First of Sleaford’s new wayfinding signs to be installed

New signage being installed in the coming days will showcase the attractions, activities and heritage aspects which make Sleaford a great place to be.
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The six signs are the first phase of new wayfinding signage for the town centre. It’s being led by North Kesteven District Council with Sleaford Town Council and Lincolnshire County Council as partners, with phase two expected later this year.

The new signs display a much wider range of information than the fingerposts in place previously. All sorts of practical things have also been considered in their design including the height of the panels, the text size and colours, and the placement of maps to ensure people can access it all easily. They use the heritage green colour associated with Sleaford and visually reflect the town’s history and heritage in other ways, including the use of the Sleaford skyline.

The design is the result of direct input by stakeholders, including a public survey. 70% of people answering it said they were either happy or satisfied about the prospect of the new signs, and a further 23.5% said they felt neutral. When asked to choose their preference out of three styles for the signage almost 50% of respondents preferred the first option, which is what’s been taken forward, while options two and three were evenly split between remaining respondents.

New signage is to be installed in Sleaford town centreNew signage is to be installed in Sleaford town centre
New signage is to be installed in Sleaford town centre

A contractor will work next week, from Monday 11 March until Friday 15 March, to install the six signs. They may need to complete installation in stages during the week; working at one location and then returning. The six locations are:

  • Riverside Shopping Precinct
  • Southgate, at the entrance to Gladstone’s Yard
  • Money’s Yard
  • Station Road, at the pedestrian exit from the train station
  • Station Road, close to the train crossing
  • The River Slea footbridge, near Eastgate Green

Five of the signs take the shape of columns and the sixth sign, which is planned for Money’s Yard, is a wall-mounted orientation panel. Disruption will be kept to a minimum during installation although a small area at each location is likely to be enclosed for safety during parts of the work.North Kesteven District Council Economic Development Manager Alan Gray said: “Good signage is a vital element of any successful place, in promoting the things which make it unique and ensuring that people are encouraged to keep returning and explore more of it. I’d like to thank all those who gave their thoughts and have helped to shape it.

“The second phase of this wayfinding signage will aim to support the spaces between the six signs being installed now, including for example ginnel plaques, new finger posts pointing to specific areas of interest, and other elements such as signage to attractions and activities including the When in Sleaford trail. We’re working with partners to finish shaping this second phase and will share some further updates as soon as we can.”

The survey in 2022 also asked for the places people thought the signs should highlight, including the facilities they felt most important to include, plus specific places of interest. It also gave the opportunity to leave general feedback, and followed other forms of stakeholder engagement by consultants Landmark.

Before installation could happen, the Council needed some time to process all the survey and partner feedback, put together the information needed for display on the signs and seek approval for installation.

Meanwhile, there was also confirmation that the second phase of the signage will be funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. For more on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund projects taking place in North Kesteven, see www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/ukspf and sign up for the Council’s Levelling Up e-newsletter at www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/stayconnected

It all follows a full audit of the existing wayfinding signage in the town centre which was carried out in 2018 by the three authorities, and a further review in 2021. It was found that the previous fingerposts were not fully reflective of all there is to see and do in the town centre. The audit work also found room for improvement in ensuring signage is accessible. In some places the information on the signage had also become outdated or become damaged over time.

The project also aligns with the Signage Strategy for Sleaford prepared by Lincolnshire County Council, North Kesteven District Council and Sleaford Town Council, adopted in 2018.

For all the latest news from North Kesteven District Council, sign up toe-newsletters at www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/stayconnected or follow on social media @northkestevendc