CT Consults

Is there a DMO to be found in these hills?

Old sandstone two storey building, arched entrance way with tall stone chimney

The challenge

Barnsley and Rotherham. What comes to mind? If you’re local, they are part of the South Yorkshire conurbation, often in the shade from the long shadow cast by Sheffield. But take a closer look. It has some amazing cultural and heritage assets, and a rural landscape that nudges up against the Peak District. Something should be done! Luckily the Great Place WE programme connected both council boroughs in a way that enabled culture, heritage and tourism to engage.

Front of stately home with lawns to the foreground

Our response

Working with our associate Blue Chip Tourism, we conducted an options appraisal exploring how a dual-local authority area could come together to work towards more effective, sustainable destination management. 

As part of the analysis of how a focus on a ‘Greater Wentworth & Elsecar’ area as a visitor destination could work, we explored how they can effectively operate with the current regional marketing strategy/proposition, as they develop products and take them to market. 

The appraisal included product (development) mapping, visitor (priority segment) analysis, and destination connectivity analysis, key stakeholder mapping; and delivery, management and communications structures.

This was not premised on new funding resources being available, or staffing, but a series of aligned projects and capital developments that have started to build dialogue and partnership working. The opportunity is a shared one amongst a typically wide variety of destination stakeholders: from voluntary sector organisations to local authorities, private sector to charities, communities and businesses. We used the process to critically engage whilst building advocacy to generate shared solutions and a forward-looking vision for the destination.

Kickstarting a new approach 

Recommendations are now focused on branding, governance and staged development. Major capital projects and programmes are now commissioning content, product development, brand development, and marketing plans, working in partnership to maximise their potential.

White classic, convertible car in foreground with stately home in background
The report has been used in a number of very practical ways... from pulling together the Greater Wentworth Group Travel offering – which we took to an exhibition in Milton Keynes and was very well received by the tour operators through to inspiring conversations with Gulliver’s and influencing the direction of some of the emerging the city region work. I suspect this will rumble along for several years until the sites are more open for visitors. It will also be a key report for the WE Great Place legacy planner.”

Rachel Blake, WE Great Place Programme Manager

Trade events

The recommendations of the report have laid the groundwork for establishing coordinated travel trade activity.

Driving planning collectively

This ongoing plan has progressed through the cultural and destination partnership working on this project - including Rotherham bid’s to become the world’s first Children’s Capital of Culture.

Pilot group activity expands through Great Place WE

The new consortium has grown and supported new and pilot projects across Barnsley and Rotherham.

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