Branding boost for resort

FELIXSTOWE: Business and tourism leaders are taking part in a branding workshop today run by the PR guru who appeared in Duncan Bannatyne’s programme about regenerating the resort.

Simon Middleton, author of Build a Brand in 30 Days, advised the Dragon’s Den star during the filming of Seaside Rescue last summer.

But he has since returned to the town to offer free advice on longer-term improvements to tourism in the area, and is running a half-day workshop at the Town Hall with representatives from across the resort to work on ways of raising its profile and attracting more visitors.

He said: “I will be trying to find out from those people what they think and feel about Felixstowe’s branding potential.

“I’m trying to get them to inspire each other and me to devise a new brand and find new, interesting things to say about Felixstowe.

“We need to find authentic stories that will be compelling to people, and that will then influence my recommendations.”

He added: “I will be looking for a hook to hang the brand on. For Hemsby, it was Vikings. For The Broads, it was the emotional quality, the ‘magic’ of the place.

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“For Felixstowe, it might be something quite different, and it’s too early to say what it will be.”

The topics discussed will include how to attract different kinds of visitors, and how to encourage those who might come for a day trip to stay for the weekend instead.

There will be around 30 people there, drawn from local businesses, residents’ associations, attractions, the port and the town and district council.

The ideas generated at today’s meeting will form the basis of recommendations for the town’s brand strategy, which Mr Middleton will make within the next few weeks.

A spokesman for Felixstowe Futures, which spearheads the town’s economic redevelopment, said: “We are hoping to achieve a better understanding of some of the tourism needs of the town and how we can best address them as a group.

“That’s the idea of Monday – to find out the best way to promote Felixstowe.”

n What do you think would attract more visitors to the resort? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail