Hull's St Stephen's spending £170k to point shoppers in the right direction
A HULL shopping centre is spending £170,000 on signs to attract more customers.
St Stephen's shopping centre will begin the first phase of increasing directional signage in the centre next month.
The investment comes after a lengthy consultation with customers about how to improve their shopping experience.
Jim Harris, centre manager at St Stephen's, said the improvement will be a huge boost to the centre.
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"We are investing this money to update the appearance of the centre and to entice more people to stop and use our facility," he said.
"By investing £170,000, we are further reinforcing our commitment to Hull.
"It is about raising the profile of the centre and making it synonymous with the city."
Managers at the centre engaged in consultations with customers to get their feedback on how signage could be improved.
The changes will include a new sign above the Holiday Inn Express in Ferensway, as well as smaller signs that will be visible to people using Paragon Interchange.
Mr Harris said: "From the feedback we got from customers, we were able to establish what would help increase footfall.
"It was clear the centre, and especially its car park, were not being advertised well enough for people coming into the city.
"So, we have targeted certain areas in order to make more people aware that we are here."
Plans and designs for the new signs were drawn up last year and landlords approved the plans shortly before Christmas.
Hull company Total Sign Solutions have taken on the contract to construct the bulk of the signs.
The first phase will be completed during the first week of next month. The work is expected to be completed in time for the start of the Rugby League World Cup in October.
Councillor Terry Geraghty, portfolio holder for leisure and culture, said Hull cannot afford to miss this chance to help boost its economy.
"Holding major sporting events like the rugby world cup present huge opportunities for businesses across the city," he said.
"The plans to make our attractions more visible could not come at a better time.
"Hull has so much to offer from new builds such as St Stephen's to the historic Old Town and I would welcome anything to increase footfall in these areas."
The council has been working hard to rejuvenate the Old Town and bring Whitefriargate back to the bustling thoroughfare it was for almost a century.
Whitefriargate was the first major shopping street to be pedestrianised in the city. The number of shoppers in the area has significantly reduced since the 1970s.
Hull City Council is currently looking at ways to drive shoppers back into the area.
A spokesman for the council said: "As part of the initiatives to develop Hull Old Town, we are looking at how we can improve way finding and gateway signage as well as interpretation.
"This will be linked to a wider review of how we navigate into and around the city."