Horsham

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the brief

Horsham wanted to develop the district’s identity to attract visitors, particularly in market towns and rural areas. thinkingplace and Acorn Tourism collaborated to develop a place narrative, a visual identity, Visitor Economy Strategy (Destination Management Plan) and establish a Visitor Economy Partnership (Destination Management Organisation).

The key to Horsham having a strong identity and deliverable Visitor Economy Strategy was to ensure from the outset there was buy-in from a wide range of stakeholders involved in the economic development of the District including the five market towns and Horsham town.

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what was delivered

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  • a place narrative for Horsham which included emerging themes and personality to act as the framework and ‘engine’ to address the positioning and marketing of the Horsham offer.
  • a written visitor economy strategy considering all aspects of destination management to develop a coordinated plan to support and grow the visitor economy.  Central to the strategy is a deliverable action plan that engages a wide range of stakeholders in its delivery based on the themes of the narrative
  • provision of example best practice options for the structure of a new Visitor Economy Partnership (DMO)
  • establishment of the DMO providing the definition of membership with TOR, role and remit of the group and support at the early meetings.
  • a brand visual language providing the visual expression of the Horsham story, specifically designed for use by stakeholders
  • a brand toolkit/guidelines delivered as PDF to enable stakeholders to use the brand in their activities
  • guidance on alignment of the Horsham brand with the South Downs National Park brand which the language was designed to work alongside.
  • a review of the current marketing activity which alongside the narrative and strategic objectives informed a two year marketing plan to be implemented by the newly formed DMO
  • a launch event which launched the new Horsham story, the brand visuals and the visitor economy strategy
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What they say

“The strategy has been well received and certainly seems to have assisted both the Council and several of our visitor economy businesses in securing funding through the EAFRD and LEADER programme. If all submitted projects receive consent, this would represent nearly £2m of funding for the District. In terms of the visual identity and brand, it is a brand that has been well received and one which our in-house design team will take forward and continue to manage and develop.

The Visitor Economy Partnership has met on two occasions, adopting the marketing plan and highlighting a few priority areas. As we develop specific projects and establish our task and finish groups, this should assist with transferring the delivery responsibilities.

Thank you for delivering this project with us.”

Clare Mangan, Head of Economic Development, Horsham District Council

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