‘Case Study: St.Margaret's, Kent
The First Light Coast and Country group is a group of businesses set up with assistance from Hidden Britain to develop tourism in and around St.Margaret's, and have undertaken several different activities to promote the destination.
Need for the project
St. Margaret’s initially came to Hidden Britain South East via referral from Tourism South East. A small group of businesses had got together to try and take positive steps to encourage tourism in and around the village.
Working with Hidden Britain the and the Kent Downs AONB through the Interegg IIIA Transmanche sustainable tourism project, consultation was held with all the businesses which identified the following key issues:
Planning the Project
Hidden Britain and the KDAONB then worked to support the establishment of the a local tourism group, encouraging wider businesses and community members to work more closely together and manage St.Margaret’s as a destination. A tourism product audit was undertaken to identify the businesses and key features of the area for visitors, and to gain a current picture of the tourism economy in St.Margaret’s.
The group settled on the name and brand of “Firstlight Coast & Country” which neatly summed up the destination as a whole. The KDAONB Interegg project funded the publication of the initial leaflet as a quick win. The Firstlight group then used this a platform to bring more businesses into the organisation and to grow the initiative.
The Firstlight website was set up shortly afterwards, developed by volunteers with input and assistance from Hidden Britain, and this combined with the leaflet provided the key vehicles for promoting the village and area.
To date the group has retained a fairly loose structure with a rotating chair and secretary for meetings. However despite this there has been plenty of volunteer input into the groups various projects and initiatives. Recently the group has drafted a constitution and code of conduct, which have been agreed and will be formally implemented as and when needed.
Project Outputs :
Achievements of the Project:
Businesses engaged (35)
No. of volunteers (19)
Skills & training
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