We were commissioned by Warwickshire County Council to work with Council Officers, volunteers from the George Eliot Fellowship and Griff House Preservation Trust to carry out a feasibility study and prepare the supporting business case to assess the opportunity to develop a George Eliot Visitor Centre based on bringing to life the rich heritage associated within George Eliot in Warwickshire.
A clear objective of our work was to make George Eliot more accessible to current and future audiences, both the local and visitor markets. We also helped to identify wider ‘off site’ opportunities to develop the George Eliot visitor offer across the county which could be delivered as ‘quick wins’ as part of a phased approach to the project. These initiatives will also help to support the visitor economy of Nuneaton and North Warwickshire.
The project benefitted from the George Eliot bicentenary events programme during 2019 and it was recognised that this project could take advantage of a number of opportunities associated with ‘literary tourism.’
The work included:
- A review and audit of the George Eliot assets and collections held within Warwickshire
- Stakeholder consultation
- Market assessment
- Benchmarking a number of case examples of known UK literary based visitor centres and identifying key lessons applicable to the George Eliot Visitor Centre project
- Site appraisal and identifying options for the visitor centre in terms of scale and form. Evaluating the development options
- Reviewing governance options
- Carrying out a penetration rate analysis to estimate future visitor numbers
- Developing a supporting financial model to test the viability of the project
- Advising on marketing opportunities
- Carrying out a risk assessment associated with developing the visitor centre
The intention is to create a literary based attraction which has a strong fit with the sense of place with North Warwickshire (and Nuneaton specifically) and to create a facility which appeals to both specialist and general leisure audiences. Our work involved close cooperation with the County Council with regular engagement with the George Eliot Fellowship and Griff House Preservation Trust who formed part of the client group. We also liaised closely with relevant departments within Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council.
How can we help?
If you have any questions or would like to discuss our work please don’t hesitate to call Richard Linington on 023 9248 1999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org