10th August 2015

Changes in Shropshire Council’s Visitor Economy Team and Tourism Sector Support

Changes in Shropshire Council’s Visitor Economy Team and Tourism Sector Support

Many of you may be aware that changes are currently taking place at Shropshire Council. Tim King started his new post of Visitor Economy Development Officer on 1st August and Alison Patrick will be leaving the Council at the beginning of September.

The Council's briefing note 'Redesigning Tourism Sector Support' explains more about the changes.

As the briefing note explains:

"Shropshire Council is continuing to review and redesign services, as part of this process the Council will be changing the way it supports the tourism sector. The focus and direction will move from ‘hands on delivery’ to a more strategic role. This shift has already been evolving for some time with the work of the team focusing on developing sustainable partnerships and strategies to support the sector to fulfil its own growth potential, playing to the already resilient and self-reliant sector strengths, whilst also realistically anticipating a near-future in which minimal levels of central government funding are available to underpin our public services.

Tourism is recognised as a significant and important sector within the Shropshire economy. The reduced availability of funding however means we have to make very difficult choices about prioritising the work we do. The proposed change of approach will result in one newly designed post based on the defined needs of the service area, where previously there had been two. The post will focus on a number of areas:

  • Concentrate on developing the impact and sustainability of the Council’s own facilities such as Museums in the tourism sector.
  • Continue to support the sector at a strategic level and
  • Continue to ensure Shropshire benefits from new strategic funding opportunities

Principal duties of the new post are to:

1. Manage the contractual relationship between Shropshire Council and other organisations commissioned to run Visitor Information Centres at various locations in the County.

2. Act as a strategic point of contact for key regional or national stakeholders e.g. Visit England and maintain communications with key sector stakeholders.

3. Actively engage with the LEP to ensure recognition and investment in the Sector through the Tourism Working Group.

4. Provide basic online sector support information (through the new Growth Hub) providing signposting to data/research/intelligence reports, business support, grants and Tourism Organisations.

5. Play a key role in strategic bid development to maximise marketing, investment and growth of the sector.

6. Deliver strategic and County wide press and PR support.

Tim King will be taking up the post of Visitor Economy Development Officer from 1st August.  Alison Patrick will be leaving the Council at the beginning of September.  In the meantime both officers will continue to work with partners in the tourism sector to help plan for the change to working with the new structure.

The work of the team to date has put the sector in a strong position to continue to grow. By investing in the development of strong partnerships at a Destination or Town level, with appropriate strategies and action plans in place, businesses, existing tourism organisations and communities can continue to work together to attract new external funding opportunities available to rural areas, whilst in Shrewsbury the BID will market our County Town as a premier tourism destination.

Shropshire Council will continue to invest in the sector by either direct delivery of the Visitor Information Service, for example, in Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth where the service is part of other joint service delivery or by commissioning the delivery of Visitor Information as in Ludlow, Church Stretton and Mile End. Investment into our Museums, Archives, Theatre and Outdoor Recreation services will continue all of which form a vital part of the visitor’s experience to Shropshire. 

The Local Enterprise Partnership and Shropshire Council are developing a new Business Growth Hub that will provide a one stop shop for businesses with support, signposting and grant information."

« Back