|Gravesend fields proposal for tourism-boosting name change|
|Friday, 24 August 2012 13:16|
Last week, Jurassic Coast town Lyme Regis debated the best strategy to boost its tourism trade, settling on adding a cartoon mermaid to the town logo. On Monday 20 August, the town of Gravesend in Kent fielded a presentation from London South Bank University students arguing for an addition to the town’s name.
The proposed “Gravesend-on-Thames” will appeal to more potential visitors and brand the town as a riverside tourist destination more effectively.
The Gravesend Reporter, the town’s newspaper, supports the possibility of altering the name of the town.
Philip Davies writes in the Reporter, “It is therefore my opinion that a name change to Gravesend-on-Thames would significantly improve the image of our town in the minds of outsiders and increase civic pride locally...The Thames is international credential that you can’t buy. It is pure liquid history and we should celebrate it.”
The Borough of Gravesham may derive its name from a person’s name, but could also mean grove’s end. Located near the Thames Barrier, Gravesend has a strong connection with the river. The Town Pier, refurbished in 2004, is the world’s oldest cast iron pier and many residents are still employed as Thames watermen and pilots.
In May, the town of Staines rebranded itself Staines-upon-Thames to distance itself from a Sacha Baron Cohen joke and promote a more positive image. However, the Staines Town Society opposed adding “upon-Thames” to the name due to economic concerns. Lyme Regis’ town council also pointed to the economic ramifications of altering the image of a tourist destination.
Communicate will be accepting entries for next year’s Transform Awards, celebrating the best in European rebranding, in the late autumn.