The need to improve town gateways, signage and interpretation in Huntly has been recognised for some time. For example, the 2009 The Huntly and District Tourism Strategy identified signage and interpretation as the weakest element of Huntly’s visitor infrastructure. Good signage would make visitors aware of the wide range of facilities in Huntly and make it easier for these facilities to be found. This offers significant benefit to the community and visitors. Better promotion of existing town assets will help them “work harder” for their owners and the community as a whole. Visitors will enjoy their experience more and are more likely to stay longer or return.
The project proposes to use the ‘Huntly. Room to Roam’ brand to create an attractive, cohesive portfolio of town signage, including:
- awareness signage along the A96 to let visitors know that they are approaching Huntly and what facilities they can find there
- replacement of the ‘Family Town’ signs with ‘Huntly, Room to Roam’ ones
- information at the edge-of-town supermarkets to encourage visitors to explore the town centre
- new town gateway signs welcoming visitors to the town
- signs for cars, cyclists & pedestrians helping them navigate their way to town car parks, attractions, shops & facilities, and to the walking/cycling opportunities offered by the surrounding area.
It will be important not to ‘oversign’ the town and advice will be taken from elsewhere on how best to approach the project, especially given that the town centre is a conservation area. An audit of existing town signage and a strategy on how best to proceed will be produced.
Given its nature, the project will take several years to realise but the audit and strategy have been completed and the first new signs will be installed shortly.