You’d be forgiven for hardly recognising the town depicted in the glossy images and slick presentation of a new web site promoting Daventry district launched earlier this month.
Developed by the district council with the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, lovedaventry.com signifies a concerted attempt to attract more visitors and businesses to the area as well as giving the town’s image some spit and polish.
The website features a run down of the district’s cultural and leisure offerings and advertises the range of businesses which call the district home.
The site also sets out the details of the planned £175 million regeneration of the town centre, which will include developer Henry Boot transforming areas in the town centre into a new retail destination and cinema complex.
There are also plans for a new ‘WaterSpace’ extension of the town centre, which would, in time, link to the proposed Daventry Canal Arm located two miles to the north east of the town centre, providing aiming to attract visitors and watersports enthusiasts alike.
The website also hosts interactive map of key logistics sites in the district and promotes Northamptonshire as the logistics capital of the UK.
The initiative is part of a wider marketing campaign targeting Northamptonshire, but for Daventry specifically the opportunity to improve its image is immense .
Kate Dent, head of marketing and communications at NEP, said: “We have loved working with Daventry District Council on this exciting new Love Daventry campaign, which will be an integral part of our well-established Love Northamptonshire marketing and will be a valuable tool for engaging local people, communities and businesses.”
A number of businesses based in Daventry district have so far backed the new website including Cummins, DHL, Wincanton, Hi-Force , Prologis, Ford and Mercedes.
The district council is calling on local companies and communities to get behind the new website as work continues in the coming months to attract and engage visitors, shoppers and investors.
A spokesperson for Daventry District Council said there are ambitious plans in the works to expand and add new features to the website as it grows in popularity.
They are asking people to get involved on social in the new social media campaign on Twitter by following and sharing their news and events on Twitter @love_daventry. Since its launch the website has been promoted to local businesses, who have been using its Twitter timeline to publicise events.
Bryan Cooney, manager of Kuni’s Coffee & Comics owns a chain of coffee shops in Daventry and Rugby, said he felt the new website was vital to improving the district’s image and hoped it would be valuable in promoting local businesses in Daventry:
“Daventry’s image is in need of a revamp and anything that helps people be aware of what is going on in town is a good idea.
“But its a bit of a ‘Catch 22’, they need to know it’s there. They need to know there are shops in town and there are places for them to go.
“We need something that says Daventry is here and if we use it, if we visit the town, it will get better.
“Parking is the real reason people come to Daventry, if the council got rid of that the businesses would not survive.
“But the problem with these things is keep up interest. I use Twitter for my business and the problem you have is keeping the feed up.
“You can’t post once a day, you need to keep the conversation.
“But I am still amazed people walk in and say they had no idea we were there.”
Mr Cooney said it was vital to offer more in the town centre to attract people into the town.
Councillor Wayne Howard, DDC’s access and communication portfolio holder, said: “It’s still early days for the new website but we’re encouraged by the positive response we’ve received since launching on Valentine’s Day.
“In the coming months work will continue to showcase Daventry district to visitors, shoppers and investors, including plans to promote the new Love campaign around Daventry town centre this spring.
“We’re also keen for local businesses and community organisations to get in touch with us on Twitter @love_daventry so we can help to share their events with others.”