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Philip Evans


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HONITON: Nationwide project to promote town

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

An ambitious marketing project to boost visitor numbers in Honiton is in the pipeline and discussions are due to get underway in the next few weeks. Honiton Town Council will be working closely with the Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Information Office to find new ways to promote the town on a national scale. Representatives from each of the three key organisations will work together to boost the town’s appeal, and a number of ideas have already been suggested. The Chamber is keen to encourage coach parties to visit Honiton on market days and the group will look into ways of maximising interest from tourists travelling to Exmouth, Sidmouth and other coastal towns. Colin Wright, chairman of both the Honiton Chamber and the Association of East Devon Chambers, said: “In the next month a new marketing group will be formed with a view to advertising the town centre across the country. “We have lots of small shops in Honiton and we need to help them by promoting a different kind of shopping experience. “If we can encourage coach tours to incorporate Honiton into their trips to other towns, that could provide a boost in trade across East Devon by highlighting the best of what each town has to offer.” Chamber members, who met for their monthly breakfast meeting on Wednesday (June 11th), are looking at every option to promote the town centre and were united in their frustration at the recent announcement that East Devon District Council land at Heathpark is soon to be sold for development into a supermarket. The council has also begun a six-month review into future provision at the nearby East Devon Business Centre and is encouraging the private sector to support the local business community instead. Responding to the announcements, Mr Wright added: “Town centre businesses do not want this new supermarket and you can understand why. “It seems almost a cut-and-dry thing now but we have got to try to offer more support to smaller businesses. “I am particularly concerned for start-up businesses and where they can be based. Businesses in Honiton have a lot to offer but need the advice, support and experience provided at the centre.” Chamber member Wendy Le Masurier, from Wendy’s Cookshop, added that the decision to allow a supermarket to be built on the land was “short-sighted” and another store “would not reflect well” on the town.

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