At an informal ceremony on Tuesday, Minehead’s Deputy Mayor Cllr Gail Everett cut the ribbon to open the new attraction.
The £80,000 project, largely funded through LEADER - an EU scheme that allocates money to help rural areas - will complement the Enterprising Minehead project that has won substantial funding to make the resort the go-to seaside destination by making the most of its traditional appeal as a seaside resort – with a 21st century twist.
The Maritime Mile creates a new heritage interpretation trail, running the length of the seafront to showcase Minehead’s maritime history, myths and legends. The trail has the central theme of ‘find and follow the shells’ and be way-marked to draw people along the route. It will link to existing features like the South West Coast Path and England Coast Path.
An open-air gallery is being built at the trail’s central point to display images and artefacts from Minehead’s past. And there’s even an App (suitable for Android and iOS devices)
The App features a quiz designed to entice people to walk to the Harbour and complete the trail, those presenting correct answers to Minehead Visitor Centre will be eligible to collect a prize. This feature technology will also link to the new Minehead destination website for visitors widening Minehead’s appeal as a tourist destination.
The new, high-tech App features *augmented reality, videos and 3D images to make the walk more exciting and interactive – and it links to the new website being launched - www.mineheadbay.co.uk - to further enhance Minehead’s appeal to new and wider audiences.
The state of the art responsive website has been developed to capitalise on marketing the town as a key destination and will also link to the seafront trail/walk and its innovative technology.
The Minehead Coastal Community Team projects have been developed in collaboration with Minehead Museum, Minehead Development Trust, and Butlin’s.
Cllr Andrew Hadley, West Somerset Council’s Lead Member for economic regeneration, said: “The Maritime Mile showcases Minehead's history and heritage and is a great new feature to enhance what we can now offer our visitors – and encourage more people to enjoy Minehead.
“We are lucky to have a fascinating history that can be brought to life through harnessing the incredible technology that is available now. “
Katrina Midgley, who chairs Minehead Coastal Community Team, added: “This is the first in a series of enhancements to Minehead’s Esplanade, aimed at attracting local people and tourists to enjoy our seafront. I am delighted to see the work of Minehead Coastal Community Team coming to life. I would like to thank everyone who has been instrumental in making this happen.”
*Augmented reality uses computer-aided graphics to add an additional layer of information to aid understanding and/or interaction with the physical world around you.
Photo - Ribbon cutting: from the left are Katrina Midgley (MCCT chair), Nicky Bradley, Bernard Maynard-Smith, Gail Everett (Minehead Deputy Mayor), Gary Woolmer, Maureen Smith, Nicki Maclean, Roger Thomas, Mandy Chilcott.