The time to Explore BoA is approaching!

If you have had your ear to the social media ground, you may have caught a glimpse of a new logo about town, and wondered what was in the pipeline. Since joining the Town Council team, Steph Shearing, the Tourism & Events Officer, and Lydia Booth, Communications Manager, backed by Town Councillors, have been working on a plan to give Bradford on Avon’s tourism offer a well overdue facelift, though also identified a need to incorporate features that the local community as a whole could benefit from, such as events calendars, local information and inspiration to perhaps explore places not heard of or visited before.

Working with local designer, Marc Bessant, (who also happens to be a member of the Bradfordian’s troupe), and incorporating design elements from local illustrator Jenny Dack, they have developed the ExploreBoA logo, which will be used across social media platforms, in brochures and as a focal point for the new website. Marc said:

I wanted to create a lively logo that could also be ‘explored’; there are many elements within it connected to our beautiful town. I have a print on my wall by the designer (& friend) Jenny Dack, that wonderfully illustrates the life & architecture of Bradford on Avon, which I couldn’t help but keep referring to. Jenny was happy to help and between us the logo soon took shape.

With the logo developed, implementing it has become a major focus within the next phase of work; re-designing the website . With the existing www.bradfordonavon.co.uk site dating back over a decade, it’s no surprise that many of the features are not responsive, so cannot be viewed or interacted with easily on tablets, phones and smaller screens.

There have also been many other developments in the web design industry since the old site was first commissioned, so the Council asked three local firms to submit tenders, and from these Boson Web were selected to tackle both the tourism site and subsequently the Town Council site.

During December 2018, the tourism site will launch, with a view to developing content on an ongoing basis, with input from businesses and community groups/organisations across the town. The Town Council site will subsequently be developed for launch in the early part of 2019.

Richard Anderson, founder of Boson Web, said:

“We are utterly delighted to be working alongside the team at the town council and we applaud their fresh, unconventional attitude to website design for local government.

Bradford on Avon, as a town, has so much to offer in terms of its heritage, facilities, local businesses, walks and as a place to visit or live. We are bringing the colour, energy and vibrancy of this community to the internet to encourage people to visit Bradford on Avon or, in the case of the council website, to actively engage with the council online. We’re working towards a clean, modern and fresh look to show Bradford on Avon is a town for everyone of all ages.”

The decision to work with Boson is part of a wider move by the town council to embrace the talent available in local businesses.

(Photo: The team at Boson Web)

Leader of the Council, Cllr Dom Newton said:

“We’re very pleased to be working with Boson Web for the redesign of both the tourism site, supporting a key industry in the town, and our Town Council online presence.  Boson are a well-respected, local business of the sort that seems to really thrive in this town, and our partnership with them on this project, along with the recently announcement procurement of another local business, Systemagic, on strategic and day-to-day IT, shows the council leading the way in supporting our great local businesses – thereby keeping resources in the local area, and building relationships that will benefit the town in years to come.”

The timing of the Explore BoA website launch has been designed to utilise another big step for the town in terms of tourism; the inclusion on the new Great West Way (GWW) route between London and Bristol which it is hoped will encourage visitors who might otherwise have bypassed our beautiful town to stop by for a visit.

Steph Shearing said:

The Great West Way is the first touring route of its kind in the UK, with the aim of the GWW to encourage visitors out of the London bubble by giving them an established route to follow. Eventually, we hope it to be as well known and travelled as Route 66 in the US and the Wild Atlantic way in Ireland.

Invitations for local businesses to submit their details to the Explore BoA site have been sent out, the returns of which have begun populating pages dedicated to eating, drinking and accommodation. If you own, work at or know of a business, attraction or venue in the Town or close vicinity which would like to be included, and haven’t yet been contacted, we’d love to hear from you so email: tourism@bradfordonavontowncouncil.gov.uk

One local business owner, James Sullivan-Tailyour of The Swan commented:

‘We are very excited at the prospect of a new website for Bradford on Avon, which we are told will act as an inclusive ‘one stop shop’ website and will be invaluable for businesses, visitors and residents of Bradford on Avon alike. It will be so much easier to be able to point any enquiries to a single website. Well done to the Town Council!’

If you use social media, we encourage you to follow and interact with our new @ExploreBoA tourism feeds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which will start publishing information soon.