autumn sunshine to visit Sutton Coldfield’s new Farmers Market – and were amazed to see ‘Gordon Ramsay’ checking out the stalls too. Residents flocked to visit 40 stalls that filled the Parade, offering fresh produce, delicious food and quality craft items. And, wandering among them was the UK’s top Gordon Ramsay lookalike, who spent the day posing for photographs and giving his opinion on the items on sale. The speciality market, organised by Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District (BID), is just one of many ideas designed to raise the profile of the town ­– following the launch of a vibrant new ‘Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield’ brand. The market is the first of three which will take place on the last Sunday of the month from 10am-2pm, with the next events planned for October 30th and November 27th. Organisers have said that if these initial markets prove popular, they will become a regular monthly event, rekindling a tradition that dates back more than 700 years in the Royal Town. And the first event proved hugely successful, with large crowds flocking to the town centre, busy car parks and traders reporting positive sales. Sutton resident Sue Mitchell, who used to work in Sutton’s Marks and Spencer store, said: “I was very impressed with the market because there were so many different stalls, offering different things to different people, at different price levels too.

“We’ve just strolled down here and stopped and talked to various stall holders and the variety of the market is wonderful. I can’t remember the last time there was anything like this on the high street in Sutton.”                Her neighbour, Linda Wright, added: “I think it’s wonderful. I haven’t seen crowds like this for so many years and I think it’s what is needed for Sutton, something to bring people into the town centre.                                                 “There is a great atmosphere to the place and the stalls are all very good, with real variety.”

Stall holders also enjoyed the event, which has already got a waiting list of traders keen to get involved. Organisers are now planning a bigger market, on a Halloween theme, at the end of October.

Councillor David Barrie, a city councillor who is part of the board of Sutton Coldfield BID, said: “We have seen a lot of changes in Sutton Town Centre and we have got through the dreadful years of the pandemic, and this market has just come at a perfect time when people are ready to come out into Sutton and see something different. “There was a really wonderful buzz to the place, and I think it will kickstart regular Farmers Markets and bring a lot of trade into Sutton, which is what we need. “There was a lot of Sutton people enjoying a Sutton event organised by Sutton BID and the atmosphere was fantastic.” BID manager Michelle Baker said: “We really want to put Sutton on the map as a destination and we couldn’t have been happier with our first Farmers Market. “We want to thanks the thousands of local residents who came along on a sunny Sunday to show their support and buy some of the brilliant products and produce on sale. “And, of course, it was great fun to see them react to the sight of Gordon Ramsay wandering around the stalls and having his photo taken. “We’re already planning the next market, on October 30, as well as lots of other events which will promote Sutton Coldfield town centre.”

Thousands flocked to Sutton Coldfield’s first new Farmers market.

Shoppers were surprised to see a famous face among the stalls – the UK’s best Gordon Ramsay lookalike.



Giant footsteps are set to echo around Sutton Coldfield Town Centre this month when larger-than-life characters mix with shoppers.

This Saturday (August 13th) Transformers Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will touch down in Sutton and patrol the Parade for a free meet-and-greet with fans from 11am-2pm. Then, on Bank Holiday Monday (August 28th) the Royal Town will get a Royal visit with a difference when the King of the Dinosaurs – ‘Chomp’, the T-Rex – stalks the town centre from 11am-2pm. The colourful characters are part of the new Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield BID programme of year-round events which aims to encourage more people to choose the town centre as a destination to spend time, eat, drink, shop and relax.

Organised by Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District (BID), the programme of events also includes a new monthly Farmer’s Market, beginning on Sunday, September 25th. BID Manager Michelle Baker said: “We’re aiming to make Sutton Coldfield town centre a big attraction, and they don’t come much bigger than the Transformers and Chomp, who is the world’s biggest, most realistic Tyrannosaurus Rex! “These are amazing performance characters who have to be seen to be believed, so come down to Sutton town centre and enjoy the free entertainment.

Sutton Town Centre Salutes Armed Forces With Fun Day

Residents and shoppers of all ages saluted the Armed Forces in a fun event in Sutton Coldfield – which saw the town centre invaded by a pair of mischievous ‘toy soldiers’.

Armed Forces Day on Saturday, June 25th was the first event organised under the new ‘Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield’ brand, which aims to encourage more people to choose the town centre as a destination to work, study, shop and enjoy.

