Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Seasider Project - The Reading Rooms in Margate as case studies

The Reading Rooms boutique bed and breakfast in Margate were invited to speak at a national conference on Seaside regeneration in London last week. Here's the press release from the event (text also below) and also a 2MB pdf of the presentation with research on the marketing of transitional coastal towns. Interesting reading, so do have a go at downloading the pdf of the presentation.

More info will later be posted here at the Seasider website which is about to start development. I'll also post info on the other delegates who are working on interesting projects in other coastal towns such as Blackpool, Yarmouth, Scarborough, Dover, Folkestone.

That wonderful youtube viral from Blackpool last year. Lovely.

Press Release Jan 14th 2010


Key figures from seaside towns, culture and regeneration specialists, London organisations and the private sector gathered in Shoreditch on the 11/12 January to consult on innovative ways of promoting the seaside cultural offer to a new generation of 'Urban Creatives' through the Seasider project.

Private and public sector joined together to hear the now famous operators of The Reading Rooms in Margate, Liam Nabb and Louise Oldfield, give their exciting perspective on a changing market for the coast and where they feel current promotional activity falls short in speaking to this key future market. Kate Staley of Blackpool, a town which is leading the field in smart seaside promotion, agreed with the identification of this group as the key new target market for seaside towns, saying, “There's great value in being specific....I have to say I think you have got [the target market] spot on.”

Conference attendees, including representatives from RDAs, Local Authority Partnerships, Town Regeneration and Cultural Advisors and the private sector were united in identifying the need for an independent approach to attract the 'Apple Mac' generation to the growing seaside offer where their spending power, enterprise and long term investment potential could reap huge dividends both in terms of tourism and long term regeneration plans. Chenine Bhathena, London 2012 Creative Programmer at the Greater London Authority suggested “the programme could play a key role in bringing to light alternative cultural activities that already exist in coastal towns, creating new cultural trails”. Nick Taylor, Renaissance Manager for Scarborough, currently Europe's most enterprising place, said “we need to speak to this group now to bring enterprise to the fore in Seaside towns, and for them flourish in the next decade and beyond.”

The meeting proposed that Seasider should reposition the seaside as an aspirational and interesting destination for this group to explore and potentially move to, with a number of attendees noting that an incomplete, or 'edgy' offer is actually attractive to this group, ideal for seaside towns in transition. Early thinking for the project was met with enthusiasm, with the suggestion that it would complement more traditional target markets and marketing strategies.

There was also agreement that the timing is absolutely right for this type of initiative, “it's a question of now,” said Liam Nabb of The Reading Rooms.

The Seasider team (Eddie Bridgeman and Hidden Cities) are now investigating sites in London for creative partnership projects between the Seaside and the capital city, a wide ranging PR campaign and peer to peer website. For further information please contact info@seasider.co.uk