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Making an entrance... Numerous options have been considered by the Gore District Council for the welcome signs into Gore and Mataura.PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The Gore District Council is considering entrance signs for Gore and Mataura which reflect its progressive aspirations for the district, and have the potential to become visitor attractions in their own right.

Earlier this year councillors looked at numerous options for “welcome to” signs produced by a local graphic designer and a Wellington-based designer who has family ties with Gore.

Staff are at present sourcing costings and construction options from local companies on the preferred option.

Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks acknowledged the project had been on the table for quite some time.

“It actually had its genesis in 2009 when we identified the need to update existing signage.

“Since then the project has been profiled in asset management plans, with funding flagged in our 10-year-plans.”

Mr Hicks said when considering the concepts created, councillors were asked to think about which designs best reflected the district’s brand and would stand the test of time.

“Welcome To” town signage could be informative.

“I believe it should ensure the first impression people have of our main centres reflects the council’s progressive aspirations and enhances the district’s appeal to visitors.”

However, the council needed to know costs before any final decisions were made.

Communications/marketing manager Sonia Gerken said the existing signs for Gore and Mataura were past their use-by date.

The sign at the northeast entrance to Gore, at McNab, had been the subject of a number of public complaints, and was consequently removed.

Work on the project went on hold in 2014 when the council embarked upon the district-wide rebranding project.

A project team involving the arts and heritage manager and events and promotions co-ordinator picked it up two years ago.

“Our brief to designers was for signage that did not define the district in the usual ways,” Mrs Gerken said.

“The aim was to get something that embodied the principles of our brand, i.e. a bold, progressive district with a unique way of life and forward thinking community.”

The result was several design options from both ends of the spectrum.

Mrs Gerken said there was the conventional stone wall option through to the unconventional statement piece.

Any signs beside a state highway would require input from the NZ Transport Agency.