Summer’s coming……. and the Bognor Regis BID will be helping visitors safely enjoy all the town has to offer with a series of bright and eye-catching installations and additions designed to attract people to Bognor Regis and drive footfall into your businesses. The final strands of multiple plans are now signed off, which means we can share details of most of the extra projects we've been working on delivering since March, when the scope of the "Welcome Back Fund" was announced.
This funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund the government is making available to councils to support the safe return to high streets and wider area to help build back better from the pandemic. It builds on the Reopening High Street Safely Fund allocated to councils in 2020 and forms part of the wider support government is providing to communities and businesses. The funding is very specific, and a key factor is that any installations or enhancements have to be "temporary".
The BID’s summer initiatives include a “responsible visitor” campaign, co-ordinated signage to help visitors confidently navigate the town centre and seafront, the installation of brightly coloured “bunting” gateways to draw footfall to different sections of the town and the introduction of benches and picnic tables to provide additional outdoor seating.
We all know this is going to be a really important summer for Bognor Regis, as the travel restrictions in place means we’re likely to see a second year with increased domestic tourism. We want everyone that comes to Bognor Regis – locals, neighbours and visitors from further afield - to really enjoy their time here on our brilliant, uncrowded beaches, and feel confident about exploring different areas of the town to experience our fabulous businesses. And then we want them to choose to come back again in the future….
The activities start with a “Responsible Tourism” campaign, going live next Monday, 28th June, with radio, print and social media, bus rear and telephone box ads reaching potential visitors within a 40 mile radius, encouraging then to choose Bognor Regis for a much needed trip to the seaside.
It’s really important to distinguish this from a traditional Tourism Promotion, which might highlight everything glorious about a place with arty shots. This is a "Responsible Visitor" campaign: the message we’re promoting about Bognor Regis is that "we’ve got loads to offer and really encourage you to visit, but please remember to follow any Covid-restrictions in place when you come". Last year we focused on the “Space” element of the Covid safety messaging to contrast the stories in the press about crowded beaches, and this year we’re focusing on “Fresh Air”.
Activities continue throughout July and August, with the introduction of co-ordinated, brightly coloured signposting to help navigation and create really clear connections between different areas of the town and seafront. This is an example of one of the types of directional signage - a stripped down version of the detailed maps that will still be on the monoliths, to avoid people clustering around trying to find out which direction to go in. You'll also see the introduction of temporary signage in the town centre, guiding people to key areas quickly and clearly.
We're also working with partners “City Dressing” to install fun, eye catching “gateways” using a familiar seaside graphic to draw attention to the different areas of the town, as well as delivering more permanent visual improvements to enhance the “square” at Bedford Street.
There are a couple of other activities still waiting for final sign off - I'll update you on those as soon as I possibly can......
I know. It's nail biting stuff - there's nothing like a six day deadline to get the heart racing.
Kind regards, Heather
BR BID Co-Ordinator