‘Case Study: Brading, Isle of Wight
Brading is a small Isle of Wight Town with a huge amount of history and heritage; sited within the landscape of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Brading is a tourist destination; however it has never managed to attract the level of economic return or interest that other destinations on the Isle of Wight have. Visitors to Brading are often only short-stay and are unaware of what else the town and area offer, outside of the main attractions.
Need for the project
During the Market Towns Healthcheck Appraisal undertaken by the community of Brading in 2003, two particular issues of interest were highlighted; firstly that more benefit could be made from those who visit the town, and secondly the support for developing Brading as a “green destination”. Projects are underway to address the “green” issue but so far there has been little activity carried out at a local level to promote the town, hence the need for this project.
The Project aims to implement a sustainable Tourism Project in Brading, which importantly involves the wider community of the town. The key aims of the project were:
This plan therefore was about making more of what already exists, providing better promotion and information, and adding value to Brading’s existing attractions. However the project also hoped to benefit the non-business community by helping to provide an identity for the town, and involving the community directly, thereby capacity building for the future.
Planning the Project
The Brading Hidden Britain working group was formed to undertake a project to address the issues raised by the Healthcheck and ensure a better and more vibrant flow of interest and economic return from visitors into the town and surrounding area, which in turn will ensure its survival as a multi-faceted community. The group itself consists of representatives from Brading Town Council, local businesses, and local residents.
In the spring of 2005, Hidden Britain attended a meeting with Brading Town Council to explain how they could assist in achieving the tourism objectives of the Healthcheck.
Research was gathered using visitor surveys, community workshops, tourism stakeholder meetings and business questionnaires. From this base data the local project group developed an action plan of tourism projects. All actions came forward as ideas proposed by local residents and stakeholders, with the support and guidance of the Hidden Britain SE project development officer.
In March of 2006 Defra kindly agreed a grant of £15000 to Brading Town Council for undertaking the project.
Project Outputs :
Achievements of the Project:
In terms of tourism the project has delivered Brading a cohesive visitor package, which can be used to draw visitor in, inform them when they arrive, and interpret the surroundings in a meaningful way. The benefits from this will in main be to the local businesses by increasing visitor spend, however the community as a whole will profit through the boost this will give to the local economy.
However in delivering this project, a large cross-section of the community has been involved both in the production of materials and also through engagement as a part of the gateway project. As such the community of Brading have had a real say in how this project has been delivered and have derived benefits through this approach. A key benefit has been the increased confidence and capacity to undertake similar ventures, which has culminated in the production of a series of walks guides.
"This funding has enabled Brading to produce high quality publicity to promote tourism and assist local businesses in attracting extra custom without spending lots of money on advertising themselves. All in all, the community, businesses and visitors are very happy with the outcomes of this project!"
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