Sally Iggulden of Destination Beverley
Local residents and businesses in Beverley have been urged to get behind a new drive to promote all that is great about the East Yorkshire town.
The call came at the launch of Destination Beverley, a new independent partnership dedicated to driving visitor numbers, footfall and spend in the town.
Destination Beverley is made up of representatives of the town’s leading attractions, Beverley Racecourse and Beverley Minster, as well as the Flemingate Centre, traders and individuals with relevant skills and a passion for the town.
Sally Iggulden, chair of Destination Beverley and chief executive of Beverley Racecourse, told guests: “We want to work together with local people, groups and organisations so that we fulfil a broad agenda and don’t duplicate the excellent work already being carried out. It’s all about having a joined-up approach to creating an even better Beverley.
“To make this work and create an even better Beverley, we need to all work together. This evening you will all be presented with a badge of honour. I would like to invite all of you present to be our first chosen ambassadors for Beverley. Wear your badge wherever you go and, when people ask you about it, tell them just what it means to you to represent Beverley.
“I want you to all think about why you love living here, or working here, or why you have your business based here… what makes it such a special place and why have you chosen Beverley above all other places? Encourage others around you – work colleagues, friends and family – to join in and spread the word.”
The launch event, held at East Riding College in Beverley, heard Destination Beverley’s agenda was summed up by the key themes of Visit, Spend, Stay and Enjoy, with a mission to:
Iggulden added: “We have all been busy marketing our own businesses in Beverley, spending lots of money and reaching a fair amount of people, but this is the first time the main visitor attractions have sat round a table and formed a partnership.
“The combined passion and joined-up thinking is what will really drive the objectives of Destination Beverley.”
The Destination Beverley launch also featured the first showing of a new video showcasing the very best of Beverley and the launch of the new Destination Beverley website, as well as keynote speeches by Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire, and Rick Bailey, chief executive of Daniel Thwaites Plc, the company redeveloping the Beverley Arms Hotel.
Sir Gary said Beverley was one of Yorkshire’s “jewels in the crown” as it was rich in history and heritage, had two stunning churches, a thriving town centre full of independent retailers, a new, contemporary shopping centre, a racecourse and so much more.
“You’ve got all the ingredients to give visitors a fantastic time, whether they come for a day, a weekend or longer,” he said. “I can’t imagine anybody coming to Beverley and leaving disappointed.”
He added: “The one word I would use to sum up Beverley is ‘authentic’ and people are looking for authenticity in their lives, across the world, but particularly in our country and in this county. They want things that are real – real scenery; real food and drink; real, genuine people.
“Beverley is incredibly authentic. There’s lots of places around the country who would love to change places with you and would say ‘we wish we had all of that’.”
Bailey said the Destination Beverley launch was perfectly timed in view of his company’s £6m investment to breathe new life into the Beverley Arms, which has been closed for more than a year.
He said: “We love Beverley because it has such an amazing heritage and is a real cultural hub for East Yorkshire. Beverley is a brilliant place and I expect it will only get better and better. That’s why we’ve come here.”
He said he expected the Beverley Arms to re-open in April 2018 “when we will give this brilliant hotel back to the town”.
Bailey added: “We are very, very excited about bringing this absolute jewel back to life and I have been blown away by the local enthusiasm, affection and love for this building and the support for putting it back on its feet.”
Sally Iggulden said Destination Beverley already had financial commitment from Beverley Building Society, Beverley Racecourse and Wykeland Group and was looking for further commercial partners to support its vision.
“Destination Beverley does need funding to make it a sustainable long-term venture and we will be calling on the business sector to join us on this journey,” she said. “We believe in creating a better Beverley and we very much hope you do too.”