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£35k proposal is a good sign for Lyme
Lyme Regis traders have revealed ambitious £35,000 plans to showcase the town to tourists.
They say the proliferation of signs around the resort has become an eyesore, outdated and confusing for visitors.
Lyme Traders’ Organisation (LTO) has approached the town council with proposals to streamline signage.
At a meeting of the council’s tourism and economic development committee last Wednesday members formed a working group, to include traders, to consider the proposals.
In a report to the committee, the traders said: “The LTO feels that by taking a fresh look at what the town signage is supposed to achieve and ‘joining the dots’ there is an opportunity to create new signage that will benefit the town as a whole, creating a more professional, helpful tool for visitors and clearly identifying the diverse range of traders throughout the town.”
The group said its proposal – which would tackle business, visitor and car park signposts – would need an investment of around £35,000.
But chairman Tony Colston stressed that they do not expect the town council to fund the entire project.
He said: “We would expect a large part of that to be self-funding over a period of time.
“We are very aware that the council is very strapped for funds.
“We need to look at how we can do this in phases.
“The reality of trying to do it in one hit without a chunk of cash is virtually nil.
“That’s the whole idea of putting a working party together to see how we do this.
“This is an investment in the town and improving the visitor experience of Lyme Regis.”
The LTO believes the scheme could become self-funding after three years and produce an income of at least £8,400 per year for the council.
The initial investment would be re-paid through the sale of advertising on signs.
For visitor information, it is proposed to update the existing town map and create four colour coded areas for the Cobb, seafront, Broad Street, and Town Mill and Coombe Street.
For business signposts, it is suggested that the council creates a new policy, including restricting the use of A boards and selling space on the railings at Cobb Gate and the harbour.
To improve signs at car parks, they suggest colour coding each site, removing spaces available/full signs, and consolidating all information into a single sign.
Tourism and economic development vice-chairman Coun Rikey Austin said: “Signage is very piecemeal. It’s grown up organically over the years and we need to look at areas where there are problems and where we can improve things.
“The working group will decide what we can do now and what we will need to budget over the years.
“We need to see what we’ve got in our budgets and what other pots of money we could apply for.
“It’s an economically difficult time so we have got to be sensible about what things are important and what things can wait.”