Wayne Hemingway has launched an initiative which aims to rebrand Bognor Regis.
He said: “Things are happening here, really exciting things, and it is all going to hit in 2018.
“The council will always say it is planned but, in life, I think a lot of it is happy coincidence.”
His choice of date is down to the technology park work at the town’s university campus, something he deems ‘nationally significant’, and the plans for the railway station’s shared working space platform – both of which are set to open next year.
“There isn’t a cool town or city that doesn’t have a version of the platform. That is happening here and in an underused part of an old building, it is a big tick.”
The Place Brand project hopes to build on these positives and create a package that can be used to promote the town.
“The whole thing is about co-design,” said Wayne. “It is one of the reasons they have got us in.”
He explained a recent project saw the team work with 20,000 employees to design a uniform for the London underground.
“We used the portal so people could give feedback as to whether the skirt was too short or there was too much red. It was an amazing experience, as was the result.”
When it comes to Bognor, he said: “You could do it where an agency is brought in and they say we’ll draw a sun like this.
“But the dream is that we can get every single person who lived here, has visited here, has lived here but now lives somewhere else and those people who live nearby but don’t come here for whatever reason, to get involved.”
Wayne stated that Bognor has plenty to build on. He said: “There is a seafront resurgence in the UK you can’t deny it, there is a whole generation rediscovering the seaside. It isn’t cultural to go to Benidorm but it is going to Hastings – there is a change, a shift and a great shift for Britain.
“We want people to say ‘I like it because’, if you don’t like it tell us but tell us what you would like, too.
“You don’t get anywhere in life by not getting involved.”
The portal can be found here – bognorregis.hemdesengagement.co.uk
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