UNIVERSITY OF ULSTER DONEGAL MARINE & WATER LEISURE PROGRAMME

MARINE DISCOVERY CENTRE LOUGH SWILLY
A Centre of Excellence in Marine Spatial Planning and Visitor Education

Implementation Proposal
Report prepared by above named for: Donegal County Council and Buncrana Town Council May 2009 REPORT NO. 2 OF 2 Ref. 9R3417.AO

Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

SUMMARY Donegal County Council and Buncrana Town Council wish to investigate the feasibility of establishing a Coastal Research & Education Centre at Lough Swilly in Co. Donegal which is to have combined functions in tourism, public education and marine research. As such the centre is to be a catalyst for marine spatial planning (MSP) in the future. Royal Haskoning and University of Ulster have been appointed as consultants by Donegal County Council to work with its Marine Leisure Programme to assess the feasibility of the proposal and to provide an implementation plan if viable. We have completed this brief in two stages: firstly through completion of an initial feasibility report in June 2006 showing the centre to be viable; secondly through completion of the current report by University of Ulster and the Donegal Marine Leisure Programme which updates the 2006 report to take account of emerging EU Maritime Policy and sets out a proposal for development and management of the Centre.

Document title

MARINE DISCOVERY CENTRE LOUGH SWILLY
A Centre of Excellence in Marine Spatial Planning and Visitor Education Implementation Proposal

Document short title Status Date Project name

Report (No. 2 of 2) May 2009 Coastal Research & Education Centre at Lough Swilly 9R3417.A0 Andrew Cooper, Kevin O’Connor, Jessica Hodgson. Donegal County Council 9R3417.A0/R004/EJH/Irel2

Project number Author(s)

Client Reference

The report that lies before you is the second of our two reports. It is presented in six sections with two appendices setting out our proposals for the establishment of the “Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly”. We consider that the centre can facilitate research on MSP leading to the establishment of a pilot model for local authority / research agency / coastal stakeholder partnership on marine spatial planning. This MSP process can, in our opinion, be fast-tracked by a public education programme aimed both at school children and visitors to the centre. We have set out proposals in the report to achieve this. In order to facilitate the development of the centre, we have been working with Donegal County Council to secure funding for an MSP project officer. This effort has met with success and the Council is now working on a three-year pilot project in Lough Swilly with the University of Ulster and University College Cork as part of the Interreg funded IMCORE project on climate change and marine spatial planning. This presents an excellent platform for the establishment of the proposed Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly as an education and research tool. We strongly recommend that this research link be extended to include the key marine research agencies on both sides of the Irish border. We consider the project to be financially viable subject to grant aid for capital build.
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Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

CONTENTS
1.1. 1.2. 1.3. Recommendation on Project Implementation Recommendation on Marine Research (ICZM and Marine Spatial Planning) Recommendation on Marine Education and Tourism on Lough Swilly 3 3 3

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1. BACKGROUND: FINDINGS OF 2006 FEASIBILITY STUDY ............................................................................................................................................ 3

2. PROJECT PROPOSED: MARINE DISCOVERY CENTRE AT BUNCRANA................................................................................................................... 4 3. FIT WITH EU MARITIME POLICY ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 6
3.1. 3.2. Review of Policy Development 1992 to 2009 Policy Relevance: to Ireland, Donegal and Lough Swilly Marine Centre 6 9

4. DEVELOPMENT OF MARINE SPATIAL PLANNING RESEARCH ............................................................................................................................... 11
4.1. 4.2. 4.3. 4.4. 4.5. Description of Marine Spatial Planning Concept Appointment and Funding of a Project Manager Role of the Project Manager Linkages with Research Bodies MSP Fit with Swilly Centre 11 12 12 13 13

5. DEVELOPMENT OF A MARINE EDUCATION AND TOURISM FOCUS ..................................................................................................................... 14
5.1. 5.2. 5.3. 5.4. 5.5. Description of Education Function Links to Education Curricula Market for Education Description of Tourism Function Market for Tourism 14 15 20 20 26

