We are seeking funding to develop our Centre to help provide an even warmer welcome to our wonderful visitors and hopefully create jobs too.
About the project
Dartmouth has managed to remain a proper working town that is open all year round and home to lots of wonderful independent shops and eateries and this is mainly thanks to the thousands of visitors that come to Dartmouth throughout all 12 months of the year. Despite its strong reliance on tourism, however, a visitor information centre is not operated by either the district or town council so a voluntary not for profit organisation has been providing this valuable resource for over 20 years.
Our team work hard to cover the £120k annual overheads and have developed a website that sits at number one position on Google www.dartmoutheverytime.co.uk , run some exciting social media activities and we produce / distribute 50k Dartmouth brochures promoting all the town has to offer - which helps to generate some advertising revenue streams.
Our biggest overhead, however, is managing the centre itself as we get to see over 143k visitors a year (and rising) - sell over 3k event tickets, book parking spaces, give out over 30k leaflets for local attractions, and deal with over 3k emails & 4.6k phone calls. Our building also hosts the Newcomen Engine so we make sure that all interested parties (especially schools) get to hear the facts about this amazing invention that revolutionised the world. ( PS We have also won quite a few national tourism awards but we dont like to brag....)
The TIC currently receive just £3k annual funding from Dartmouth Town Council so each year it remains hugely challenging to cover our carefully managed costs. Without over four thousand hours of special volunteer time provided by our local team the center would probably have closed down years ago and indeed earlier management teams had to cope with insolvency before the existing group took over. We are feeling gently optimisitic about a presentation that was recently delivered to our new town council and really hope that increased support might be possible from them next year BUT meantime we need to keep thinking ahead about how to cope with the ever rising number of people wanting to know more about our beautiful town.
SO - we are hoping to redesign our very crowded centre to help make customer service more simple, and also provide an opportunity to recruit two apprentices who can be trained about the tourism industry. We estimate that around £30k is needed to make the required changes (if you have been in the centre you will know how crowded it gets) and our team are working hard to raise this amount. We have never explored crowd funding before but we know that many people love Dartmouth from near and afar so we thought we would list this project and see what response we get. Our fingers are crossed and if you can help our team we will be truly grateful!!!!