Lavenham: Campaign to ‘rebrand’ village boosts visitor numbers

Lavenham

Lavenham - Credit: citizenside.com

Business owners behind a campaign to “freshen up” the image of a Suffolk tourism hotspot are hailing the rebranding exercise a success.

The “Love Lavenham – a day, a week, forever” campaign was launched on Valentine’s Day by the Lavenham Merchants’ Guild to promote the village as a romantic destination with far more to offer than its trademark historic buildings.

According to local traders, the initiative, which included a revamp of the village website and a new ‘Love Lavenham’ logo, has already led to an increase in visitor numbers.

Anne Roberts, who owns interior and gift shop, The Cuckoo Flower, said: “Business and trade has definitely increased in the past few months and we have noticed there have been more foreign visitors from places such as Japan, the US and Europe.

“I think the campaign has given Lavenham a more modern feel and the revamped website looks fresh, new and interesting, which is definitely enticing more people to visit.”

Fellow trader Helen Bryce, who runs Chilli & Chives cafe in the High Street, agreed that the new website had paid dividends. She said: “These days, if people are planning short breaks, they research online into what they might do during their stay.

“Lavenham is such a pretty village and I think people sometimes get the idea that it is all about the history of the place. But the website has been effective in showing that Lavenham has something different to offer, including a wide range of independent shops, cafes and events.

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“There has definitely been an increase in people visiting our cafe over the past month or so. I believe the campaign has reminded people of what we have to offer.”

Lavenham Merchants’ Guild spokeswoman, Sarah Rands, said the village had just experienced a “bumper bank holiday” weekend for visitors. She added: “We are getting more than 6,000 hits every month on the website now and it looks like the rebranding campaign is starting to pay off.

“We are in a unique position because we can cater for different types of people, from locals using the traditional butchers, bakers and grocery stores to visitors who want to take advantage of the tourist attractions.

“There is also evidence to suggest it’s not just tourists who are rediscovering Lavenham, but also people from neighbouring counties and villages, which is very encouraging.”

The website at www.lovelavenham.co.uk has links to businesses, tourist attractions and forthcoming events.