8th WfG Partner Meeting & Workshops - Scheldeland 22-23 March 2012
The latest WfG partner meeting was held in Aalst and Dendermonde on 22-23 March 2012 and hosted by Tourism Scheldeland. Delegates were welcomed by Eddy Couckuyt, Depute of Tourism Province East-Flanders, and Paul Stockman Alderman of Tourism, for the city of Aalst .
On Day 1 we assembled at the City Hall of Dendermonde and heard from our Experts Group who delivered presentations on various tourism themes;
Trends in inland water recreation - Richard van den Hout (ANWB)
Waterways for economic growth (a leisure perspective on the sustainable development of regions) - Janneke Kuysters (director Leisure Result)
Analysis of tourist behaviour using social media - Steven Van Canneyt (Ghent University)
Waterways–Arts, events & the creative industries - Neil Butler (UZ Arts Glasgow)
Clustering & cooperation in Meetjesland - Hannah Pector (Toerisme Oost-Vlaanderen, Collabor8 project)
Piet Buyse, the Mayor city of Dendermonde, wrapped things up with an explanation of how the Scheldt and the Dender had shaped the city over the years and their plans to restore parts of the Canal in the city centre.
The afternoon saw a Bus trip to Kruibeke Kruibeke-Bazel-Rupelmonde flood control area and short field visit to De Notelaer in Bornem where we were welcomed by Bernadette Boeykens, Alderman of Tourism city of Bornem. The Notelaer is a pavilion on the Scheldt River, built by the Duke of Ursel as a base for hunting and summer leisure. In addition to a permanent installation about the history of the Scheldt, the Notelaer often hosts travelling exhibits.
To round of the site visits we went to the village of St. Amands where Mayor Freddy Sarens and Alderman of Tourism Eddy Ceurstemont told us about this small village on the banks of the Scheldt. It has a unique ferry service that takes locals and visitors to the other bank of the Scheldt. That evening Inga Verhaert, the Depute ofTourism, for the Province of Antwerp talked about the importance they place on co-operation - both through involvement in projects such as WfG, and between local entrepreneurs and tourist agencies.
Day 2 saw the main working issues within the project discussed along with further discusion about 'The Future beyond Waterways for Growth' and how we could maintain the co-operation between partners and other waterways interests after the close of the project.
7th WfG Partner Meeting & Workshops - Bremerhaven, September 2011
The latest partner Meeting was on 29-30 September 2011 in Bremerhaven, Germany. It was held at the Time Port Building in the heart of the rejuvenated harbour area of the City - and our hosts had kindly laid on some wonderful weather for our visit.
Financial and administrative issues were 'put to bed' quickly and we then focused on out two main workshop themes;
The Social Economy workshop was led by Trevor Roberts and Dave West from Dream Achievers and looked at their work on the Shipley Canal Zone with Bradford MBC. Rebecca Dent from British Waterways gave an update on their work at Dewsbury Canal Basin and efforts to involve local communities in improving the area alongside the Canal.
Various topics were covered in the Business Development & Entrepreneurship (WP2) group including presentations on; QR Codes (Scheldeland), and the Bingley Five Rise Audience Development Plan (BW) - and as part of this work heard about the 'Museum in a Box' concept. Kirsti Arvesen Nesheim from Nome Municipality in Telemark spoke about The Dream Mile and we then heard about Audio Guided Tours (Bremerhaven). The benefits and ease of use of the web based 'Cross Promotion Tool' being developed with WfG partners was displayed, and we again discussed Focal & Service Points - moving closer to an 'optimal' standard for these across Europe.
We later visited the Harbour area by Bus (a popular tourist 'offer') and saw close up the work in the busy docks. We also had time to visit two of the cities other main tourist attractions - the Climate Center and the German Emigration Center. All in all it was a very successful gathering in a city that has improved enormously as a visitor destination in recent years.
6th WfG Partner Meeting & Workshops - Telemark, June 2011
The latest partner Meeting was held in Telemark, Norway from 2-4 June 2011. The focus was on Business Development which features highly in Telemark's priorities within Waterways for Growth.
Business managers and entrepreneurs from the Region spoke about their strategies and their approach to developing visitor numbers to boost their own attractions and the local economy.
We also heard about plans to develop the Telemark Regional Park and visited local businesses associated with the Telemark Canal.
