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Dyfi Valley Biosphere Conference WHAT ROLE CAN CAT PLAY? Peter Harper Head of Research and Innovation, CAT www.cat.org.uk.

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Presentation on theme: "Dyfi Valley Biosphere Conference WHAT ROLE CAN CAT PLAY? Peter Harper Head of Research and Innovation, CAT www.cat.org.uk."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dyfi Valley Biosphere Conference WHAT ROLE CAN CAT PLAY? Peter Harper Head of Research and Innovation, CAT

2 CAT WAS A PIONEER OF THE HOLISTIC APPROACH EXPRESSED BY THE POST-SEVILLE BIOSPHERE RESERVE CONCEPT CATs original aims could also be described as A living laboratory of sustainable developmentCATs original aims could also be described as A living laboratory of sustainable development But the scale was differentBut the scale was different –That of a face-to-face community CAT has always had a national/international understanding of its role, not a local oneCAT has always had a national/international understanding of its role, not a local one –Hence the appropriateness of a separate eco-centre dedicated to the specific qualities and content of the Dyfi Valley Nevertheless it has had a catalytic effect on the Dyfi Valleys status as a source of sustainable innovationNevertheless it has had a catalytic effect on the Dyfi Valleys status as a source of sustainable innovation It remains the best-known green institution of the areaIt remains the best-known green institution of the area

3 BASIC STATISTICS Founded 1974Founded 1974 Staff ~ 120, in 20 departmentsStaff ~ 120, in 20 departments Annual turnover ~ £3.5 millionAnnual turnover ~ £3.5 million Dual legal structure, charity and plcDual legal structure, charity and plc Essentially a social enterpriseEssentially a social enterprise Owned and managed by its own staffOwned and managed by its own staff External regulation by trustees and shareholdersExternal regulation by trustees and shareholders Low wages and small differentialsLow wages and small differentials Strong links with universities, quangos, NGOsStrong links with universities, quangos, NGOs

4 Educational tourism Educational tourism Other educational programmes Other educational programmes Retailing green products Retailing green products Publications Publications Information services Information services Consultancy Consultancy Research & development Research & development Business incubation Business incubation PRINCIPAL ACTIVITIES Note that all earn income and promote the organisations goals

5 TOURISM Tourism accounts for about 40% of income (gate money ~15%)Tourism accounts for about 40% of income (gate money ~15%) But is declining in both proportional and absolute termsBut is declining in both proportional and absolute terms Peak annual visitors 95,000 in 1992Peak annual visitors 95,000 in ,000 in ,000 in 2002 Open all yearOpen all year Strong peak in July/AugustStrong peak in July/August About 25% of visitors are pilgrimsAbout 25% of visitors are pilgrims The remainder are ordinary touristsThe remainder are ordinary tourists

6 VISITOR FACILITIES Free car parkFree car park Toilets (of many kinds!)Toilets (of many kinds!) RestaurantRestaurant ShopShop Information pointsInformation points PlaygroundPlayground Funicular railway as entranceFunicular railway as entrance DisplaysDisplays EventsEvents

7 SOCIAL ENTERPRISE WITH SPIN-OUTS CAT Internal activities: Tourism Restaurant 3 Shops Education Mail order Consultancy Publications Research Direct spin-outs: A scientific instrument company A renewable-energy company Indirect spin-outs: 2 architectural practices A green education journal A wind-farm development company Inspirations: Community wind-development company Solar club County Energy Agency Business park with green buildings New regional development agency Other indirect effects, especially cultural

8 THE FUTURE? Maintained contribution to local tourism Willing collaboration with local projects Support for relocalisation initiatives Strong emphasis on tertiary education Growing international links and markets Distinctive contributions to debates on sustainable development


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