‘Case Study: Chilham, Kent
Chilham Tourism & Retailers Group has been set up to develop and promote tourism in Chilham, so far they have produced literature, developed and maintain a website, represented the village at events and taken ownership locally for tourism promotion.
Need for the project
Chilham was initially identified as one of six communities across the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in a Leader + project managed by the sustainable tourism officer at the KDAONB. The Project focussed on supporting and encouraging sustainable rural tourism in areas across the Mid Kent Downs that needed it most.
Following the Leader + project Chilham participated in various KDAONB initiatives culminating in the Interegg IIIA Transmanche sustainable tourism project. At that point consultation was held with all the businesses which identified:
Planning the Project
As a result of identifying these issues the KDAONB and Hidden Britain worked to support the establishment of the CTRG group, encouraging businesses and community members to work more closely together and manage Chilham as a destination. Research was gathered for a tourism product audit to identify the businesses and key features of the area for visitors; from this a group was encouraged to form.
In order to get things moving the Interegg project funded the publication of the Chilham Leaflet as a quick win. With this under their belts, the group identified a series of key actions that would put in place the basic building blocks to support the development of tourism.
In the initial stages the group retained a fairly loose structure with only a nominal chair and secretary. However despite this there was plenty of volunteer input into developing and sourcing the content for the 2008 leaflet, with decisions being taken by the group as a whole. With the construction of the website and the ongoing costs that entailed, the group took the decision to formerly constitute themselves, open a bank account and charge membership fees in order to provide for ongoing costs.
With the most recent projects the group have assigned specific committees to undertake tasks, thereby speeding up the process. The wider group is still regularly consulted but the decisions are taken by a smaller group.
Project Outputs :
Achievements of the Project:
Businesses engaged (32)
No. of volunteers (est. 25)
Skills & training
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