Friday 29 May

Hidden Britain Steering Group

Record of Meeting - Thursday 6th November 2008 - The Square Brewery, Petersfield


Bob Ayer Chairman
Gareth Gammon
Tony Shaw
Graham Smith
Liza Smith - East Hampshire District Council
Debbie Vodden - East Hampshire District Council
Hilary Ayer
Nick Keith
Tony Struthers
Penny Young - Petersfield Tourist Information Centre

James Turner - Hidden Britain

1. Review of Hidden Britain audit

JT provided an overview of his findings. He identified a lack of awareness of the Petersfield offer by potential visitors. JT characterised the town as being retail-centric and not maximising the potential of its location on the South Downs as a visitor destination. This is partially due to disjointed marketing and promotion epitomised by a lack of a centralised website for the town.

A discussion took place amongst the group based on the report that JT had prepared. GG supported the initiative but emphasised the importance of encouraging the sustainability of existing businesses by supporting initiatives such as “Boutique Petersfield”. GG circulated a draft leaflet that had been produced by the Boutique Petersfield initiative.

DV suggested an exercise to review the towns “local distinctiveness” rather than unique selling points. This would help to evaluate the town’s range of assets. PY summarised her experience of dealing with visitors to the town and emphasised that lack of continued funding for tourism initiatives was an obstacle. A discussion took place on the need to secure match-funding and sponsorship to deliver specific projects.

It was agreed that an audit of all information about the town (available in hard copy and on-line format) would be a useful exercise in understanding the themes and messages that are being communicated about Petersfield.

Actions: the group would prepare a product audit and present their findings to the next meeting.

2. The Way Forward – action plan

It was agreed that the action plan will be prepared as a result of the product audit.

3. Project Group development

It was agreed that this current group would take the initiative forward.

4. Date of next meeting

The next meeting will take place at the Square Brewery on Wednesday 26th November at 5pm. Meeting room has been confirmed. The curator of the Petersfield Museum will be invited to attend.