Four options were displayed for comment during consultation events earlier this month – and most of those attending expressed a preference for at least one of the choices with only two comments received rejecting all four.
The brand options were drawn up by consultants working on the project following research that included face-to-face interviews in Minehead and other South West locations to capture the thoughts of people thinking of a day visit or short break in the resort.
The consultants RH Partners said they were keen to identify what reflects the true spirit of Minehead and the views of its people, so they embarked on an extensive research and consultation exercise:
60 detailed street interviews with residents and visitors
11 telephone depth interviews with local stakeholders
21 online interviews with local stakeholders
Brand workshop and follow-up discussion with local stakeholders
3x 3-4 hour logo consultation sessions open to all local residents, and attended by over 120 people
Detailed review of solutions adopted by other seaside destinations
It is recognised that there are a number of people using social media who have got views on the logo, and those points will be considered carefully when a decision is made.
The idea to consider local artists is well made, and this is something all are keen to do when moving to the next phase of developing advertising to attract visitors to Minehead.
A broad group of representatives from Minehead met to work up ideas and draw up the shortlist of four options – these were considered at the consultation events. And one – yet to be revealed – has emerged as a clear favourite.
The next step will be a meeting of the Coastal Community Team and the brand group on Monday January 22 to discuss the results of the consultation.
Image and branding are vital components of the overall Enterprising Minehead plan. Consultants have been commissioned to produce concepts that people could see and comment on.
The new brand identity will be a focus to attract new visitors, used on marketing tools like the new Minehead destination website currently being developed and marketing campaigns moving forwards.
“I am pleased that so many people got involved and expressed their views. It’s important to get it right so we’re grateful to those who engaged in the consultation,” said Cllr Roger Thomas, who chairs the Coastal Communities Team in Minehead.
Enterprising Minehead is a partnership project involving West Somerset Council, Minehead Coastal Communities Team (CCT) and partners including representatives from the business, voluntary and leisure sectors.
The project aims to make the most of Minehead’s traditional appeal as a seaside resort – but making sure it is fit for the 21st century
The initiative will include the physical re-development and refurbishment of the seafront, a tourism training academy, the development of a business improvement district (BID), new events, a heritage trail and branding and marketing activity.
Funding secured includes £501,000 from the Hinkley Point C Community Impact Mitigation (CIM) fund, almost £80,000 in Leader funding - EU money allocated to help rural areas – and £130,000 from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund.
The grants need to be spent on specific projects, within set timeframes with the emphasis on boosting the economy, creating new jobs and improving skills, marketing and branding. In addition they need to make the most of opportunities afforded by Hinkley Point C as well as mitigating any negative impacts. .
“There are strict guidelines that we have to follow now that we have secured such hugely welcome funding,” said Cllr Andrew Hadley, lead member for economic growth.
“However this is a fantastic opportunity for Minehead and I hope we can all pull together for the good of the town and work as a team towards creating a place that we can all be proud of.”