Partnership takes flight to attract new generation of visitors to National Botanic Garden of Wales
In 2016, the National Botanic Garden of Wales started looking at ways to diversify its income and attract more visitors to the garden. When it decided to partner with a bird of prey centre to create a new aviary attraction, it called on Social Business Wales to help broker the deal.
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The National Botanic Garden of Wales is both a visitor attraction and a centre for botanical research and conservation. Based in Carmarthenshire, it is a charity which welcomes visitors throughout the year. Although it receives financial support from Welsh Government, it also generates a proportion of its income through trading activities such as ticket sales and room hire.
In 2016, the organisation developed a new income diversification strategy which included plans to increase visitor numbers. As a result, it decided to work in collaboration with the Great British Bird of Prey Centre Ltd to set up an aviary at the Garden called the British Bird of Prey Centre.
Project Manager Helen John contacted Social Business Wales for help in establishing this new partnership. In particular, she needed help to carry out a detailed financial forecasting exercise to look at the viability of this trading activity, and develop a formal collaborative partnership agreement.
SBW commissioned financial forecasting support which evidenced that this would be a viable trading activity. It also provided legal advice and support to develop a formal collaboration agreement between the National Botanic Garden of Wales and the Great British Bird of Prey Centre Ltd.
The British Bird of Prey Centre opened in summer 2018, with the aim of giving everyone the opportunity to interact with and learn about the birds of prey that can be found here in the UK and, in doing so, inspire communities to ensure their longevity.
The attraction has helped to increase the number of visitors to the Garden as well as helping to draw a younger audience who might not have been interested in visiting before the was attraction was launched.
Two full-time posts have been created as a result, with two more expected in the next year.
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