Virtuoso performance launches Winchester’s new image

After many months of careful consultation and preparation, Winchester City Council’s tourism service is set to launch a new marketing image for the District. After almost a decade of producing publications and advertising materials in a similar style, a new era is set to begin with the arrival of the 2004 Winchester Visitor Guide on Tuesday 2 December – the first time that the new look will make its appearance. And Winchester Tourism is – rather literally – making a song and dance about it.

The launch event, which is by invitation only, is already fully booked. Local tourism businesses, tourist guides, City Councillors and parish councils have all been keen to attend, demonstrating a strong level of interest in Winchester’s new marketing image.

In addition, the lure of guest speaker Robin Hutson – founder of the celebrated Hotel du Vin chain that began here in Winchester – has been a strong one. Mr Hutson is lined up to give his perspective on what makes for a winning brand.

There are a few surprises on the agenda, too, in the form of a series of complementary contributions from a talented trio of performers from Hatstand Opera. Hatstand, led by former Winchester resident Kirsty Young, will be providing some apt musical interludes during the afternoon.

There will also be samples of locally produced ale from the Itchen Valley Brewery in Alresford and sheep’s cheese from the Sheep and Ostrich Company in Wickham, as well as a seasonal mince pie or two.

Winchester City Council’s Head of Tourism Eloise Appleby said: "The image review and redesign of our marketing ‘house style’ have taken a good deal of hard work and everyone is keen to see the results. Whilst this gathering is an important one in explaining the process and the finished product, it is also designed to bring local tourism providers together in a congenial atmosphere. Hatstand Opera should certainly help to send everyone home humming!"

The venue – Winchester Cathedral’s Paul Woodhouse Suite – has been deliberately chosen. Tourism Marketing Manager Karen Brazier explained: "It represents Winchester’s excellent ability to accommodate the new and the old, side by side – particularly when it comes to art and architecture. Moreover, the Cathedral Refectory next door is one of Winchester’s best-loved eating places, and prides itself on its use of locally sourced ingredients. This is also the year that the cathedral’s hugely successful Visitors’ Centre celebrates its tenth anniversary, so it seemed even more appropriate to gather there."

Cllr Therese Evans, Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, added: "We hope that everything about the event, from the venue to the entertainment, will reinforce the messages which are put across in the new guide. Winchester is a vibrant, creative District set against an unbeatable backdrop of history and countryside. We believe it’s a perfect visitor destination, and are confident that our new look will help us spread the word far and wide."

If you would like to see the new guide, visit the Winchester Tourist Information Centre on Broadway after 2 December, call 01962 840500 or e-mail