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As has been widely reported, at last Thursday’s Full Council meeting, Councillors voted to cease all financial support for the Islands’ Partnership and the Tourist Information Centre from the end of March.

Whilst we fully appreciate the Council’s financial position and have understood for some time that further savings would have to be found, we are naturally incredibly disappointed by this decision. Tourism is the lifeblood of these islands and a thriving and sustainable tourism industry is vital to Scilly’s future economic prosperity. Recognising these budget constraints, it was on this basis that the Islands’ Partnership has sought to actively engage with the Council over recent months to help identify suitable solutions going forward.

The range of options that we put forward were solely designed to find a pragmatic and more affordable way forward which would enable at least some form of core support for the IP and, more specifically, to find ways of safeguarding the continued operation of the Tourist Information Centre.

Sadly these options have either been ruled out by Officers, or voted against by Councillors. However disappointing this decision is, we have to accept it and the consequent impact this has on our own budget and activity.

Please be reassured that the Islands’ Partnership will continue to lead Scilly’s tourism agenda and champion its vital role in the future of the islands. Looking ahead, there are real grounds for optimism on a number of fronts and we remain determined to progress and deliver a number of significant initiatives:

  • Later this year we will be leading the development of the islands’ first Destination Management Plan, which will plot the course for the resurgence of Scilly’s visitor economy
  • We will continue to build on the legacy of last year’s Coastal Community Funded events programme, with another professional and ambitious calendar of events that help to drive new visitors to Scilly
  • We will lead the exciting new Cultural Destinations project which commences in April and will see a range of new cultural experiences developed that will help to attract a new audience to Scilly
  • We will be launching a new food and drink brand and identity for Scilly that recognises our fantastic producers, growers, fishermen and makers and celebrates the islands’ local food and drink story
  • And, last but by no means least, we will of course continue to lead the professional marketing of the Isles of Scilly, including our award winning brochure, website and wide-reaching promotional campaigns.

With regards to the Tourist Information Centre, we more than anyone understand the importance of this vital service to both our visitors and the local industry. Having won the contract, tendered by the Council, to deliver this service back in March 2015 (after an open and competitive procurement process) we have striven to provide the best possible service to our visitors, our members and the whole of the islands. We are incredibly proud of what the TIC team has achieved over these last 2 years and the recognition this has received – not least from the recent Cornwall Tourism Awards.

It is for this very reason that we are now actively exploring a number of options in an attempt to find a viable future for the service. We hope to be in a position to announce decisions on this in the coming weeks.

On behalf of Directors and the whole IP team, may I take this opportunity to thank all of our members for their continued support. We remain committed to delivering on your behalf and leading the continued recovery and growth of Scilly’s visitor economy and the future prosperity of the islands.

With kind regards David Jackson Executive Director Islands’ Partnership

Upcoming Events

  • Tue
    22
    Oct
    2013
    9.30am-11.30pmChurch Hall, Church Street

    This will be first AGM since the IP was formed last year.  Wolf Rock, the Islands’ marketing consultants will also make a presentation of their approach to marketing the islands. The board will report on activities for the past year including the usual matters of finance and governance.  It will also be the first opportunity for members to elect their own representatives to the Board of Directors, with four of the current Directors retiring from office.  

  • Thu
    24
    Oct
    2013
    8pm - 9pmIn your own home!

    FREE and open to all: Claire Jarrett is well-known for her real-time, online seminars or "webinars". This one is designed to help small businesses learn how to set up a marketing campaign on Facebook, even if you are new to it, and how to how to build a fan base.  You'll need to register in advance on www.clairejarrett.com/facebookwebinar. There may be a bit of a hard sell for services at the end - because she offers the webinar for free - but you can just log out at that stage!  

  • Thu
    07
    Nov
    2013
    8:00 pmHeadland Hotel, Newquay

    The IP supported nine Scillonian businesses in their applications to the Cornwall Tourism Awards. Four made it to the finals - Hell Bay Hotel (Small Hotel of the Year), Juliet’s Garden Restaurant (Café and tearoom of the Year), The New Inn Tresco (Pub of the Year), and St Martin’s Dive School (Tourism Activity, Sport & Experience of the Year) - and we'll be wishing them lots of luck this evening when the overall winners are announced.

  • Thu
    14
    Nov
    2013
    10.00-13.00IP Office

    Strategy meeting

  • Thu
    21
    Nov
    2013
    11.30am-1.30pmTregarthen's Hotel, St Mary's

    Meeting and lunch for IP members to learn more about Get Set For Growth, a new initiative to help small businesses with finance, and marketing & sales.

  • Mon
    25
    Nov
    2013
    2.00-3.30pmIP Office

    Meeting to discuss Walk Scilly and the creation of more events to boost tourism calendar.  Any member wanting to be involved should contact the IP office.

  • Thu
    28
    Nov
    2013
    10.30am -12.30pmLife Long Learning Centre, Carn Gwaval

    Short practical training session to get you started on Twitter: creating an account, understanding how it works, using it as an effective marketing tool…

  • Wed
    11
    Dec
    2013
    10.30am - 2.00pmTregarthen's Hotel, St Mary's

    Informal gathering and networking opportunity for IP members.  Listen to short, informative presentations and business advice from invited guest speakers, including Robin Barker for Services for Tourism which managed the recent Cornwall Tourism Awards. 

  • Thu
    12
    Dec
    2013
    10.00 - 1.00pmIP Office

    Strategy Meeting

  • Mon
    23
    Dec
    2013
    12pm-3pmIP Office, Hugh Town

    Come and collect your copy of the Visit Isles of Scilly 2014 brochure, and chat with the IP directors and staff about the new look and branding.  We'll have a glass of wine and a mince pie waiting for you, too!

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