COUNCIL and business bosses yesterday defended a £10,000 scheme which has seen a town’s landmark crooked spire removed from roadside signs to be replaced by what critics called a series of “wavy lines”.
Chesterfield Council said an EU-funded body made up of local business people called Destination Chesterfield was behind the rebranding exercise, dismissed by some councillors as a “waste of public money”.
Previous signs included a logo which showed the crooked spire of Chesterfield church, and Destination Chesterfield said its new sign design was also based, albeit more loosely, on the town’s famous architectural oddity.
Peter Swallow, chairman of Destination Chesterfield, said the signs were part of its Warm Welcome campaign and added: “The impression we give visitors when they arrive in Chesterfield is vital.
“The objective of our Warm Welcome Campaign is to improve the arrival at key gateways into the town and also turn them into promotional opportunities.”
Chesterfield Council, which is a partner on the Destination Chesterfield board, said the Warm Welcome campaign was an idea of the network of businesses known as the Chesterfield Champions.
The authority said the signs were the latest public realm improvements in the project, which follow the refurbishment of Chesterfield Visitor Information Centre, new canopies on Chesterfield Market and upgrades to car parking signage.
Future projects include improving roundabouts, bus shelters and the coach station.
Coun John Burrows, leader of Chesterfield Council, said he supported the scheme and added: “We want people to receive a consistent message about Chesterfield through the branding they see before they visit the town, when they arrive and while they are here.
“This all helps to give Chesterfield a unique identity and is one of many projects that the council is working in partnership with Destination Chesterfield to achieve.”