Organised by Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District (BID), the day included free activities from face painting to a flight simulator – but it was the two green toy soldiers who stole the show, by parading around the town centre and interacting with shoppers.

BID Manager Michelle Baker said: “Armed Forces Day was a great success and was so much fun. This was the first of many events we have planned to encourage people to visit the town centre, and we had a brilliant response from shoppers and traders. “Sutton Coldfield town centre has so much potential, and this was very much just a taste of what’s to come – so watch this space! “Next up, we have plans for the school summers holidays, and will also be launching a new Food and Drink guide soon, to promote the 50 places to eat and drink in the town.”

On Armed Forces Day visitors to Sutton could try to win their RAF wings in a high-tech flight simulator, provided by PSW Events, listen to music performed by Royal Birmingham Conservatoire saxophonist Alicia Hillman or buy tasty treats created by army veteran and Sutton Coldfield resident Liam Hall, who is now a successful chocolatier. Free face painting for children added some colour to the day, and the two toy soldiers brought their own brand of military mayhem to the Royal town, dancing with shoppers, posing for pictures and patrolling the shops.

Video link

Students Step Into The Dragons Den

Press Release

Students at Sutton Coldfield’s Arthur Terry School stepped into the Dragon’s Den when they took part in a day-long challenge designed to build their teamwork skills. Nearly 300 Year 9 pupils at the school, which is part of the respected Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP), tackled the ‘RGWM challenge’, where they were tasked with producing ideas to help regenerate the West Midlands with the support of business mentors.

Lined up as ‘dragons’ were local businesses leaders, while the region’s Mayor, Andy Street, provided a video welcome to launch the day, and promised to review their best ideas too.

Then the students were split into small groups, supported by their form tutors, and encouraged to come up with original, sustainable ideas that could improve the lives of local people.

The best group from each form then presented their project in the hall Infront of the entire year 9 assembly and the assembled Dragons who chose an overall winner.

The winner was brilliant mental health project called ‘mindful motors’, which would combine a tour of Birmingham’s most inspirational sights with access to support and advice. Students wanted to convert a double decker bus, fitting it out with a quiet zone, advice centre, music and library to provide a mobile mental health resource that could tour the region.

Councillor Alex Yip said: “All the guests were impressed with the engagement of the students, their behaviour, and the inclusion for Special Educational Needs students was also noted. “The winning project was a very impressive initiative to redesign a double decker tour bus for mental health support. “It was saddening to hear how mental health was such a priority for students and how so many have struggled but had to make do.”

The mentors who gave up their time were Ben Keefe of AYK Capital , David Hulson and Kal Gurung of Mott MacDonald, Dawn Hall of Jericho, Rebecca Horner of Walsall College, Brian Davies, of UK Sepsis Trust, Careers Enterprise Advisor Ken Hutchinson, Chris Brewerton of Sutton Coldfield Chamber of Commerce, Katharine Olie of Pathway CTM and Birmingham City Councillor, Alex Yip, who is also a Trustee on the ATLP board.

Chris Brewerton said: “We are really supportive of Arthur Terry, and it’s great to be involved in encouraging the next generation of Sutton business people, as well as out chosen charity UK Sepsis Trust, who are also taking part.”

The Trust’s Brian Davies said: “We were delighted to be involved because a great deal of our work is done through schools – we have a programme that raises awareness and involves 375 schools across the country. Days like this are great for helping students develop the kind of soft skills they will need in life and we’re very happy to support.”

Arthur Terry Director of Careers Alex Zarifeh said: “Our RGWM challenge’ was a great success and I would like to extend a huge ‘thank you’ to each of the mentors who gave an entire day to support nearly three hundred Year 9 students.

“The day helped the students learn a little of the types of challenges the world of work presents; working in new teams, collaboratively working towards a set project brief, networking and presentation skills.”



AT RGWM 1 & 2 Mentors assemble at Arthur Terry School before the RGWM challenge.

 AT RGWM 4  Arthur Terry Director of Careers Alex Zarifeh talks to the students.

 AT RGWM 5 The winners with Arthur Terry headteacher Sam Kibble.

“Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield ” Brand is Launched

Press Release 20/06/22

A vibrant new ‘Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield’ brand has been launched by local business leaders, with the ambition to encourage more people to choose the Royal Town’s centre as a destination to work, study, shop and enjoy.

The new era gets underway on Saturday (June 25th) for Armed Forces Day – when visitors will be able to take the controls of a free flight simulator and enjoy live music and face painting. An army veteran turned chocolatier will be selling tasty treats, while the hilarious ‘Green Army Men’, made famous by Toy Story, will be on parade too.

The launch follows the recent recruitment of Michelle Baker as the new manager of Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District (BID) and provides a positive rebrand which reflects the BID’s renewed focus on raising the profile of Sutton Coldfield town centre.

Michelle said: “The BID has been in place for 10 years and it’s key that we raise the profile of both the BID company and the town centre to place Sutton Coldfield firmly on the map.

“This new branding of ‘Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield’ will help us do that, by sending out the message that this is a wonderful place to spend time, to eat, drink, shop, relax and enjoy everything we have to offer.

“We have big plans for the town centre including delivering high profile events, launching a new Food and Drink guide to promote the 50 places to eat and drink in the town and much more. Come along on Armed Forces Day to get a taste of what’s to come.”

Plans are also being worked to celebrate the Commonwealth Games.

The new Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield brand was revealed by BID board members at last week’s Sutton Coldfield Business Fair, along with its striking logo, which features four classic icons reflecting the unique nature of Sutton. The logo includes a Tudor rose, the town’s ancient symbol, a green leaf to symbolise the park, a church spire denoting Holy Trinity – the town’s oldest building – and a crown, representing the town’s famous ‘Royal’ status. The logo will become a familiar site, appearing on all BID material promoting the town centre, and will be rolled out this month to replace the older branding.

Michelle added: “This colourful new brand is just the first step – we are exploring so many exciting ideas for the town centre, such as open-air cinemas and speciality markets and other high-profile events that will encourage people to Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield.”

Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District (BID) commenced its new 5-year term in January this year and raises £200,000 per annum for town centre and business improvements. 377 businesses in the town centre pay a levy which funds town centre initiatives and events. Sutton Coldfield BID is a business-led, not for profit organisation voted for by the town’s businesses, with an ambitious plan to transform Sutton Coldfield town centre making it more welcoming, vibrant and influential.


1. BID Board members (left to right) Alison Clack, of Cerda Planning Stephen Nixon, of Enoch Evans LLP, Gracechurch Centre manager Angela Henderson, Mark Harris, of Mark Harris Accountants and BID Manager Michelle Baker show off the new brand outside Sutton Coldfield Town Hall.

 2. The new Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield logo with its colourful icons.

 3. The Green Army Men, made famous by Toy Story, will be in Sutton Town Centre for this weekend’s Armed Forces Day.

4. A free Flight Simulator will also be ready for take-off for Armed Forces Day.

City Council Buy Retail Park & Shops

Birmingham City Council have bought Half of Sutton Coldfield’s Parade shopping and restaurant units including Aldi and Poundland, along with the Newhall Walk Retail Park with B&M and TK Maxx

For the full story click the link

Photo courtesy Birmingham Live – The Newhall Walk Retail Park

Midlands Food & Drink Awards 2022

The finalists for the Midlands Food, Drink and Hospitality Awards 2022 have been announced – and there’s plenty for Sutton Coldfield to cheer about, out of the 28 categories Sutton is featured in

People can vote now for their favourites by visiting Voting closes on June 12 and the winners will be announced at a ceremony at The Eastside Rooms in Birmingham on July 4.

Here are the categories and establishments for the Sutton Coldfield

Afternoon Tea Establishment of the Year

The Belfry Hotel & Resort in Sutton Coldfield

Bar/Restaurant Manager of the Year

Jennifer Burton – The Belfry

Gastro Pub of the Year

Butlers Arms in Sutton Coldfield

General Manager of the Year

Rebecca Giles – Butlers Arms

Hotel Bar of the Year

Brabazon Bar – The Belfry Hotel

Oriental Restaurant of the Year

Sushido in Sutton Coldfield

South Asian Restaurant of the Year

Panache in Sutton Coldfield

Vegetarian – Vegan Restaurant of the Year

Cracked Pepper in Sutton Coldfield

For full list of finalists click the link

Verified by MonsterInsights