6. BUSINESS PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION............................................................................................................................................................ 28
6.1. 6.2. 6.3. 6.4. 6.5. Cost Projections and Assumptions: Facilities, Building & Staffing Income Projections and Assumptions: Education and Tourism Marketing Plan Ownership, Grant Aid and Matching Funds Key Decisions and Actions to Develop Swilly Centre 28 29 29 29 30

APPENDIX 1 (Financial projections for 5 years) APPENDIX 2 (Annual marketing plan)
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1. BACKGROUND: Findings of 2006 Feasibility Study The 2006 Feasibility Report for the proposed centre concluded that Buncrana is the most suitable location for the marine / coastal Centre. The following three recommendations were made in the feasibility report in relation to developing and implementing a workable concept:
1.1. Recommendation on Project Implementation

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Await the publication of the EU Maritime Policy before deciding on the final form of the Swilly proposal. The Centre should concentrate on education and tourism. There is insufficient scope for a research function at this stage (see conclusions 1.2 and 1.3 below for further detail on this). Donegal County Council should work with the University of Ulster and other interested parties to develop a Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) framework for Lough Swilly, including the appointment of a project officer to work with local stakeholders (to develop the Council’s planning function in the coastal environment) and to drive the development of the Swilly Centre as a maritime education and tourism facility.
1.2. Recommendation on Marine Research (ICZM and Marine Spatial Planning)

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Lough Swilly does not currently have a basis for an Integrated Coastal Zone Management strategy as few of the key areas of best-practice outlined in the feasibility study are currently in place. The Swilly Centre is unlikely to attract tenants to use research facilities as good labs already exist in Letterkenny, Derry, Coleraine, Galway, Dublin etc. Therefore, in our opinion, the building should not include expensive laboratory or research facilities. Marine Spatial Planning is the primary starting point in the development of ICZM. Hence, we recommend the appointment of a Project Officer to work with Donegal County Council, Buncrana Town Council and Local Stakeholders to develop a marine spatial plan for Lough Swilly. Subsequently, this can be merged with terrestrial land-based planning to develop an integrated plan for the coastal area around Lough Swilly and beyond, i.e. an ICZM plan; Linkages should be developed with marine research bodies (e.g. Marine Institute, University Ulster, BIM, Letterkenny IT, EPA, etc) to develop the concept of ICZM on Lough Swilly. An effort should be made to link with the Northern Ireland ICZM process; Opportunities for international, interregional and national funding to assist in implementing these recommendations should be pursued with suitable partners.
1.3. Recommendation on Marine Education and Tourism on Lough Swilly

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The visitor focus of the Centre should be to showcase information on the Swilly Marine & Coastal Environment. This could include exhibitions of equipment used in local fishing and aquaculture including traditional techniques and boats, information and exhibits relating to marine archaeology and history, maps and photographs of the Lough showing key features above and below the water line, information on the state of local fish stocks including salmon and shellfish, and the latest sea bed mapping information from research agencies such as the Marine Institute. Chapter 3 of the feasibility study presented opportunity maps as examples of available data. The educational focus of the Centre (for visitors and students) should be to inform people about the interaction of humans with the marine environment. This should embrace everything from local fish species to mammals to water quality to seabed mapping to coastal erosion to climate change to marine spatial planning to integrated coastal zone management. The education programme should be as interactive as possible, using latest visual technology such as that found at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. There is scope to work with the Marine Institute, BIM, National Parks & Wildlife Service, Regional Fisheries Board, local third level colleges and key agencies on both sides of the border to exhibit the information they possess about marine & coastal processes.
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Set an annual visitor target of c.60,000 in the medium term using a relatively small building similar in size to the centre at Portrush (with room to expand at a later date). Using savings on building scale, invest in a substantial tour vessel to carry about 50 passengers (with itineraries linked to the Centre’s education and interpretative programmes).

