Research has shown that the town should be promoted as ‘Morecambe Bay’ to maximise its strengths to the outside world, and be pushed as a separate brand to Lancaster.
Sian Johnson, a marketing professional from Morecambe, said: “I think it’s excellent. It’s great to separate Morecambe from Lancaster. My concern is that the council marketing budget should now reflect the fact that they are launching two separate brands. The key is that we get people to visit Morecambe as the focal point of coming to Morecambe Bay. It would be awful for Morecambe if it meant more people stayed in Grange-over-Sands. But we’ve got the bed spaces here.”
Sue Byers, manager of the Arndale Centre, said: I am completely and utterly behind this . We’ve never made enough of the natural advantages of the bay.”
David Morris MP also backed the findings. He said: “I have been of the opinion for some time that my Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency has been overlooked where marketing is concerned. The proof of this is when I held my debate on Sunderland Point. There were journalists based in the North who had never heard of Sunderland Point. I think this announcement is a step in the right direction to putting us back on the map.”
Research carried out by Cairn Consultancy was funded by Lancashire County Council and Marketing Lancashire and Lancaster City Council. Other local councils, organisations and businesses in the bay area were included.
A report has been prepared for Lancaster City Council cabinet to find the best way of using the research to attract the most visitors to the district. ‘Destination brand implementation plans’ for both Morecambe Bay and Lancaster will also be put in place.