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The Martello Tower Pembroke Dock is an iconic reminder of the town’s maritime heritage and a key stop-off for proposed town tours

About

Summary 

Pembroke Dock, located on the Pembrokeshire coast, is a small town with a fascinating history, having developed from a simple collection of farm buildings in 1800 to the world’s biggest royal shipbuilding facility within a relatively short period. The town is within easy reach of much of Pembrokeshire, which attracts 4.2 million visitors a year, as well as the populous South Wales area, where 80% of the population of Wales live. Despite the town’s rich maritime and industrial heritage, there has been little investment in the town’s infrastructure and there is a great need for economic regeneration. 

Pembroke Dock Tourism and Heritage Group asked Acorn and our associates Responsible Tourism Matters, to explore the options for developing heritage tourism products that could be managed by a social enterprise and would encourage local residents and day and overnight visitors to spend longer in Pembroke Dock and to contribute more to the local economy.

Our Approach 

Over the period of 10 months we conducted a wide range of research and stakeholder consultations to understand the significance of the numerous heritage assets in Pembroke Dock, the current objectives and aspirations of the local community heritage groups and the dynamics of the local, regional and national tourism markets to Pembrokeshire. A face-to-face visitor survey in Pembroke Dock and neighbouring Milford Haven was undertaken by local volunteers from Easter to the end of the summer holidays. 

As analysis of the research findings and the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and best practice case studies underpinned the options appraisal and feasibility study, resulting in the prioritisation of two social enterprise business propositions.

Pembroke Dock is rich in stories. It has a wealth of history and heritage that needs to be interpreted and shared and that, collectively, would be very powerful in differentiating the town from its neighbours and in driving change. However, collaboration and coordination was vital to the creation, delivery and promotion of a cohesive vision.

In order to have impact, existing and new tourism activities therefore needed a vehicle for both coordination and joint marketing and cooperation between the many individuals, groups and businesses involved. 

Outcome 

We therefore provided an outline plan that set out process with the aim of formalising the structure of the existing Town Team, widening its remit and broadening its membership to form a collaborative Destination Management and Marketing Organisation. 

Whilst the tourism infrastructure in Pembroke Dock was under-developed, the town’s strongest asset was undoubtedly its people and their heritage, stories and wealth of knowledge. This provided a good starting point for local stakeholders to begin to work together straight away, with what currently existed, and to build from there, once a more formal and effective Destination Management and Marketing Organisation was put in place. The second business plan therefore focused on developing two main ‘categories’ of tours and experiences:

  • Formal tours, marketed both to the public and via the travel trade 
  • Community-based experiences that can be incorporated into the tours and be marketed direct to the public.

Directions

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Pembroke Dock Tourism Social Enterprise Feasibility Study

Client:

Pembroke Dock Tourism and Heritage Group and Town Team,

Location:

Wales, United Kingdom
Pembroke Dock Tourism and Heritage Group and Town Team

Contact us

3 Woodland Enterprise Centre, Hastings Road,
Flimwell, East Sussex, TN5 7PR, UK

+44 (0) 1580 879970

contact@acorntourism.co.uk