2. PROJECT PROPOSED: Marine Discovery Centre at Buncrana Arising from our feasibility study (2006) and based on our analysis of similar centres elsewhere, we now propose the provision of a 350 sq.m. visitor centre with information displays both physical and computer-based, working in tandem with a tour vessel. Relative to the performance of similar centres we have examined, it is anticipated that the facility can attract approximately 35,000 visitors in year 1, building gradually to about 60,000 p.a. within 5 years. The centre will employ 5 full-time and 3 part-time staff. Full financial tables for 5 years are appended which project that the facility including vessel will cost about €3.85million to provide and can be profitable by year 3. Sections 3, 4 and 5 of this report set out the key underpinnings and basis for the proposal: i.e. (s.3) how the proposal fits with the emerging EU and International policy debate about climate change and global warming thereby making the project innovative, topical and timely; (s.4) how the centre can help to drive local debate on climate change and its likely effects on local coastal and maritime areas; (s.5) how the project can influence the way people think about exploitation and conservation of coastal and marine resources. Section 6 deals with the business end of the proposal. While we feel that the marine education and conservation themes of the centre will be in demand and will make it stand out from most other marine-themed centres in Ireland, it is clear from our financial assessment (see appendix 1) that the project will require considerable grant aid and seed funding to make it happen. While it may be possible to attract an experienced operator to run the facility, it is probably unfeasible to expect the private sector to finance the building. Therefore, it will only become a reality if driven by Buncrana Town Council and Donegal County Council through provision of a site and a contribution to running costs. However, given current global concern about environmental management combined with the unique tourism / educational focus of the proposed centre, it should stand a good chance of attracting grant support. These chances will be enhanced if the centre is involved in collaborative marine spatial planning and coastal management initiatives with key research agencies and local authority partners on both sides of the border. As outlined in our 2006 feasibility study, there are also a number of international organisations that would be willing to work with the centre on MSP and ICZM projects once it is up and running. The key to delivering the proposal is the engagement of an experienced project manager to drive the establishment of the centre in tandem with the MSP process. The project proposal is based directly on the three key recommendations made in the 2006 report (summarised in section 1 above). Important changes have occurred in the period since the feasibility report was concluded, particularly in relation to the adoption of a more strategic approach to maritime policy by the European Commission: this new policy lends much greater credibility to the Buncrana proposal than could have been argued in 2006. Section 3 below describes this change in detail: effectively the EU has greatly increased the pressure on member states to address the issues of climate change, coastal erosion, and

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exploitation of maritime resources for commercial, leisure and tourism purposes and has called for the development of national and regional marine spatial planning. This has been formally adopted as the EU Integrated Maritime Policy1 and the Maritime Strategy Framework Directive2. In addition, as recommended in our 2006 feasibility report (see section 1.1 above), Donegal County Council and the University of Ulster have continued to work together on methodologies to address the need for Integrated Coastal Zone Management. This effort has contributed to the formation of a pan-European coastal research alliance among 17 groups in Ireland, UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands (named ‘IMCORE’, an acronym for Innovative Management of Europe’s Changing Coastal Resource). The IMCORE partnership has been awarded Interreg funding to carry out local research in coastal areas during 20082011 with a view to developing local marine spatial plans for ultimate assessment as part of a wider integrated coastal zone management strategy. As a partner, Donegal County Council has been awarded funding to appoint a project officer to develop a marine spatial plan for Lough Swilly (MSP). As part of this the establishment of a Marine Education Centre was agreed as a key instrument in developing this MSP process: through development of public education programmes and by acting as a focal point for all stakeholders in Lough Swilly. Sections 2 to 4 of our 2006 report covering Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Opportunity Mapping and Concept Development, set out a vision for how the Swilly Centre might function and develop. Pulling all of the above strands together (EU Policy, IMCORE Project, Vision for Centre) and linking with the three key recommendations outlined in section 1 above, we now propose that Donegal County Council should work with Buncrana Town Council and all relevant Marine Stakeholders in both the public and private sectors to do the following: • • • • • • • • Appoint a Project Manager to steer the IMCORE project and to drive the establishment of a Marine Education / Visitor Centre on Lough Swilly; Establish a Coastal Forum among interested stakeholders in Lough Swilly; Establish links between this Forum and the Northern Ireland Coastal Marine Forum, initially via the University of Ulster; Develop a Marine Spatial Plan (MSP) for Lough Swilly; Build the proposed Marine Education / Visitor Centre at Buncrana; Develop and market a schools’ education programme at the Centre; Develop and market an interpretative programme for visitors at the Centre; Oversee the procurement of a suitable tour vessel to be based at the Centre, capable of safely navigating the Lough and the Coastline out to Malin Head and Fanad Head.

