One of the things currently being considered by Evesham Town Council is the idea of “branding” the town in order to make it easier to promote both to visitors, potential new residents and businesses.
See more photos of Evesham at the Evesham Flickr Group.
The concept of branding a town isn’t new. For example, there are several “book towns” around the UK, including Hay-on-Wye, Wigtown and Sedburgh, where the town is promoted as a place for book lovers and local businesses are encouraged to cater to that trade. In the case of Hay-on-Wye in particular this has been a resounding success in making the town not just nationally but internationally famous.
Other examples of branded towns include the antique towns of Lostwithiel in Cornwall and Long Melford in Suffolk; Ludlow in Shropshire, Wellington in Cornwall and Mold in Flintshire which are promoted as food towns; and Ventnor on the Isle of Wight which is promoted as a vintage town. Then there are St Ives in Cornwall and Arundel in Sussex which are arts towns, and, topically this year, Much Wenlock in Shropshire which is the location of the Wenlock Olympian Games and was the inspiration for the modern Olympics. Just down the road from us, Tewkesbury is promoted as a riverside town.
All of these towns have found that focussing on one particular aspect of their local culture has been beneficial, both in increasing tourism and helping to raise the profile of the town among residents and businesses. So there’s nothing particularly controversial nor original in the idea of doing the same for Evesham. The question is, should we go down this route, and, if so, what should our focus be?
The town council has already had some proposals and kicked around a few ideas, which I’m not going to mention here because I don’t want to pre-empt the discussion. What matters more is what the residents of Evesham, and those who are likely to visit Evesham, think.
So, I want your thoughts. It doesn’t matter whether you live in Evesham, or are from the local area, or even if you’ve never heard of the place before – every opinion is valuable at this point.
If you do live in Evesham, how would you like you town to be perceived by visitors? What do you think would be more likely to help regenerate the town? If you’re not from Evesham, what are the things that come to mind when you think of Evesham? What sort of things might persuade you to visit, or shop here? And what do you think of the general idea of branding the town?