Hidden treasure

PUBLISHED: 14:22 04 October 2007 | UPDATED: 15:16 12 May 2010

TOURISM in Buntingford could be boosted by a grant of up to £10,000 after the town became a Hidden Britain centre. Hidden Britain is an initiative to encourage tourists to visit lesser known parts of the countryside. Beni Wright, from the charity, has be

TOURISM in Buntingford could be boosted by a grant of up to £10,000 after the town became a Hidden Britain centre.

Hidden Britain is an initiative to encourage tourists to visit lesser known parts of the countryside.

Beni Wright, from the charity, has been working with a group of Buntingford residents, set up by Cllr John Warren, to look at ways of attracting more visitors into the town.

She told a meeting of Buntingford Town Council last week: "We will be looking at four areas where Buntingford's profile can be improved - heritage and history, gateways and signage, businesses, and farming and local produce."

Ms Wright revealed at the meeting that she was hopeful of getting a grant of up to £10,000 from Awards for All, an organisation supported by the heritage lottery fund.

She said: "The turnaround on applications to Awards for All is usually quite quick, so we should know something in the next few weeks.

"I have a lot of experience in fund-raising, and hope to put it to good use on Buntingford's behalf."

Projects that have already been discussed are a revamped town website, and the possibility of an enlarged heritage centre.

However, councillors voiced concern that changes have proved difficult to make in the past, particularly with regard to brown tourist attraction signs which were removed from the town by East Herts District Council.

Cllr Pat Whittaker said: "The high street has not been touched for 18 years.

"And we can't get the brown signs back, which are crucial."

Cllr Surjit Basra said that getting the signs back was akin to playing a game of "hide and seek": "They take the signs away then we have to seek out some new ones from another agency," he said.

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