Thursday, 28 July 2011

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Battle of Naseby Visitor Centre - planning permission granted

Battle of Naseby Re-enactment at Kelmarsh

Battle of Naseby Visitor Centre

The Naseby Battlefield Project gained outline permission on 20 July 2011, to build a ‘Living History’ Visitor Centre just to the south of the registered battlefield that played a key part in the English Civil War. Daventry District Council Planning Committee rejected the recommendation of the planning officer that it should be turned down on the grounds that the setting of the battlefield would be adversely affected and that greenfield development was contrary to planning policy.

At the Planning Meeting, Lord Naseby, a long time supporter of the project advocated the Battlefield Project’s view that the structure would be concealed from sight from the battlefield itself and that the value of this heritage asset would be enhanced. The question of sustainability had been answered by the submission of a business plan based upon the Feasibility Study completed in 2009 by Attract Marketing Ltd which concluded the centre will be economically viable. Lord Naseby was supported by Cllr Chris Millar, who is both Leader of the District Council and represents a constituency including Naseby on the County Council. The importance of the battle was recognised by all speakers and the contribution to the economic and heritage well-being of the county and the country was cited as a basis for setting aside the view of the planning officer. The application was approved by eleven votes to one.

Work will now start on the detailed planning of the building, its content and the thirty-six acre site pledged to the charity by a small group of supporters. The raising of funds to discharge their loans and transfer control of the land to the Project is an immediate priority.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Dark Tourism

'Dark tourism is the act of travel and visitation to sites, attractions and exhibitions which have real or recreated death, suffering or the seemingly macabre as a main theme.' Stone P.R (2005).

The Dark Tourism Forum was launched in 2005 and has become 'the premier online Academic Research Facility for the subject of dark tourism', it says on its web site. The Dark Tourism Forum is a collaborative project, led by the University of Central Lancashire, between various Partner Institutions and Industry Partners, and is supported by both The Tourism Society and Springboard UK. Part of the following blog note is based on some the site's content

As the Dark Tourism web site says 'Most tourists to battlefields are interested in seeing history made “real”...For some veterans of war, returning to battlefields or battle memorials may provide the opportunity to reach closure on a tragic period of life. The fascination with war in all aspects is seen for example in the long history of visits to battlefields of World War 1 and the beautifully maintained cemeteries of the fallen.

Anyone who has visited a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery such as the one at Souda Bay in Crete cannot fail to be moved by the juxtaposition of the beauty of the location with the tragedy of the loss of life and the sometimes emotional comments in the visitors book. There is an intense feeling of experience at such sites. Lives were lost on the ground the visitor is standing on. Tour operators who plan and lead battlefield tours rarely see a tourist who is seeking a morbid experience. Rather, battlefield tourists are filled with respect for the dead who fought a valiant battle.

More at The Dark Tourism Forum and an illustration of battlefield re-enactment - another example of Dark Tourism here on Youtube - this has had 51,000 plus views since posting - for a simple animation

Attract has undertaken a number of projects related to 'Dark Tourism' centred around battlefields and other military related attractions.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Creating sustainable tourism

Pembrokeshire’s Bluestone National Park Resort has been named the overall national Example of Excellence in the Rural Action category during Business in the Community’s annual responsible business awards, the 2011 Awards for Excellence.

Following on from their ‘Big Tick’ win at the Welsh awards event in June, Bluestone beat off stiff competition from organisations across the UK including EDF Energy and Milklink to win the accolade.

Bluestone’s award winning initiative is believed to be a world first for the leisure industry. Their landmark leisure attraction, the Blue Lagoon, is heated from biomass energy that comes from crops grown by local farmers. This partnership with Pembrokeshire’s farming community invests in the local economy and reduces the resort’s carbon footprint. This award winning initiative was recognised by judges for having ‘sustainability at its very heart’, and for the courageous approach with which the business supports the region’s rural economy.

William McNamara, founder and managing director of Bluestone, said: “This is a proud day for us. We set out to establish Bluestone as an environmentally sustainable business working with our local community. Just three years after we opened Bluestone, we have achieved national recognition for our work. But we have much more to do and being named as a national ‘Example of Excellence’ will drive us forward to achieve much more.”

See more on the award at the BITC site here

William McNamara is also chair of Attract Marketing client, the Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust that with support from the Welsh Government and others including the Milford Haven Port Authority and Chevron has set up the Flying Boat Interpretation Centre and Workshop within the old Royal Dockyard and that now attracts many thousands of visitors since its opening in 2009. The Trust is leading initiatives to create a major visitor attraction and museum which will reflect the remarkable military heritage and the social development of Pembroke Dock over the last 200 years. Plans centre on the beautifully restored Garrison Chapel, dating from 1830, and one of the most significant military buildings in Wales.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Marketing, Event and Exhibition Opportunities in 2012

2012 is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, the bi-centenary of the birth of Charles Dickens, the year of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Cultural Olympiad and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and there is whole host of other anniversaries and events. So there are great opportunities for visitor attractions to refresh and develop their visitor offer and develop relevant shows, events and exhibitions around these activities and anniversaries given suitable research and interpretation even on modest budgets.Ideas for Writers has a free download for January 2012 here of anniversaries and will also sell you a book for the whole year!.  The only thing to be aware of particularly with the Olympic Games is the question of copyright and use of logos and combinations of words. For those hoping to do something around the Olympic Games attention is drawn to the official Olympic Games website here

To discuss how Attract Marketing can help you  in developing, planning and implementing interpretation themes, ideas, events, festivals and exhibitions please contact Nick Booker at Attract Marketing on +44 (0)1926 864900 or drop us an email - see the right hand column
Charles Dickens, Titanic, Queen's Diamond Jubilee - 2012