New bid to promote Waveney Valley

Victoria NichollsTourism in the Waveney Valley could be boosted as local businesses are asked to help develop a brand identity to promote the area to visitors.Victoria Nicholls

Tourism in the Waveney Valley could be boosted as local businesses are asked to help develop a brand identity to promote the area 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.

Workshops are being held at five market towns across the valley to give local traders 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 in developing a brand identity for the Waveney Valley.

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'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 is led by local people to promote communities, businesses and enterprises.

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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 is one of the biggest glacial valleys in the country, it 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.'

Events have already been held in Diss and Harleston, with workshops at Beccles on November 17 and in Halesworth on November 18. Numbers are limited so anyone wanting to attend should call Mark McGill on 0845 329 5974.

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