Who we are: Team Abergavenny – better together
What does this mean? It means that we want to make Abergavenny and the area around a better place, and that we know we cannot and should not do it alone. And indeed we are not alone. There are people working at town, county and national level who are also interested in this, as well as many local groups and individuals with business, social, environmental and other concerns.
While this gives us great potential, it can also lead to confusion and potential conflict as different groups seek different ends. Yet we all want a better Abergavenny, so it makes sense to work together as much as we can.
This defines the role and approach of Team Abergavenny as a coordinator, bringing people together to improve our town and area. And it is why one of our first actions is to reach out to existing groups, to understand them and to seek common ground in working together.
Current mission: Prosperity through tourism (with a food focus)
In seeking a focus for our work, the
principle of bringing more visitors to the area makes abundant sense. We have
wonderful attractions in and around the town, including the natural
environment, historical attractions and a range of annual events. In particular
Monmouthshire in general and Abergavenny in particular have an excellent
reputation for food and drink.
A solid measure of tourism is the prosperity it brings to the area. This includes more employment, new businesses and an increase in the well-being of local people. It is no coincidence that great places to visit are also great places to live, so as we work on tourism we also benefit local people.
What do tourists want? They like clean, safe and attractive places, with decent accommodation and interesting, enjoyable things to do. We already have much of this. We also have much to do.
The sort of things that need doing include:
· Promoting the town and area so people want to visit and stay here
· Make it easier to know about, find and park near attractions
· Making the town centre more attractive as a place to shop, eat and explore
· Encouraging businesses that serve tourists, such as restaurants, B&Bs and tour guides
In this, we aim to put particular, but not exclusive, focus on the strong opportunity of food and drink. Of course the food festival and the fine restaurants in the area are already strong attractions, yet there is more we can do to help every visitor have a great food experience.
Abergavenny is set in a beautiful area with spectacular scenery that includes mountains, rivers, the canal, castles and other historical locations. People come here to walk, cycle, run, hike and enjoy the really great outdoors. There is much here we can do to both open and preserve our heritage.
There are also less obvious opportunities we may explore. For example with all the festivals and events that are run, from the cycling festival to the steam rally, we may be able to leverage this local competence in running events to become a centre for other festivities.
And throughout all this work, we will always be asking the practical and important question:
‘How can we create prosperity for a better Abergavenny?’