Reading Awarded State Grant to Develop A Branding And Wayfinding Plan

The Town of Reading is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $15,000 “Downtown Initiative” grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Housing and Community Development. The grant will fund the hiring of a consultant who will work with the community to develop a branding and wayfinding plan. A major component of the plan will include developing a “brand” for the Town that emphasizes the Town of Reading’s unique strengths and personality. The plan will also include designs for an attractive network of signage as part of a “wayfinding plan” that will reinforce the brand and make it easier for motorists to find public parking and then patronize local businesses.

“This was a highly competitive grant that we are pleased to have secured,” said Reading Town Manager Bob LeLacheur. “I would like to thank the state for providing this grant and thank the town staff that worked to obtain it. We have heard from downtown businesses that customers often can’t find them and when they do, they have difficulty figuring out where to park. This is a tremendous opportunity to support existing businesses as well as attract new businesses. We are excited to get to work.”

Reading’s wayfinding/branding plan will capitalize on the downtown’s unique identity and encourage patronization of businesses via ease of navigation. The Town of Reading has led improvement plans related to streetscape, rezoning, and retail initiatives which have breathed new life into downtown. However, the shortage of wayfinding and branding has become a noted hurdle to small business growth and economic development. This grant will help to eliminate that hurdle.

The Town has prioritized efforts such as wayfinding/branding as a vital part of an ongoing multi-pronged economic development effort that promotes business growth and improves the experience of the patron in downtown Reading. The ultimate goal is to help reduce business turnover, eliminate confusion, and continue to revive the downtown.

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