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New identity for Waveney valley

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 November 2009 | UPDATED: 08:50 01 August 2010

TOURISM in the Bungay area could be boosted as local people are asked to help develop a brand identity to promote the Waveney valley to visitors.

East of England Tourism is working with the Waveney Valley Local Action Group to come up with new branding, including a logo design and strapline.

TOURISM in the Bungay area could be boosted as local people are asked to help develop a brand identity to promote the Waveney valley to visitors.

East of England Tourism is working with the Waveney Valley Local Action Group to come up with new branding, including a logo design and strapline. Businesses in Bungay have already shown interest in the idea, with a workshop on Tuesday aimed at gauging ideas of local traders already full.

Workshops are being held at five market towns across the valley to give businesses a chance to put their ideas across that will be used to promote products and services from the area.

Sergi Jarques, from East of England Tourism, said it was crucial to get input from local people.

“We're trying to get businesses from tourism, farming, retail and all the main industries in the area,” he said. “It's up to the businesses in the local area to build a brand because they are the ones who will have to sell it later on.

“Then we will have some focus groups with visitors where we will show them this is how the Waveney valley wants to promote itself as an area not just for tourism but also as a place to live and work, and see what the visitors think.”

Mr Jarques said the final stage, face-to-face interviews with local groups and councils, would put the finishing touches to the best options that would then be presented to the Waveney Valley Local Action Group, which will select the best design. The project has been commissioned by the group, which was granted £3.2m by the East of England Development Agency and is led by local people to promote local communities, businesses and enterprises.

Bungay mayor John Warnes said he supported the branding idea, which is expected to be in place ahead of next summer's tourist season.

“I'm all in favour of it - anything that gets people into the area is a good exercise,” he said. “The Waveney valley extends from Diss all the way to Lowestoft.

“It is very beautiful and there are particular areas of interest in the Bungay area - we've the Bungay Common which is known as being a Roman encampment going back many hundreds of years, and we've got the southern end of the Broads.”

He said part of the appeal to visitors was the landscape and wildlife, adding that promoting the area using a strong design could help boost the local economy.

“We've apparently had a tourist boom this year due to the financial situation as people haven't been going abroad but you can't rely on that for the future. We need to promote it in every way possible.”

Events have already been held in Diss and Harleston, with workshops at Beccles on Tuesday and in Halesworth on Wednesday.

Numbers are limited, so anyone wanting to attend should call Mark McGill on 0845 329 5974.

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