Cathedral Quarter Tours Launch
Derby’s Cathedral Quarter has launched a series of audio and guided tours as part of its work to enhance the visitor experience and encourage people to stay and enjoy the area for longer.
The Cathedral Quarter has, for the past three years, been a designated Business Improvement District, with all the 380 businesses paying a levy to pay for a wide range of initiatives to improve the area.
The latest initiative developed by the BID is the launch of audio tours using the latest smartphone technology and a monthly guided tour programme which runs until November 2011.
The audio tours have been developed by the Cathedral Quarter using the i-tag technology that has been incorporated in the new signage developed by Derby City Council under its pioneering Wayfinding Strategy.
Visitors can use their smart phones to swipe an i-tag on four of the new map signboards in the area which then automatically downloads the audio tour onto the phone. Headphones are also available to buy for £2.50 from the Tourist Information Centre, Jurys Inn and the Cathedral Quarter Hotel to enhance the audio experience.
The audio tour points are on the Market Place by the Waterfall, the junction of St Mary’s Gate and Queen Street; the corner of Sadler Gate and The Strand and on Cathedral Green at Full Street.
The Cathedral Quarter commissioned Word of Mouth, a design agency based at Friar Gate Studios in the Cathedral Quarter which is headed by radio professionals Andrew Upton and Mark Burrows.
They have developed four hour-long audio guides which take visitors through the history and mysteries of the Cathedral Quarter including the river hidden underground, Derby’s first shopping arcade, the hidden tunnels and ghosts under the Guildhall, the background to the Peregrine falcons who nest annually at Derby Cathedral, Bonnie Prince Charlie and the industrial history and espionage in the city’s past.
A programme of guided tours has also been developed which operate on Saturday afternoons once a month.
Visitors can pre-book onto a different themed tour every month which includes a talk on different aspects of the Cathedral Quarter at Derby Museum and Art Gallery, refreshments at one of the local coffee shop and a guided tour of the Cathedral Quarter..
A full timetable and details are available from the Tourist Information Centre, Tel: 01332 255802 or on the Cathedral Quarter website: www.derbycathedralquarter.co.uk/cathedralquartertours
Martin Langsdale, chair of the Cathedral Quarter management group which drives forward activities under the area’s Business Improvement District status, explained: “We are extremely grateful to Derby City Council for involving the Cathedral Quarter BID in the development of the Wayfinding Strategy and giving us access to the i-tag technology for the audio tours.
“With technology advancing at a rapid pace, we were keen to embrace the wealth of creative skills available right here in the Cathedral Quarter to provide something unique for visitors to the Cathedral Quarter.
“This was a key element of our original Business Plan, voted upon by the local businesses, as we recognised that we needed to capitalise on the heritage of this area as a draw for visitors.
“By providing visitors with two different options either using their own smart phones to access audio tours or joining organised talks and walks around the area, we hope that we have catered for everyone.
“The Council’s Wayfinding Strategy in terms of signage which is closely aligned with the Cathedral Quarter corporate colours and brand in this area has been warmly welcomed by businesses and visitors alike.
“The BID has also benefited from their involvement in the council’s Wayfinding project by having a series of nine specially designed badges commissioned and erected prominently on buildings around the Cathedral Quarter to give visitors a sense of arrival and identity around the area.
“We are all extremely proud of the heritage and history of the Cathedral Quarter and we are confident that this latest initiative will encourage a wide range of people whether they are local or from further afield back into this part of the city centre to enjoy all that it has to offer.
“Our objective is to enhance the visitor experience and, having attracted them into the area, demonstrating that there is so much to see and do here including enjoying the fantastic independent shops, cafe culture, bars and restaurants and other leisure activities from the Museum to the latest films screened at Quad.”
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