Planning Solutions Consulting
9 Leigh Road, Havant
Hampshire PO9 2ES
Phone: 023 9248 1999
Fax: 023 9248 1888
Planning Solutions is a consultancy firm specialising in identifying, researching and creating new opportunities in the tourism, leisure and recreation sectors.
Our work is solutions orientated. The approach, based on an in-depth understanding of the market place, ensures that our work robust, strategically relevant and delivers actionable results.
We offer the following core services to our clients:
- A. Feasibility studies and business planning
We are often commissioned to assess concepts and ideas for new and existing businesses. Generally our work involves a feasibility study and options appraisal. If the outcome is positive a detailed business plan is prepared to assess the proposal in more detail, this would include a market assessment, detailed financial information, visitor modeling, implementation plan and a risk assessment. We work on a number of feasibility studies and business planning projects for visitor attractions, historic buildings, museums, visitor centres, heritage centres, country parks, camping and caravan sites, holiday lodge accommodation, cycling and mountain biking. Clients include Kent County Council, Hampshire County Council, Tourism South East, the British Council and the former Wales Tourist Board.
- B. Operational advice
With hands-on experience of directly managing visitor attractions, cafes and an extreme adventure experience and our sister company’s operational management team we are well positioned to offer operational advice to clients. Operation advice, for example, includes carrying out bench marking exercises, identifying cost saving opportunities, helping to recruit key staff members, developing training plans, volunteer plans and identifying income generating opportunities.
- C. Market research and intelligence
Research underpins our work and our market intelligence service helps to identify the needs of tourists and the wider trends which impact on projects in the present and future. This underpins the feasibility studies and business plans we prepare. We have carried out research for a range of clients including the Forestry Commission, Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Sunderland City Council.
- D. Primary research
We carry out original research which includes: stakeholder engagement, community consultation, in-depth interviews, visitor surveys, observation research and online surveys.
- E. Evaluation plans
We prepare evaluation plans for projects which set out a framework to assess and monitor the progress and achievements of the project. Evaluation plans are essential to help identify ways to improve project performance, achieve best value for money, improve the decision making process and build upon on lessons learnt. At Snibston a museum managed by Leicestershire County Council we prepared an Evaluation Plan.
- F. Activity and Audience Development Plans
Activity and Audience Development Plans help to identify current and missed audiences – that is the visitors who you are engaging with and people who you are not engaging with. Economic, cultural, social and intellectual barriers to participation are identified and a costed action plan sets out a strategy to overcome these barriers. Activity and Audience Development Plans are based upon carrying out detailed research to identify the existing and missed audiences. We have prepared audience development plans for a range of clients including the RSPB.
- G. Spatial planning, policy & guidance
We work on the tourism, recreation and leisure aspects of spatial plans. In essence spatial plans set out a framework which helps to guide future development. Understanding how to prioritise resources and maximise organisational and operational efficiency form key elements of the spatial plan process. We also offer policy advice. We have advised a range of clients on spatial planning and policy development clients include Chichester District Council and Mid Wales Tourism Partnership.
- H. Masterplanning
Often working in multi-disciplinary teams we have developed a number of masterplans particularly in relation to regeneration projects, the heritage sector, visitor attractions and tourist accommodation. For masterplanning projects we often develop a bespoke scoring matrix to help identify the preferred development scenario. We aim to ensure that development scenarios have a strong market, community and commercial focus. Working in multi-disciplinary teams we have prepared masterplans for Tourism South East, Emda and One North East.
- I. Tourism strategies and destination planning
We have worked on sustainable several tourism strategy projects with a recent focus on activity tourism and adventure tourism, a growth sector in the UK. The strategies are based upon identifying the needs of local communities and visitors and matching these against market opportunities and funding streams. When preparing a strategy it is important to set out an action plan which enables client organisations to implement the strategy. We have prepared tourism strategies and destination plans forTourism Partnership North Wales and Cumbria Tourism.
- J. Visitor flows and capacity
Understanding visitor flows and capacity is essential in help to develop new attractions but also in terms of introducing new products and services to increase dwell time, secondary spend and repeat visits. We have developed tracking studies to identify visitor flows and map the visitor journey.
- K. Marketing and branding advice
We provide a retained marketing service to four major leisure businesses – Conkers, a £16 million attraction in the National Forest, the National Brewery Centre, Supertubing (an extreme adventure experience) and a Harry Ramsden’s restaurant in Brighton. We can help to prepare a marketing strategy for visitor attraction advising on the appropriate and cost effective channels to market from traditional print media through to online initiatives. For the former Wales Tourist Board we were commissioned to examine the potential to re-brand North Wales.
- L. Interpretation planning
Interpretation planning provides the essential communication frameworks upon which engaging and meaningful visitor experiences are based, creating satisfied customers and encouraging repeat visits. It informs designers, architects and landscape planners and is an essential tool in supporting funding bids, conservation strategies, marketing plans and business plans.
- M. Funding applications
A number of our projects require some form of grant funding and our work provides important baseline information, market evidence and a robust business case which can be used for external funding purposes. Recently, one of our business plans supported an £8 million funding application for the Lancashire Wildlife Trust.
- N. Agency – site finding and acquisition
We can help to identify and assess potential sites for specific leisure and tourism uses, ranging from holiday villages through to themed restaurants. Part of our work often involves a research module to identify and recommend key selection criteria, leading to the development of a scoring model to assist with sifting site opportunities. We also advise on the initial negotiations in respect of the acquisition of the site.