The busy summer for Wales’ Visitor Economy has shown the crucial importance of tourism infrastructure in delivering a quality experience for visitors.
To help organisations plan ahead for future years, Brilliant Basics is a new Wales wide fund supporting public, third sector and not for profit organisations to deliver basic small scale tourism infrastructure improvements.
26 projects have been successful in their funding applications for the £2.4 million fund for 2021-2022.
Small scale tourism infrastructure projects were supported from local authorities, national parks and the third sector and – all helping to ensure that all visitors to Wales have a positive and memorable experience throughout their stay.
The projects include electric vehicle charging points, improved toilet and car parking facilities, accessible Changing Places facilities and improved signage and interpretation panels – and a waterfall swing.
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said: “Following the busy summer we’ve had here in Wales, we’ve seen the important part that local tourism amenities have on making a trip a memorable one. These facilities often go unnoticed but they are an important part of people’s experiences when they visit Wales and they also benefit those who live in the area. I’m delighted that we’re able to support these organisations to improve the visitor experience in their areas.”
A modern ‘changing place’ with facilities for people with disabilities, refurbished public toilets and access improvements are on their way to the Aberavon Seafront’s popular Aqua Splash attraction.
Cllr Annette Wingrave, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainable Development, said: “It is intended that once the works are complete, the public toilet provision and changing place at this location will not be subject to seasonal opening and will be open to the public all year. This will ensure the Aberavon Seafront remains a destination which is accessible to disabled visitors and their families all year round.”
Three of Welsh Water’s visitor attractions sites will benefit from the Brilliant Basics funding.
The site at Elan Valley in Rhyader, which is hugely popular with cyclists, will see the addition of a Changing Places Unit as part of a project to develop a Cycle Hub. Whilst their Visitor Attraction site in Llyn Brenig, Conwy, have also be awarded funding for the development of a Waterfall Swing with water artistry. Thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, the Waterfall Swing uses hundreds of downward jets of water to create a controllable waterfall effect which incorporates swings and can also be adapted to take users with limited mobility, including wheelchairs. The Brilliant Basics backing will also assist the Not-For-Profit organisation to develop outdoor adventures at their Lliw Reservoirs in Swansea, supporting the site to improve access and car park facilities, whilst also helping to develop an Activity Station and Activity Nature Trail as well as installation of natural play equipment.
Welsh Water Chief Executive, Peter Perry said “We’re hugely grateful to Welsh Government for the valuable support which will help us build on our visitor experience offer at our Visitor Attractions across Wales. Due to the popularity of this summer’s staycation, we have seen a huge increase in visitor numbers at our attraction sites. This has led us to launch new mountain bike tracks at Elan Valley, and introduce water sports at Llyn Brenig and Lliw Reservoirs. This funding from Welsh Government will now allow us to offer visitors additional benefits which we hope will boost Welsh tourism and entice even more visitors to discover the beauty of the Welsh landscape whilst benefitting from outdoor recreational activities.