The Hinkley Tourism Action Partnership (HTAP) was set up in line with conditions in the Section 106 Agreement for Site Preparation Works granted to EDF Energy in 2012. The activities of the partnership were continued in the Development Consent Order Section 106 agreement, starting in 2016.
Both agreements set out measures and financial contributions to maximise opportunities and mitigate impacts from the development. This included housing, business support, skills and tourism.
Under the agreements the local authorities had to:
- set up and operate the Hinkley Tourism Action Partnership
- develop and deliver a tourism strategy and action plans
- set up travel plans
- carry out regular visitor surveys
- support local tourist information centres
The Partnership has been operating since 2013 and includes:
- Somerset Council
- EDF Energy
- Visit Somerset
- Visit Exmoor
- Exmoor National Park Authority
Phase 4 Hinkley Tourism Action Partnership strategic action plan
Initially a 6-year tourism strategy was developed in 2014 and refreshed in 2017. The focus was on marketing and promoting the area, supporting tourism businesses and improving the visitor experience.
The refreshed and extended Hinkley Tourism Strategy 2020 – 2023 reflects the phase 4 HTAP strategic action plan.
The partnership is currently delivering the fourth strategic action plan up to the end March 2023. All plans are signed off by Somerset Council but are developed with all partners to benefit the areas of Somerset and Exmoor.
The phase 4 plan includes the following:
- 200 additional pieces of regional and national media coverage
- 50% of visitors captured in surveys would recommend the area to others
- 110 tourism businesses supported through training and support
- £320k of match funding provided for new tourism products or services
- 10% growth of DMO performance across SLA KPIs
- 5-7 new products and/or services supported.
Also, since the pandemic a focus on supporting Covid-19 recovery with:
- A suite of digital online sector business support training webinars to run over a 12-month period
- A tourism innovation grant scheme.