The meeting was timed to co-incide with the annual Langesund Shanty festival. The festival was officially opened by WfG Projecty Manager, Glenn Millar - and attracted thousands of visitors. Once more it proved a big success and demonstrated the value placed on links between coastal and inland waterways and the cultural heritage story that can be told.
Prsentations made during the meeting can be viewed as follows:
Framework Development - Glenn Millar
Telemark Canal Regional Park - Frida Sviland
Web based marketing tools (e-Routing & e-Marinas) - Andreas Weber
Cultural Heritage & the Natural Environment - Glenn Millar
A Norwegian - Russian History Project 2011-2014 - Helge Grobaek
The Telemark Canal East and Telemarkspadler'n - Pal Kleffelgaard
Telemark Maritime Museum - Bjorn Rudborg
Masterplan for the regeneration of the Bradford-Shipley Canal Corridor - Simon Woodhurst, Bradford MBC
5th WfG Partner Meeting & Workshops - West Flanders, March 2011
Over 40 partners attended the WfG partner meeting in Roeselare, West Flanders on 3-4 March 2011. The meeting was organised around a series of workshops where partners were able to focus on specialised areas such as Waterway Regeneration and Restoration, Business and Product Development, Developing the Social Economy, and Business Networking.
Many partners mentioned what big effect projects like Waterways for Growth are having on local, regional and even international developments and they were able to see for themselves the issues facing West Flanders during the visit to Ingelmunster.
The town houses the Valora animal feeds factory which is being moved from its site alongside the Canal Roeselare-Leie in order to widen the canal there and allow bigger vessels to travel along this stretch of waterway. WfG partners took part in the workshop looking at the facilities required by the local population and boating community as part of the redevelopment of the Valora site - and were able to offer examples of good practice from their own Organisations.
A tour of Roeselare featured a visit to the Canal Basin in the town and we saw and heard about the changing mix of freight use and companies based at the basin in recent years. In the evening a tour of the town’s Rodenbach brewery went down well with partners. As did a few glasses of their famed beer..
Presentations from the meeting can be found here - and more will be added as they become available.
Workshop 1 - Waterway Regeneration & Restoration
(currently awaiting presentations)
Workshop 2 - New Business & product development + focal/service points
Workshop 3 - Social Economy
Workshop 4 - Business Networking
Waterway Managers Conference- Karlstad Sept 2010
Waterways for Growth partners were joined by local waterway managers, water business operators and researchers at the Conference held at the Elite Stadshotellet in Karlstad on 24 Sept 2010. The aim of the conference was to look at new ways of managing and developing the network of inland waterways around the North Sea.
To view the Agenda click here
David Lamont of British Waterways Scotland (BWS) chaired the conference which opened with a welcome and explanation to our guests by project manager Glenn Millar of the work being carried out in Waterways for Growth.
The first session then featured Case Studies of best practise in waterway management. Johan Baltes from Emmen explained how his organisation had planned and developed the restoration of the Erica - TerAppel waterway in his area, which will be completed in 2012.
See here for information on the restoration project.
David Lamont explained the Business Improvement Programme that BWS were implementing and how this would enable the organisation to realise valuable cost savings and increase efficiencies in working practices. His presentation can be viewed here
Geir Berge Nordtveit from Telemark County Council in Norway, described the process they had had to go through to create the Telemark Regional Park - which prominently features the Telemark Canal. He then explained the structure of the organisation set up to manage this new entity.
Anna Mayer of AB GotaKanalbolag, Sweden told delegates how they have successfully managed to increase visitor numbers to the Gota Canal by a combination of targeted marketing, appreciation of customer needs, and provision of attractions and facilities to attract and retain visitors. They have done well given the short cruising season and delegates were keen to offer suggestions about ways they could extend the season.
Click here for more information regarding the Gota Canal.
The next session was on the subject of Waterways and new communications media. David Lynch from BKC – the Swedish web development agency that have designed and delivered ‘Destination Karlstad’ explained the philosophies behind and methods of selling attractions (such as waterways) online and in this new media age. The key message was that our waterways for example, could perhaps be ‘bundled’ as part of the attractions within a region – rather than as a discrete attraction itself.
