Apply for a tourist sign
Operators of tourist destinations may wish to erect signs directing drivers to their establishment. Requests to erect tourism signs must be submitted to Swindon Borough Council for authorisation.
Applicants are advised the following principles apply:
- The purpose of tourism signing is to safely guide visitors to a tourist destination along the most appropriate route for the latter stages of their journey
- Signs will not be approved at locations where they are considered for promotional or advertisement purposes
- Destinations may be signed from the nearest A or B road only
- Tourism signs must complement directions for visitors on the establishment’s website or any promotional material
What is a tourist sign?
A tourist destination is broadly defined as, ‘a permanently established attraction or facility which attracts or is used by visitors to an area, and is open to the public without prior booking during its normal opening hours’.
The following examples of tourist destinations that might qualify for tourism signs (subject to individual assessment) include:
- Theme park
- Historic house
- Leisure complex
The following document sets out the criteria you must meet in order to qualify for the consideration of a tourist attraction sign:
The following documents set out the criteria you must meet in order to qualify for the consideration of a specific tourist facilities sign:
- Hotel accommodation (PDF)
- Public houses; restaurants/cafes (PDF)
- Retail establishments (PDF)
- Recreational, entertainment and sports facilities (PDF)
- Camping and caravan sites (PDF)
- Youth hostels (PDF)
- Tourist information centres and tourist information points (PDF)
If your establishment is not listed above then tourism signs are not appropriate. Alternative direction signs may be suitable. Please see the Apply for a Direction Sign webpage for further options.
Swindon Borough Council can authorise signs erected within Swindon Borough only. Applicants must contact neighbouring authorities to confirm eligibility and seek authorisation for signs outside of Swindon.
All costs associated with the provision of tourism signs must be met by the applicant.
Signs on the M4 and A419 are subject to authorisation from Highways England. Further information on their tourism signs policy may be found on the Gov.uk website.
If you believe your establishment would qualify for tourism signs, there is a three stage process to be followed, as outlined below:
Stage 1: Initial assessment
- Applicants must provide evidence that the attraction/facility meets the relevant qualifying criteria* and all other relevant statutory requirements e.g. planning permission
- Assessment of the application and confirmation or otherwise of request approval
- a fee of £100 applies
*Typical criteria include providing evidence of meeting professional or regulatory standards, adequate off-street parking, minimum opening hours.
Stage 2: Detailed design
- Design of the signing scheme to be submitted in accordance with Department for Transport requirements including an index of all proposed signs
- Consideration must be given to road safety, environmental impact, traffic management
- A fee of £100 will be charged for each check of the submitted application until approval is given
Stage 3: Manufacture and installation of signs
- An approved contractor must be appointed to manufacture and erect the authorised signs on the highway
- All costs, including any necessary traffic management, must be paid by the applicant
- A fee of £100 will be charged for supervision of contractors on site
The Council may undertake the detailed design of the signing scheme and oversee the procurement and installation of the agreed signs at a fee of £400. This does not include manufacture and installation costs.
Manufacture and installation
The manufacture and installation of tourism signs, can cost upwards from £450.00. The cost of replacing stolen or damaged signs will be charged to the applicant on the basis of Stages 2 an Stages 3 above. If an attraction chooses not to provide a replacement sign, this could cause continuity problems and may result in the removal of all associated tourism signs for the attraction.
The costs of removing signs in the event of an attraction or facility ceasing to meet the requirements for tourism signs, or the removal of un-authorised signs, will be recharged to the applicant.
How to apply
You can apply using the online form below. You will be asked to create a My Account prior to accessing the form.
Applicants should allow a minimum of 6 months for completion of the process.