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10 August 2013, 11:06
The £75 thousand pound road sign, welcoming to drivers to Bournemouth, has now been finished.
Backed by the tourism industry, the new gateway signage structure is secured on to the recently refurbished pedestrian footbridge above the A338 Wessex Way, close to the hospital.
The south side of the bridge features a message wishing drivers a ‘safe journey’ as they leave town.
We're told the sign is expected to last for ten years costing around £75,000 - instead of the original estimate of £86,000.
The council says investment in the bespoke three-dimensional signage will promote a sense of arrival in the town for visitors and reinforce Bournemouth’s status as one of the UK’s top tourist destinations.
Councillor Lawrence Williams, Cabinet Member for Tourism, Leisure and Culture, said:
"First impressions are everything and this is why it's important to make the gateway into our town as welcoming as possible. This type of signage makes a statement about our town and the community it represents as well as a significant contribution to the way an area is perceived.
"Tourism is worth over £600m to the local economy, so the more welcoming our town is, the more the likelihood is that visitors will make return trips in the future, hopefully staying for longer and spending more time and money in the Borough. This in turn continues to boost the local economy. We are proud of our town and the new signage is a great way to greet people coming to spend time here."
Many destinations have created purposed built structures to mark the entrance point to their town or city such as the Tri-Sail - ‘Sails of the South’ in Portsmouth or the Angel of the North.
Mike Francis MBE, President of the Bournemouth Tourism Management Board commented:
“The sign on the existing bridge will give a high impact welcome to the millions arriving by car and coach along the A338, the main gateway to Bournemouth. It demonstrates that we value the immeasurable contribution tourism makes to the local economy, and the signage is something the industry has been working with the Council to provide for a long time, to further reflect the significance of Bournemouth as one of the UK’s premier resorts.”