Brainstorming meet-up held to pitch ideas to boost Sidmouth’s image

High Street, sidmouth. Ref shs 9252-25-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

High Street, sidmouth. Ref shs 9252-25-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

A meeting to pitch ideas of ways to boost the town and its image was attended by more than 37 Sidmouth businesses last week.

Late-night shopping in the summer, a loyalty card scheme and a social media campaign to attract younger customers were among suggestions put forward.

The meeting, which took place on Tuesday, January 15, at Browns’ Kitchen in High Street, was held to discuss how Sidmouth town centre can become more vibrant and well-used.

The main purpose was to gather ideas for the positive promotion of the town and to ensure that it moved forward to cater for the wide-ranging and changing needs of both the local community and visitors to the area.

People attending included independent business owners, representatives from local chains and representatives of the Chamber of Commerce.

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Louise Brown, of Browns’ Kitchen, welcomed everyone and explained that the meeting had arisen from informal conversations between herself, resident David Lloyd and Jo Johnstone, of Paper Moon.

Ideas put forward included:

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? A voucher scheme to help businesses promote each other. ? A scheme along the lines of Ottery’s Golden Tickets. ? A local loyalty card scheme to reward regular custom. ? A social media campaign to attract families and younger customers starting with Facebook and Instagram. ? Build on the new town council guide and new town centre map that have just been produced. ? Look at late-night opening during the summer season or occasional late night opening. ? Encourage more businesses to have a presence on Trip Advisor. ? A town trail activity.

It was agreed that a new Facebook/Instagram page should be set up to promote the town centre businesses and that a small action group should be formed to take this forward.

The voucher scheme was also supported and a small group will work on the details of this.

Following the meeting, Louise Brown and Jo Johnstone said: “Overall, we were delighted with the turnout, the ideas put forward and the overwhelming positivity.”

Email if you are a business that would like to be involved, kept up to date or if you have any more bright ideas.

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