Our Directors have combined experience of developing and managing heritage visitor attractions as well as other venue types such as hotels and hospitality. Sites include: Cardiff Castle, Llanelli House, Cardiff City Hall, the Cardiff Museum, Caernarfon Castle, Plas Mawr House in Conwy, Caernarfon Castle, Harlech Castle, Castell Coch and many more. These are important historic sites many of which are Scheduled Monuments, Listed buildings and some are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We offer this expertise for the benefit of our customers.
Our expertise is wide ranging covering areas such as visitor safety and disability access audits to providing strategic direction to a complete package. This may concern an existing visitor attraction or developing a new one. It could be as simple as opening an historic house or garden to the public.
When developing a visitor attraction there are a large number of issues to consider. We have to consider the wear and tear of building fabric not just from physical damage but also changes in environmental conditions. Choosing access and egress points with routes through a site that minimise potential damage. We also consider the story being told by the site and therefore has to link with interpretation. Some sites will be particularly challenging for visitors with disabilities and for all visitors concerning their safety. All these issues have to considered alongside optimising income. In properly considering these issues there will no doubt be conflict and our expertise and the tools we bring allow us to develop optimum solutions.
Whilst the above briefly describes some of the main issues at a site, there are many other important issues to also consider. Where the attraction sits within the destination visitor market has to be ascertained and the potential share of the market. We have recently produced a marketing strategy and destination plan for the ‘Last Invasion’ in Fishguard.
Visitor attraction development very often means adapting buildings and sometimes a need for new ones. These have to be well planned and we have the expertise to ensure that such facilities are led by what is required rather than creating new architecture.
Edwards Hart has the expertise to set out the strategy and implement many of the elements, but also to ensure that the correct complexion of expertise is deployed, optimum solutions are developed and consents achieved. The main areas of expertise required is normally as follows:
- Site appraisal
- Business appraisal
- Heritage appraisal
- Creating a strategy – Strategic planning
- Assess merchandising opportunities
- Assess catering requirements and opportunities
- Condition and vulnerabilities
- Conservation planning / statements of significance
- Operational – including visitor safety, disability access, space use appraisals, ticketing requirements
- Facilities management – including maintenance
- Business and economics
- Market appraisal / marketing plan
- Adaptation / New building – options appraisals including heritage impact assessments