Wednesday 13 December

Hidden Britain Steering Group


Notes of the Hidden Britain Steering Group
Thursday 8th January 2009 at Square Brewery

Present:

Bob Ayer Chairman
Hilary Ayer

Gareth Gammon

Neil Hitch - Town Clerk

Nick Keith
Paul Molloy
Tony Shaw
Graham Smith
Tony Struthers
Claudia Townsend - Hidden Britain
James Turner - Hidden Britain
Debbie Vodden - EHDC
Penny Young - Petersfield Tourist Information Centre
Tom - Navigate Design


Apologies:

None.

Review of Audit & Comments

Broadly the audit bears out the initial thoughts and views the group presented during the SWOT analysis. Some comments attached below:

Accommodation


Petersfield is short on hotel accommodation but has plenty B&B. However much of this offer is only small businesses and little is available close to the town centre.

Attractions


Petersfield offers a good selection of attractions within the town itself, and has plenty within a short distance.

Events


Difficult to find information on at present as spread across many sights. It was observed that fly posting is still the main form of advertising for many. There is much community event publicity but little is marketed towards visitors beyond the Hampshire countryside website.

Food


Good range of restaurants, café’s & coffee shops with many non-chains. Pub selection is ok with a better spread outside the town centre, but overall a good spread of food and drink outlets.

Publications


Fair number, but produced by a diverse amount of organisations & very fragmented with no cohesive message. Question marks over the availability and currency of many.

Routes


Excellent selection of routes in the area, although again question marks over the availability and currency of many. Not many link to town centre and besides Tic there is no central access point to get information, and little web presence.

Retail


Definitely strength of Petersfield, there is a good spread of non-chain shops and plenty of specialist options. It seems certainly that Petersfield businesses are pitching towards visitors from the higher end of the socio-economic scale

Sights of interest


Good range of interesting buildings and features, the Blue Plaque trail covers several but where else is there information? This isn’t make or break but all contribute to the Petersfield experience.

Transport


Drowning in Taxi Companies! Good train links, and buses offer access to most outlying areas. Overall compared to many similar sized towns public transport provision is pretty good.

Any further comments or amendments to the audit please email james.hiddenbritainse@gmail.com

Action Planning

Themes

The three themes to take forward are:

1. Develop Petersfield’s Identity
2. Improve the existing experience
3. Widen the offer

Theme 1 is self-explanatory and will be worked on as a first stage of the project.
The group was asked to brainstorm potential actions for each of the other two themes. These were then discussed and separated into potential projects requiring planning and funding and small actions, ideas that could be easily achieved or were another organisations responsibility. Considerations for larger projects were also classed as small actions (e.g. Place Petersfield Material in neighbouring TIC’s)

Initial Ideas for Theme 2 – improving the existing

Potential Projects

Improved events co-ordination & publicity
Improve Landscape at Town Station
Plant trees on Lavant Street
Improve number of attractions for visitors
Improve directional signage
Better Signage to TIC
Improve / update maps in car parks
Create tourist map
Improve Footpath Signs

Small Actions

Clamp down on fly posting
Guided walking tours
Raise % of quality assessed accommodation
Town Crier
Place Petersfield Material in neighbouring TIC’s
Improve or provide a central web presence for visitors
Promote boutique & Independent aspects of retail
Review Sunday Parking
Improve Wi-Fi areas
Improve facilities around Lake & Heath
Replace Rubbish Bins in square & High Street

The group was then asked to vote on priorities for potential projects, with the following results:

1st Maps & Mapboards
2nd Signage

Initial Ideas for Theme 3 – Expanding the offer

Potential Projects

Brand / Logo
Map/Guide of places to visit around Petersfield
Welcome Signs
Publish & update walks guides
Visitor info Touch screens
Themed Trails - Heritage / shopping / food / arts etc

Small Actions

PR & Publicity
Identify new sites for hotels / mid-range accommodation
Better Directories for contacts

The group was then asked to vote on priorities for potential projects, with the following results:

1st Brand & Logo
2nd Map & Guide of things to visit around Petersfield
2nd Updating and reissuing existing walks guides

The next stage will be to look at the potential projects and explore how they will be achieved, who will be needed to undertake it, what the outputs will be and when it will need to be done by.