Plan to attract more visitors to town

THE first manager appointed for a Suffolk town has outlined her strategy to promote the place as a day-long destination for visitors.Marion Wells, of Aldeburgh, is the new town coordinator for Woodbridge and she is aiming to support the businesses, increase the use of the town's wide range of individual shops and improve communications between groups that have a role in the day-to-day life of the town.

THE first manager appointed for a Suffolk town has outlined her strategy to promote the place as a day-long destination for visitors.

Marion Wells, of Aldeburgh, is the new town coordinator for Woodbridge and she is aiming to support the businesses, increase the use of the town's wide range of individual shops and improve communications between groups that have a role in the day-to-day life of the town.

She wants to foster a stronger community spirit, tap into the opportunities offered by having the National Trust's centre at Sutton Hoo and encourage both residents and visitors to make more of the riverside frontage and Woodbridge's attractions.

Dr Wells runs a consultancy business and she will spend 20 hours a week in her new job. She has a temporary office above the kitchen shop in the Thoroughfare and will be seeking permanent premises.


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Partnership funding has paid for her appointment including contributions from the Countryside Agency and Woodbridge's county councillor Nigel Barratt.

Dr Wells hopes that she can prove within the first 12 months that her job is invaluable to the prosperity of the town and that this will encourage businesses to help fund an extension of her appointment.

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Dr Wells will launch themed events to take place monthly in Woodbridge with topics including the town's European connections, the heritage, the benefits of a location on the River Deben, the variety of arts and Christmas and Easter celebrations.

''I want to promote Woodbridge as a destination where you can get everything, the place to come and spend your time, and people are often surprised that when they come here they can find everything they want - that is the joy of having independent retailers.

''I want the monthly events to show that this town is doing something and make people say that everything is always going on here, and we can do that on a low budget,'' she said.

Dr Wells, who was town centre manager of Maldon for three years, hopes to bring in more street furniture to the Thoroughfare, better signposts to direct people to the river and to rally residents and shopkeepers to ''pull together'' to put Woodbridge on the map.

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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