The working title “Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly” is suggested for use in the implementation plan in order to appeal to research bodies, schools, tourists and prospective investors. It will be a matter for Buncrana Town Council and the local community to decide on a final title.

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COM (2007) 575. Commission of the European Communities. Brussels, 10 October 2007. Directive 2008 / 56 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council. 17 June 2008.

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3. FIT WITH EU MARITIME POLICY
3.1. Review of Policy Development 1992 to 2009

Introduction: “Just think for a moment of how much an integrated approach can boost the prosperity of coastal regions, while assuring environmental protection of the seas and thus allowing for the continued development of tourism. Just think how an integrated approach could help ease the consequences of climate change, like rising sea levels and increased virulence and frequency of storms, by supporting continued investment in economic activity in coastal regions. A coordinated approach, including increased use of structural funds, will have to ensure that global warming does not become an impediment to growth and job creation in coastal regions” (José Manuel Barossa, President of the European Commission)3. History of Maritime Policy: There is a long history of EU maritime policy which until recently has been developed with a sectoral focus e.g. the Common Fisheries Policy and the Maritime Transport Policy. This section provides a summary of key marine-related policies and agreements signed up to by the Irish government (broadly in chronological order, though in reality often overlapping). • 1992 OSPAR Convention: Adopts the ecosystem approach to managing the marine ecosystems at a local level. The principle behind this agreement includes the use of indigenous and local knowledge, innovations and practices being inclusive of all relevant sectors of society. 1992 Agenda 21: Commits to the integrated management and sustainable development of the coastal zone including exclusive economic zones. It is recognised in Agenda 21 that many of the solutions to problems can be found at a local level and that the participation and involvement of Local Authorities is important to ensure information from all stakeholders is gathered through consultation processes in order to develop best-fit strategies4. Natura 2000 - Network of protected areas: The EC Birds Directive establishes a framework for Special Protection Areas (SPA) and the Habitats Directive enables the allocation of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). 2000 - Water Framework Directive: Member States have to deliver a statutory framework to achieve good ecological status in transitional estuarine and coastal waters and internal river basins.

Extract from: Bounding Europe, Binding Europeans: a maritime policy for our oceans and seas. From a speech by José Manuel Barossa, President of the European Commission, at the Maritime Policy Conference Bremen, 2 May 2007. 4 Flannery W. and M. Ó Cinnéide. 2008. Marine spatial planning from the perspective of a small seaside community in Ireland. NUI Galway.

