Signs point to improved experience for city visitors

Clock Tower Leicester City Centre

People visiting Leicester next year will find it much easier to explore the city and its attractions, thanks to a brand new system of on-street maps and signs.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby has given the go-ahead for the comprehensive new wayfinding system, which will be guiding pedestrians and cyclists around the city centre from early 2017.

Made of durable stainless steel and toughened glass, the freestanding signs will be similar to the signage used in popular visitor destinations such as London, Oxford and Edinburgh.

“A few years ago, people would never have considered Leicester to be a tourist destination, but the latest figures show that more than 10million visitors chose to spend time in our city last year,” said City Mayor Peter Soulsby.

“With those visitors contributing more than £570million to the local economy in 2015, it’s clearly important that we look after them – and that we help them to get the most from their visit to our city.

“Like our new ‘Historic Leicester’ boundary signs, these new on-street maps and signs are part of an ongoing programme of investment in our city that’s helping to make Leicester more attractive – and more welcoming – to residents and visitors alike.”

Two types of new signs – maps and fingerposts – will be installed around the city centre, highlighting key landmarks, visitor attractions and other places of interest, as well as directions from main transport hubs and local car parks.

The easy-to-read maps, displayed behind toughened glass, will be incorporated into the signs and will indicate the walking time between places of interest.

The £950,000 ‘Legible Leicester’ project will be funded by the Economic Action Plan and will start to be rolled out in January 2017.

Visitor numbers to Leicester have grown each year for the past seven years. The latest figures from STEAM – which quantifies the local economic impact of tourism – show that 10.36million visitors came to Leicester in 2015, contributing £577million to the local economy.

The discovery and reinterment of King Richard III, and the global interest triggered by Leicester City’s Premiership success, have helped boost visitor numbers, with thousands more overseas visitors due to arrive in Leicester for City’s Champions League matches this autumn.