The Irish Marine Federation in its role as lead partner in the Interreg Programme, irish-sea.org, is currently working on the following projects. Executive Steve Conlon gives the following update to afloat.ie:
Marine Leisure Conference:
A conference to assist marine leisure companies to survive the current downturn on both sides of the Irish Sea is currently being planned. A number of high level speakers will be engaged to give advice on how to survive the recession and to bring forward development ideas to assist growth once the economies on both sides of the Irish Sea recover. The exact details of the speakers and the content is still being developed so if you have any suggestions for speakers or subjects to be covered please contact Steve Conlon. We intend this to be a seminal event of major importance to the industry so to ensure the maximum value can be gained for our members your input into the content and the context will be invaluable.
The establishment of a number of Coastal Communities around our coasts to boast the marine leisure industry and to ensure that maximum number of marine leisure companies can benefit from the Interreg Programme. Two new coastal Communities about to get underway, Tralee Bay and Waterford/East Cork.
National Maritime Spatial Plan:
The Coastal Communities will also ensure that marine leisure becomes fully integrated into the national Maritime Spatial Plan when it is developed through contributing to a coastal audit of all marine leisure activities. Through our partners in South Wales, The Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum will assist us to produce an Integrated Coast Zone Policy for marine Leisure. This will be delivered through a number of workshops around the coast.
Marine Festivals and Events:
We have published the Social Economic Study into the value of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta: Copies of the study are available from Steve Conlon. The study provides an insight into the spend per boat, the tourism aspects of the event and also the visitor spend. Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council is using some of the data collected for another project that they are conducting into the development of a new brand image for the Town of Dun Laoghaire. The total value of the regatta is put at €2.4 million.
Irish-sea.org is also conducting a similar study for the Town of Wicklow who held a Sailfest in conjunction with the Conway Round Ireland Race. This study is still being compiled and the results will be published later in the Autumn. The Interreg Programme worked with both Wicklow Sailing Club and the local Wicklow Chamber of Commerce on the event and the study. Approx 10,000 people visited the town during the 3 days of the festival.
The Fenit based Coastal Community held a successful Seabreeze Festival as part of the Round Ireland Powerboat race. The Interreg Programme assisted the Community with several aspects of the event.
Several marine leisure businesses have benefited from the business training that is available through the County Enterprise Boards. If you wish to be involved in this activity please contact Steve Conlon.
Marina Management Training:
Irish-sea.org has been working with the British Marine Federation/Yacht Harbours Association to bring a number of courses to Ireland. We had hoped to run an "Intermediate Marina Managers" course in Ireland this year but this has now been but back until the spring of next year. The BMF will run a full Certified Marina Managers Course in Ireland in the Autumn. If there are any members who have the pre-qualifications for this course please contact Steve Conlon as the programme would like to assist as many of those who do qualify to participate. The BMF have chosen Ireland as the location to run this international course in competition with a number of other locations. Ireland came out tops in every respect from the well run marina facilities that they visited, travel access and transfer, conference and hotel facilities. Ireland as a venue came out tops in almost every criterion tested so from a marine leisure tourism perspective the holding of this prestigious course in Ireland may help put us on the map.
Contact: [email protected]