Heritage site receives funding

Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site to
receive major European funding

09 March 2010

The Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site
has been awarded almost £2m in European grant aid through the Rural
Development Programme for England (RDPE).

The Cornish Mining WHS has won the funding for its “Discover the
Extraordinary” project – a three-year series of investments
designed to enhance the visitor experience in the World Heritage
Site and at partner attractions.

It also aims to increase the number of tourists interested in
culture and heritage who visit the Heritage Site areas from outside
the region.

Among the initiatives included in the project are;

  • New interpretation of the fascinating stories behind the World
    Heritage landscapes and attractions, including new displays, trails
    and audio tours for use with mobile phones
  • A new web portal which will focus on information and
    interpretation for visitors to the WHS, with a link to the regional
    destination management systems to allow people to plan their
    holiday and book accommodation
  • Touchscreen kiosks for visitor information on all the South
    West’s World Heritage Sites, including public transport
    information
  • Business events for the tourism sector in and around the WHS,
    (including accommodation providers, retail and catering
    businesses), to help them develop new products and services linked
    to the area’s World Heritage Site status
  • A major promotional campaign targeting potential visitors from
    the UK and overseas

The project has been in development for almost two years and
involved consultation with a wide range of partner organisations
such as Visit Devon, Visit Cornwall and the Cornish Mining
Attractions Marketing Association (CMAMA).

The Chairman of CMAMA, Richard Cox, said: “Since its formation
in 2006, CMAMA has been working with the Cornish Mining World
Heritage Site team to ensure that our members both support and
benefit from Cornwall and west Devon’s World Heritage status. It
gives us a valuable tool for marketing tourism businesses within
both counties to an increasingly discerning customer base.

“The funding for Discover the Extraordinary will enable us to
improve the service we offer and reach a much greater audience,
with substantial benefits to the local economy.”

The RDPE funding has been awarded through the Sustainable Rural
Tourism theme, managed by the South West RDA, which aims to assist
the growth of environmentally sustainable tourism in rural
areas.

Mike Johns, of the South West RDA, said: “This initiative is
just one project in a far-reaching suite of interlinked investments
that are being made through Sustainable Rural Tourism which will
have a really significant impact across the whole region.

“The funding is designed to have a lasting impact on the tourism
industry in rural areas through investing in improved access to,
and understanding of, the key features and rural heritage of the
South West.

“Discover the Extraordinary also offers a tremendous opportunity
for businesses in the area to become involved and maximise the
benefits for the local economy.”

A new team has been appointed to co-ordinate the programme. Gary
Jago, Project Manager, has extensive experience of mining heritage
related initiatives, having worked on both the Mineral Tramways and
Geevor Tin Mine investment programmes during the last 4 years.

Working with him are Interpretation Officer Mary Olszewska,
previously with Exmoor National Park, and Marketing and Visitor
Information Officer Samantha Snow, who was formerly with Tewksbury
Borough Council.

Funding partners in Discover the Extraordinary include Cornwall
Council, Devon County Council and West Devon Borough Council.

Cllr Neil Burden, Heritage cabinet member for Cornwall Council,
commented:

“The RDPE investment will enable the WHS partners to realise
some of the economic potential which research for the World
Heritage Site bid had identified.

“Much of the WHS falls within the more rural areas of Cornwall
and west Devon, and the businesses based here will now have a
chance to benefit from the project’s aim of increasing sustainable
growth in high spending, cultural tourism markets.

“It will also provide a valuable opportunity to enhance our
appeal to overseas tourists, many of whom are looking for high
quality, authenticity and local distinctiveness in their holiday
destinations. All these values are features of a World Heritage
Site, and the project will enable us to vigorously promote
them.”

Other partners in the project include;

  • Cornish Mines & Engines
  • Geevor Tin Mine
  • Godolphin House
  • Gwennap Pit
  • King Edward Mine
  • Morwellham Quay
  • Poldark Mine
  • St Agnes Museum
  • Tavistock Museum
  • Trevarno House and Garden
  • Minions Heritage Centre
  • China Clay Country Park (Wheal Martyn)

The Discover the Extraordinary programme is due to be completed
in December 2013.

Ends

Editor’s notes

RDPE

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) runs from
2007 to 2013. It is the 2nd pillar of the Common Agricultural
Policy and aims to support the creation of genuinely sustainable
farming, forestry and food sectors, whilst also bringing wider
benefits for the economy, the environment and rural communities. It
provides the major financial vehicle for protecting and enhancing
the environment and securing a range of public benefits for
society. Defra is the Managing Authority.

The RDPE has three priorities for rural development:

1. Improving competitiveness of the agriculture and forestry
sectors
2. Improving the environment and the countryside
3. Improving the quality of life in rural areas and encouraging
diversification of economic activity

In this region, the South West RDA will deliver priorities 1and
3 with a budget of £156.8 million over the seven years. The RDA is
also responsible for ensuring that five per cent of the RDPE
funding is spent on enabling community involvement in rural
development. The delivery partners in the South West aim to ensure
that investment in each of the three priorities will help support
investment in the others.

The RDPE priority for improving the environment and the
countryside is being delivered nationally by the Forestry
Commission’s Woodland Grant Scheme and Natural England’s
Environmental Stewardship Scheme. In addition, a minimum of 5% of
the programme will be delivered through a local community-led
approach.

The aims, objectives and priorities for delivering RDPE in South
West England were agreed for the socio-economic investments with
regional partners and these are set out in the Regional
Implementation Plan. On the basis of a thorough analysis of South
West England’s rural characteristics and economy, the Plan sets out
eight themes:

i. Skills development
ii. Social enterprise
iii. Business support
iv. Supply chain and adding value
v. Resource management (soil, water, energy, waste)
vi. Sustainable rural tourism
vii. Biodiversity and landscape
viii. Community-led development

Further more information on the RDPE and the schemes see
www.sw-ruralgateway.info.

Organisations involved in delivering RDPE

The South West RDA leads the development of a sustainable
economy, investing to unlock the region’s business potential. It
works in partnership with public, private and social purpose
organisations to drive up the region’s productivity by giving
people the skills they need, encouraging enterprise, improving
infrastructure, regenerating places and promoting the strengths of
the region.

Natural England works for people, places and nature to conserve
and enhance biodiversity, landscapes and wildlife in rural, urban,
coastal and marine areas. It conserves and enhances the natural
environment for its intrinsic value, the wellbeing and enjoyment of
people, and the economic prosperity it brings. For more information
see www.naturalengland.org.uk Environmental Stewardship (ES) was
launched in 2005, builds on the very best practice already evident
in British farming. During the period 2007-13 the national budget
for ES will be £2.9 billion. The objectives of ES are to:

  • Conserve wildlife (biodiversity).
  • Maintain and enhance landscape quality and character.
  • Protect the historic environment and natural resources.
  • Promote public access and understanding of the
    countryside.
  • Natural resource protection.

The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible
for forestry in Great Britain. It supports woodland owners with
grants, tree felling licences, regulation and advice; promotes the
benefits of forests and forestry; and advises Government on
forestry policy. For further information, visit www.forestry.gov.uk/southwestengland.