PEOPLE in Minehead are being invited to have their say on creating a new image and brand for the resort.

Minehead has been awarded substantial funding – around £700,000 – to revitalise its tourism offer and to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

West Somerset Council say image and branding are vital components of the overall Enterprising Minehead plan. Consultants have been commissioned to produce concepts that people will be able to see and comment on.

The consultations will happen in the New Year at the cafe at Minehead Eye on Thursday, January 4 between 9am and 1pm, Tuesday, January 9 between 2pm and 6pm and Thursday, January 10 between 4pm and 7pm.

People are being encouraged to drop into a session that’s most convenient for them, to view displays and brand options and make their opinion known.

“This is a great opportunity for the town to pull together and get behind the branding exercise. Developing this will give all organisations a new tool which will help us shout about what’s great about our town. It’s important to get it right so we’d encourage everyone to get involved,” said Cllr Roger Thomas, who chairs the Coastal Communities Team in Minehead.

Enterprising Minehead is a partnership project involving West Somerset Council, Minehead Coastal Communities Team (CCT) and partners including representatives from the business, voluntary and leisure sectors.

The project aims to make the most of Minehead’s traditional appeal as a seaside resort – but making sure it is fit for the 21st century

The initiative will include the physical re-development and refurbishment of the seafront, a tourism training academy, the development of a business improvement district (BID), new events, a heritage trail and branding and marketing activity.

Funding secured includes £501,000 from the Hinkley Point C Community Impact Mitigation (CIM) fund, almost £80,000 in Leader funding - EU money allocated to help rural areas – and £130,000 from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

The grants need to be spent on specific projects, within set timeframes with the emphasis on boosting the economy, creating new jobs and improving skills, marketing and branding. In addition they need to make the most of opportunities afforded by Hinkley Point C as well as mitigating any negative impacts. .

“There are strict guidelines that we have to follow now that we have secured such hugely welcome funding,” said Cllr Andrew Hadley, lead member for economic growth.

“However this is a fantastic opportunity for Minehead and I hope we can all pull together for the good of the town and work as a team towards creating a place that we can all be proud of.”