Lynchburg, VA — Governor Terry McAuliffe granted $25,000 in Virginia Main Street funding to the Downtown Lynchburg Association (DLA) Thursday toward an improved wayfinding system and new marketing efforts for downtown Lynchburg. DLA’s ultimate goal with this project is to increase visitation to downtown Lynchburg and to improve the visitor experience.
“We are pleased to receive support from the Virginia Main Street Program for this important project,” said Ashley Kershner, DLA Executive Director. “By shining a light on all the amazing things happening in downtown, and helping visitors to easily navigate the city, we are ensuring that downtown Lynchburg is an enticing, welcoming, and memorable destination."
This project will work to accomplish three goals. First, a new Downtown Lynchburg brand will be created that speaks to its new modern identity while giving a nod to the district’s rich history. Second, a new system of wayfinding and parking signage, using the new brand, will be created and installed throughout downtown, helping visitors to better navigate the area. To complement the signage, new downtown maps and informational materials will be developed for use in print and online.
In addition, DLA will launch a marketing campaign to attract new and returning visitors to downtown, by focusing on the area’s unique and exciting mix of restaurants, shops, attractions, public spaces, events, and services.
“It is an exciting time for downtown Lynchburg! As downtown continues to rapidly revitalize and grow, the Downtown Lynchburg Association has stepped up to the challenge of supporting downtown growth through several new and important projects activities,” said David Cook, DLA Board Member. “This grant will go a long way to support initiatives like wayfinding and marketing to make downtown a great place to live, work, and play.”
These efforts will be especially important this year as construction continues in downtown Lynchburg. This project is meant, in part, to ensure that Lynchburg area residents and tourists continue to visit downtown during the Downtown Utility Replacement and Main Street Bridge projects.
The Downtown Investment Grants, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), provide each locality with plans, programs and strategies for growth, in order to encourage revitalization in their more historic areas.
DHCD originally adopted the Main Street program in 1985, to prevent Virginia’s downtown areas from economic collapse. The program is comprised of 28 designated communities and more than 70 Commercial District Affiliates. Over the last five years, districts in Virginia have used the grant to generate $159 million in private investment, and create 4,400 jobs.
Lynchburg is one of the seven Virginia locations given a portion of the $95,000 project grant. The designated locations include the towns of Culpeper, Marion, South Boston and Wytheville, as well as the cities of Fredericksburg, Lynchburg and Staunton. The grant will allow each district to make significant progress on their design or economic vitality projects.