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2002 - European Parliament and Council Recommendation for ICZM: All member states to conduct a national stocktake to determine which actors, laws and institutions influence the planning and management of coastal zones. Based on this stock-take Member States were invited to develop a national strategy to implement ICZM by March 2006. 2001/2005 - Lisbon Agenda: Aims to make Europe the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion, and respect for the environment by 2010. The Gothenburg Agenda for sustainability is intrinsically linked to the Lisbon Agenda and specifically highlights issues related to climate change and resource management. June 2007 - European Commission Green Paper Towards a Future Maritime Policy for the Union: A European vision for the oceans and seas. The Maritime Green Paper was designed to stimulate debate amongst all maritime stakeholders and at all levels of governance. The paper argues that European policies on the many facets of the maritime environment (namely; maritime transport, industry, coastal regions, offshore energy, fisheries and aquaculture, marine environment, socioeconomic cohesion and other sectors) had developed separately and that no attempt had been made to take a holistic approach to improve these policy areas or to examine in a systematic manner how these policies could be combined to reinforce one another. The Green Paper proposed development of an allembracing maritime policy aimed at building a dynamic maritime economy in harmony with the environment, supported by sound scientific research and technology. October 2007 - Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union (Commission “Blue Book”) “An Integrated Maritime Policy will enhance Europe’s capacity to face the challenges of globalisation and competitiveness, climate change, degradation of the marine environment, maritime safety and security, and energy security and sustainability. It must be based on excellence in marine research, technology and innovation and will be anchored in the Lisbon agenda for jobs and growth, and the Gothenburg agenda for sustainability.”

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The Integrated Maritime Policy aims to take simultaneous account of the huge variety of interests in the maritime dimension. The many complementary and interrelated Directives, agreements and management tools discussed above will assist the implementation of this new policy. The EU Integrated Maritime Policy will change the way policy is made and decisions are taken, and will develop and deliver a programme of work. Member states are instructed to take further steps to embrace a more integrated governance approach and to draw up their own integrated national maritime policies working with stakeholders in coastal regions using three tools: o Maritime surveillance; o Maritime Spatial Planning & Integrated Coastal Zone Management (MSP/ ICZM); o Collection and use of comprehensive data. The European Commission stresses the economic and social importance of the EU coastal zone including tourism, fisheries, aquaculture, commercial usage and environmental conservation. Member states are asked to use compatible and comparable systems and to learn from each other. • 2007 - The Agenda for a Sustainable European Tourism: recognises the crucial role that tourism plays in the EU economy following on from a Tourism Policy paper published in March 2006: COM (2006) 134. The agenda also recognises that the development of tourist destinations is closely linked to their natural environment, cultural distinctiveness, social interaction, security and well-being of local populations. With reference to EU maritime policy, the agenda stated “As a first step, the Commission will focus its attention on the coastal tourism sector by assessing the effects of fast growing segments …………, and of issues concerning competition between land and maritime uses in [the] coastal environment”5. March 2008 - EU Commission restructured its fisheries and maritime affairs department as ‘DG MARE’ (formerly ‘DG FISH’). June 2008 - EU Commission published its Marine Strategy Framework Directive, requiring member states to achieve good environmental status by 2020 through the following actions: o Addressing all activity impacting on the marine environment; o Taking an “Eco-system” approach to administration and management; o Developing a strategy for marine waters by 2019; o Establishing marine protected areas; o Emphasising trans-boundary cooperation; o Designating maritime regions (coordination of strategies); o Developing national research frameworks to inform policy making.

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COM (2007) 621. Commission of the European Communities. Brussels, 19 October 2007. P. 10.

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3.2. Policy Relevance: to Ireland, Donegal and Lough Swilly Marine Centre

