Canterbury Bid

The role of Canterbury BID in promoting heritage – economic study by TBR for Historic England

Three men, one dressed as a medieval king and two as knights

Canterbury is the focus of a case study published by TBR, a leading UK economic research consultancy providing key sector and local area insight through data to help develop industries, economies and places. The study was published for Historic England. 

Here is an excerpt:


Heritage in place branding in Canterbury

Heritage is used to deliver the BID business plan priorities of a strong brand and a superb destination to enhance visitor spend and Canterbury’s reputation.

“As one of the oldest places in England, heritage has shaped the character of the place and is a facet of the city’s personality and [we] don’t want the city to be seen as a medieval pastiche. It is about getting the balance right. The city’s heritage can’t be ignored and is the context for the 21st century city.”

The BID contributed to Visit Kent’s Kent Contemporary marketing campaign in London mainline stations and on the underground. The Canterbury image was consciously chosen to show both heritage and contemporary art with the historic riverside and the Marlowe theatre mask sculpture viewed from the river, and not an image of the Cathedral or people eating. The impact of the campaign is being assessed by Visit Kent through website use, survey and visitor statistics. Building on the success of the 2015 Magna Carta day, 2016 saw the launch of a Canterbury Medieval Pageant based on Henry II’s pilgrimage to the tomb of Thomas Beckett and penance for his murder. The pageant attracted an audience of around 2,000 people while a linked history trail, taking people to less well known city centre historic sites, proved popular. The Castle, part of the trail, welcomed 850 visitors (a substantial increase on a normal day). The pageant script, specially commissioned, both drew on the historical events and reflected a contemporary context.


Read the full article here.

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