There may be alternatives to cuts

By | Category: Travel rumblings
part of the Brecon Beacons

part of the Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons National Park Authority is considering cutting eight jobs and rationalising its visitor centres due to a reduction of £218,000 in funding from the Welsh Government. On the same day the nine councils in Wales were told they will share £9 million to improve natural environments used by local communities.

Does it take a genius to suggest that the Authority should have foreseen that its budget might be cut as it has been cut a few years ago and that it should seek funds elsewhere? If nine councils can pitch to the Heritage Lottery Fund and get eighteen times the amount needed by the Authority to provide tourism services why couldn’t the authority have considered getting lottery funding? Has the authority considered accessing EU funding under the LIFE 2014-2020 funds that are available for environmental governance and information?

It could be that the authority isn’t eligible under either source of funding rules but you would have thought that the leaders of the authority would want to explore every source of monies so that cutbacks were unnecessary. You would also have thought that they might they announced that they were exploring other sources of funding. I could be entirely wrong and these may be the only cutbacks available to the authority. But it should say that there are no other options if there really are none. But no, the BBC quotes John Cook – the chief executive – as only saying that the measures include “significant rationalisation” of visitor centres, reducing office space and sharing IT service management with Pembrokeshire council.

The funding won by the nine councils comes from a funding programme called Create Your Space. That allows groups to apply for grants to make changes to their local areas or conserve existing sites. Admittedly the minimum payment is £500,000 bit I am sure the people at the Brecon Beacons Authority could have developed a proposal to improve and expand tourism services.

To repeat something Just about Travel has said time and time again that tourism means economic growth, jobs and money for local communities. It is a growth industry so what sort of an organisations looks to save costs by cutting growth and storing up even more problems for the future?

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