Anders Tufvesson from the media consultant TWO gave an entertaining presentation that gave us a clear steer towards the need to get involved in new media such as Facebook and Twitter to enable us to spread the word much more widely. He showed some impressive statistics and success stories to back up his assertion.
In the afternoon the conference was divided in two. Group 1 set to work to address specific questions - these were to consider cost saving ideas, how to generate more income for waterways, and how can organisations reduce their running costs in the future?
Group 2 looked at ways to develop new products and services based on the waterways.
At the end of the day feedback from the Groups was discussed amonst all the participants at the Conference and David summed up proceedings and once again thanked our hosts for organising everything, and our delegates for their attendance and valuable input.
4th WfG Partner Meeting, Karlstad, 22-23 Sept 2010
WfG partners gathered in the City of Karlstad on 22-23 Sept 2010 for their 4th Steering Group Meeting
The morning of Day 1 was taken up by updates on progress in local areas by partners and a review of management issues for the project.
Agenda and Minutes can be viewed here
SRN presenation updated us on progress with the Yachting Handbook
In the afternoon the meeting split up to focus on two separate themes. Partners from the UK, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands discussed freight development on Inland waterways and how we could accommodate more freight on smaller inland waterways. A local flavour was evident as we heard more about issues with freight on Lake Vanern.
The second group looked at ways we can make business development happen and continued the work taken forward at the small gathering of partners in Bremerhaven in the Summer.
The Communications group met the next morning to look at various practical measures we can take to spread the word about our work. We talked about ‘e-communications’ and touched on the subject of Social Media – something that was to feature prominently at the next days Waterway Conference. See Comms Group Agenda here.
In the afternoon we were taken on a boat trip on to Lake Vanern to see some of the features, attractions and issues facing this expanse of water. In the evening CAB Varmland, City of Karlstad and our hosts at the Karlstad city park the 'Mariesskogenpark' were thanked for their excellent organisation and hospitality.
Agendas & other outputs from the meeting can be viewed here Overall Agenda
3rd Steering Group, Langedijk (NL), 6-7 May 2010
This meeting took place in a very rainy Langedijk. It focused mainly on actions and issues that could benefit from greater co-operation or partnership working between partners.
We also began to identify key issues, messages and common approaches in relation to Work Packages 2 (Business Development and entrepreneurship) 3 (Regeneration) and 4 (Sustainable management and development)
Partner presentations - Joint Working proposals
Spaceshaper event at Bingley - Glenn Millar, British Waterways
(this doc is currently being re-formatted to allow uploading here)
Steering Group Meeting SG
Joint Working & Framework Development Workshop
Some Images from Langedijk
2nd Steering Group, Emmen (NL), 12-13 Oct 2009
This was the second Steering Group Meeting. Partners focussed on Waterway Regeneration, and discussed ways forward with regard to developing the Framework for Sustainable Management of Inland Waterways.
(1) Partners presentation - Regeneration projects:
Emmen by Johan Baltes
Bradford by Dave West
'Dream Achievers' project by Trevor Roberts
Langedijk by Fokko Bons
Helix Project by Ronnie Simpson
(2) Waterways regeneration - unfinished business
Presentation by Derek Cochrane, Consultant/ Regeneration Director BW (retd)
(3) Framework development
"Waterway policy development" in the UK by Glenn Millar, British Waterways
(4) Photo Gallerie
1st Business Meeting, Alkmaar/Langedijk (NL), 23 Jun 2009
This was the first business meeting. Partners focussed on establishing a format for the next and final Partnariats - the Business Exchange concept to be developed as part of Work Package 2. Representatives from the business sector were invited to attend and offer us their commercial insight and perspective.
(1) Waterway e-Routing and e-Marina information system
Presentation by Andreas Weber, Monavista GmbH
(2) Photo Gallerie
1st Steering Group (Kick-off), Leeds (UK), 26-27 Feb 2009
The Leeds meeting was the first WfG Steering Group Meeting. Partners discussed financal, administrative and communications issues and ways to ensure we deliver the outputs set out in the application.
An architecture office - contracted by BIS Bremerhaven Touristik - completed the desgin work on the so-called 'Focal Service Points'.
The idea behind this project was to...more
The Waterways for Growth Final Conference took place in Scotland on 27th September 2012. Delegtes met in Edinburgh the evening before the event and got immediately into...more