The Offa’s Country Partnership is a cross border co-operation project between Welsh and English Local Action Groups, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a National Park and local authorities whose territories include the border area along the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail.
The project was approved in July 2011, to commence on September 1 2011 and complete in July 2014.
This major two-year project has identified sustainable tourism, including transport issues, as the top priority for development and it will concentrate not just on the National Trail itself but the wider Wales-England border area.
The aim of the project is to improve the economy and sustainability of the area by developing and promoting the sustainable tourism experience, based on the area’s high quality natural and cultural assets using “Irresistible Offa” as the distinctive, catchy and quirky marketing hook.
The Partnership aims to improve access for visitors, help them gain more enjoyment and understanding from their visit and also help local businesses such as accommodation providers, shops, pubs and restaurants to thrive.
The programme will:
- Support local community groups obtain Walkers are Welcome accreditation and supply funding for project work
- Develop and promote circular walks in the Wales-England border area
- Improve and promote Long Distance Paths which link to Offa’s Dyke, with infrastructure, local business development and web based information
- Implement interpretation along the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail and at key entry/information points to the area
- Provide training/familiarisation for local businesses and walk leaders, helping to achieve a sense of place, route familiarisation, and promotion of walking opportunities
- Promote local food and drink outlets and other local businesses
- Provide sustainable transport bus services and green transport options for events
- Develop the sustainable transport offer by train, with information on rail services, train travel offers, web pages and walks from stations
Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership have recently developed a series of ‘King Offa’ type caricatures, designed by local artist Alan Duncan, to help promote various aspects of the project.
The project team comprises Monmouthshire County Council, adventa (Monmouthshire’s rural development programme), Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Powys County Council, Glasu, Clwydian Range AONB, Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail, Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership, Shropshire Council, Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, the VITAL Herefordshire LEADER programme, Visit Herefordshire, Cadwyn Clwyd and Denbighshire County Council and Northern Marches as well as a number of co-opted local community groups associated with promoting walking.
For details of Irresistible Offa projects within the Brecon Beacons National Park, please use the left hand navigation menu.
For more information about this wider partner initiative, please contact Lucinda Williams.