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New signage and branding will be used to help attract visitors to Thames. File photo: GORDON PREECE

Hopeful new signs come before summer

The local community board is dedicated to rebranding Thames, but there are concerns over whether they’ll “miss the boat” as summer looms.
Using the $50,000 it was granted from the Ministry of Social Development, the Thames Community Board has come up with initiatives that would help to attract visitors to the town.
These include new branding, a website, and signage, and it is hoped these tools will help regain some of the 27.9 per cent decrease in visitor spending.
While supportive of the rebranding, community board members Kishan Raikwar, Martin Rodley, and Adrian Catran were steadfast that the signage needed to be erected before summer.
“It’s the middle of September now, and we need to have things in place and websites up et cetera, so that people are thinking about where to go for summer,” Cr Rodley said.
“We don’t want to be putting these up in February or March – we’d have missed the boat.”
Council staff said branding would come first, followed by signage, but Cr Rodley argued that it should be the other way around.
“In my brain, I would argue that in fact some of the initial designs for the signs could actually start happening now… and then the brand could be incorporated into it,” he said.
“I’m just really concerned that we’re going to be in November all of a sudden and people won’t be able to print the signs.”
Board chair Adrian Catran also shared his “real reservations” about the “way it’s all going to pan out”.
He said the money was solely for Thames, and so elected members and staff needed to get “value for our dollar”.
Council’s report to the September 13 meeting said a signage audit would be completed to identify potential placements for wayfinding, information signage, and picture frames. Once the size and location of signs had been determined, any consent or approval requirements would be known, while sponsorship would be sought for the cost of the signs.
It said that once the branding had been completed, there would be “more control of the image portrayed and it won’t be left to the media”.