University secures £71k to reinvigorate Manhood Peninsula visitor economy

University secures £71k to reinvigorate Manhood Peninsula visitor economy

Thu, 16/02/2017 - 16:10

PLANS by the University of Chichester to develop the visitor economy of the Manhood Peninsula have taken a step forward after proposals were granted £71,000.

The project, led by staff at the institution’s Business School, intends to strengthen rural tourism in the Selsey area by working with local businesses to increase visitor numbers and associated spend.

The 12-month plan, which runs until December 2017, is being funded by a grant from government body the Rural Development Programme for England to invigorate the Peninsula’s coastal and inland landscape and support economic expansion.

Its coordinator Dr Jorge Gutic, a Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management at the University, said the project provides an exciting opportunity to support the sustainable growth of the economy on the Manhood Peninsula.

He added: “The plans will identify existing and new opportunities to develop sustainable tourism as well as the infrastructure and support needs that local businesses require in order to achieve their full economic potential.”

Proposals for the Manhood Peninsula project are being guided by the University’s Business School, which has a particular focus on regional regeneration and developing sustainable tourism in coastal communities across the UK and Europe.

The research of its academics has recently concentrated on strategic economic planning for Coast to Capital – the regional Local Enterprise Partnership – and measuring the financial impact of the Southern Rail strikes on the UK.

Dr Andy Clegg, Chairman of Visit Chichester which is also supporting the implementation of the project, echoes the comments of Dr Gutic.

He said: “Visitor spending on the Selsey Peninsula exceeds £100million and the project provides an exciting opportunity to further enhance the value of the visitor economy.”

A key part of the programme is to work alongside existing tourism businesses as well as to identify opportunities for new entrants and establish wider collaboration across the sector to boost business competitiveness and visitor experience.

The Peninsula project will initially develop a new destination management plan and support the formation of a new tourism partnership for the area.

It has already received support from community and government organisations including Visit Chichester, Selsey Town Council, the Manhood Peninsula Partnership, Arun and Chichester district councils, and Chichester Harbour Conservancy.

Caroyln Cobbold, project leader for the Manhood Peninsula Partnership, said protecting the character of the area is paramount as it is one of the last remaining areas of rural coastal plain in the south of England.

She added: “Bordered by the sea, Chichester, Medmerry and Pagham Harbours, and Chichester Canal, it is home to a rare and diverse range of wildlife habitats and stunning environments. This project aims to increase tourism whilst respecting the area's fragile environment.”

To find out more about the sustainable tourism in the Manhood Peninsula project contact coordinator Dr Jorge Gutic at j.gutic@chi.ac.uk.

Alternatively for more about the University of Chichester’s Business School and how it is developing the proposals for economic growth go to www.chi.ac.uk/business.