We’re proud of Clare
A new site for visitors to Clare is now available – Visit Clare. This extends the contents for local tourist-related businesses and groups to an inner ring of Cavendish, Belchamp St Paul, Ovington, Ashen, Stoke-by-Clare and Poslingford, plus an outer ring of Boxted, Stanstead, Glemsford, Foxearth, Pentlow, Belchamp Otten, Tilbury juxta Clare, Ridgewell, Wixoe & Baythorne End, Kedington, Brockley Green, Hundon & Stansfield. Paid advertisements will be allowed on this new site, provided they do not offend editorial policy.
Tourism Clare, a working party of the Town Council has been created. It consists of:
- Phil Gryce, Chair, Councillor
- Derek Blake, Clare Castle Country Park Trust
- Margaret Godwin, Councillor, Clare Community Association
- Gill Hind, Ancient House Museum
- Steve Kimminau, Councillor
- Susan Moore, Clare Business Association
- Bill Perceval-Maxwell, Clare Churches
Both the Chair of the Town Council, Paul Bishop and the Borough Councillor for Clare, Alaric Pugh attend many of the meetings.
The group, now called Visit Clare to reflect its link to the website, has now written a Business Plan which outlines a programme for marketing our area and targets a several measures:; this will cover signage, tourist information points, illuminations, website and brand design. It aims to become a CIO, independent of the Town Council but including representatives from many of the bodies in Clare, similar to its present make-up. It is actively preparing a bid to the Leader programme SEBC and Bury St Edmunds have recently announced funding to establish a destination marketing organisation (DMO) for ‘Bury & Beyond’; we will endeavour to link our work into theirs, and establish how far their ‘beyond’ extends.
As part of this work, we have conducted a 1-1 survey of the shareholders in the town, business & voluntary organisations.
A second group has been created to extend our tourist/visitor offer to walks in and around Clare. This Walks Group, sponsored by a grant from Suffolk Community Foundation to Clare Castle Country Park Trust, has currently drawn up a set of six circular walks; the leaflets are now available. See the Clare Walks website for details and other walking information. The Walks Group has been invited by the Town Council to set up Clare as a Walkers are Welcome town.
The Wool Towns Association has been formed: Clare is an equal partner with Hadleigh, Lavenham and Long Melford and Sudbury. A bid to the Leader programme aims to create a nationwide image of Suffolk Wool Towns which will form a tourist destination in its own right. The WTA is now constituted as a CIC, a non-profit charitable organisation