Supporting Business Futures for Powys Canal Tourism 

The ‘Business Futures’ project is part of the wider 'Powys Canal Tourism Project', which is being completed by British Waterways, and is supported by funding from Europe through the Welsh assembly Government.

The Project covers the Welsh side of the Canal corridor where it runs between Llanymynech to the east and Newtown to the west, and its aim is to support restoration of the Montgomeryshire Canal as well as the local economy.

Between Sept 2007 and February 2008 Resources for Change worked to identify and research tourism, leisure and recreation related businesses on or near the Montgomeryshire canal, to find out to what extent businesses currently worked together and what additional aspirations they may have for co-operative activities.

This first phase identified and recorded 45 businesses which were primarily small scale family-run accommodation and food providers, visitor attractions and activity based businesses, and was followed by Initial phone research using structured questionnaire formats to produce a database.

Two workshops were held with interested parties to develop an action plan for co-operative activities that would move the process forward. We also worked with enabling organisations such as Powys County Council’s Tourism unit, the Tourism Partnership Mid Wales and Visit Wales.

The resulting action plan formed the basis for the 2nd phase that started in April 2008, the aim of which was to support and inform networking, enable joint promotion and promote shared marketing.

As well as enabling a joint promotional excercise between many of the businesses, during Phase Two we also organised several networking events and encouraged businesses to attend. By bringing a regular group together we were successful in creating an ongoing business network that is now in the process of being constituted.

Our work greatly helped British Waterways, giving them valuable feedback from which they can improve their relationships with local business. It has also raised awareness of the canal and helped develop new relationships between businesses that were previously isolated.

If you would like to know more about this work, or you are a local tourism or leisure/recreation based business that is interested in getting involved with Business Futures you should contact us.

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