BBC Radio 2 host Jeremy Vine has waded into the row over a Herefordshire town's rebranding, suggesting the town could remove its vowels to take it into the 21st century.

The lunchtime host was joined by architect Bob Ghosh and local resident Chris Barltrop to discuss the controversial Bromyard rebranding project, which includes a backwards 'D' on national radio.

There has been widespread local criticism online after the rebranding, part of a £90,000 project aimed at sprucing the town up and enticing tourists was made public.

Funded by the Great Places to Visit fund, the project has employed a Bromyard-based core design team including K4 Architects, graphic designer Lucy Grafham, and artist Jane Tudge.

But one element of the project, spelling Bromyard with a backwards D in homage to the old Bromyard Bushel, has proved highly controversial.


It has been labelled a spelling mistake by Councillor Gill Churchill and a gimmick by Coun David James Smith.

Mr Barltrop told Jeremy Vine that he thought the problem with the project went back to June, when the project was taken on.

"Nobody thought to tell local people," Mr Barltrop said.

"We did not know about it until less than four weeks ago. That's a bit late to be consulted. There are lots of talented people, experienced people, lots of youth in the town who would love to have had input. The overall comments on Facebook are all from people who love Bromyard and want it to be promoted but see that this is being done in the wrong way."

Mr Barltrop said he thought the proposed plans were big city ideas that may work in other places but do not in a small town like Bromyard.

Architect Bob Ghosh, who is part of the project team, said the current designs are draft proposals and that the reversed D was one of the ideas that had gone to consultation.

"Design is very subjective," he said.

"People have differences in opinion, so it's currently not done and dusted."

Mr Ghosh, who said he was speaking from his office in Bromyard High Street, said the project was not trying to transpose ideas from Birmingham to the town, but that market towns will have a different role to play post-pandemic and that maybe they should be a little bit bold and slightly controversial and edgy.

Host Jeremy Vine said there has been a big move in music to remove vowels from names, and suggested that perhaps the town could remove its vowels to bring it into line with the 21st century.

The group behind the designs say the response to the project, which also includes signage and bringing life to historic town alleyways and the bypass subway with artwork, has been 'overwhelmingly positive'.

K4 Architects said they had been encouraged by the response to the public exhibition held at the Conquest Theatre in Tenbury Road, followed by another four days at its town centre office.

Designs will be finalised in due course.