Relevance of EU Maritime Policy to Ireland: The Irish Government has already committed to the directives and policies outlined above and to developing the tools required to implement them. • • • • Ireland signed up to the OSPAR convention and Agenda 21 which can be seen as drivers of MSP making the case for local stakeholder involvement throughout the process. Natura 2000: The Irish Government has been slow to allocate designations and has been charged in the European Court of Justice for inaction. MSP can be used in future as a tool to coordinate, plan and implement the Natura 2000 network (Flannery & Ó’Cinnéide 2008). EC Water Framework Directive: This will include establishing a register of protected areas and developing a management plan which will involve spatial planning for each river basin (Flannery & Ó’Cinnéide 2008). ICZM Recommendation 2002: A National ICZM strategy has not been developed in Ireland to date, however, considerable research in this and related fields has been undertaken by the Marine Institute, the Coastal Marine Research Centre at University College Cork and other institutions around the country. The Integrated Coastal Zone Management Strategy for Northern Ireland 2006–2026 was launched in June 2006 in response to this recommendation. European Commission Green Paper: The Irish government broadly welcomed the green paper and strongly supported the view that an integrated maritime policy was necessary. The government noted that the Maritime Green Paper was consistent with the Irish policy and strategy on tourism. The Irish government recommended that the new maritime policy for the EU should have seven elements at its core: o Innovation; o An effective regulatory framework; o Protection of the Marine environment Ireland advocated that protection of the marine environment should form the cornerstone of an integrated maritime policy. “The sustainable use of marine resources and sustainable development of marine-based activities (e.g. marine leisure and tourism) are wholly dependent on the quality of the marine environment.” The Irish response adds “An integrated maritime policy must include such policies and instruments as Marine Spatial Planning (incorporating Integrated Coastal Zone Management).”; o Subsidiarity, i.e. “delivering power to the level most able to deliver”; o Fisheries and Aquaculture; o Research and Development “Ireland is committed to the continued exploration and mapping of our sea area”. In relation to climate change the Irish response states: “Marine related research can answer vital questions related to climate change.”; o Supporting skills and infrastructure improvements.

In an Irish context the Commission has identified the most significant maritime activities (number of jobs) as follows: fisheries (10,584), coastal tourism (3,836), short sea shipping (2,800), ports and harbours (2,552), sea ports (1,958) and recreational boating (800). The value of the marine food, leisure and technology sectors is estimated to contribute to over € 1.2 billion per year and support over 32,000 jobs. The Commission has specifically identified Ireland’s potential to

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develop in the following fields: Ocean energy technology, marine biological resources (foods, health products), recreational boating and education in the maritime sector6. Relevance of EU Maritime Policy to Donegal: Of the actions outlined in the communication from the Commission on a Maritime Policy the following are of particular relevance to the county: • supporting the formation of maritime clusters and regional centres of maritime excellence and encouraging cooperation between research and industry; • supporting sustainable development of coastal and marine tourism (citing specifically investigation of ways to reconcile the needs of the tourism industry with the demands of other maritime activities); • addressing the problem of limited maritime space and conflicts between different sea related activities using systems of Marine Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Zone Management; • facilitating and optimising the support for maritime regions and the reduction of the impact of climate change including extreme weather events in coastal areas and risks such as coastal erosion. Regarding reduction of the impact of climate change, the Commission is proposing to develop a strategy for disaster prevention and a strategy for adaptation to climate change with a focus on coastal regions: these are to be developed in the context of climate change adaptation policies, risk reduction strategies and EU crisis management policies linking with Regional Policy Initiatives and/or projects via the Commission networks. In relation to sustainable marine and coastal tourism, Commission action links environment, transport, employment and research together. It is acknowledged that more positive links are needed between the tourist economy, other economic sectors and the environment so that potential conflicts become practical benefits. The Commission has identified tourism policy, marine research, MSP, maritime identity & heritage as the basis to promote sustainability and competitiveness in the maritime/coastal tourism sector. Use of best practice, integrated and highquality management along with diversification will lead to an increase in competitiveness and an extended tourism season. The Commission concludes that sustainable development of this nature will be determined by national and local policy decisions.

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(http://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs)

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Relevance of EU Maritime Policy to Lough Swilly: The EU policy and legislation described above provides an ideal platform and mandate for Donegal’s local authorities to develop Marine Spatial Planning, Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Coastal Tourism / Education as a linked entity. Donegal County Council has been awarded INTERREG funding to do this in partnership with other regions in Ireland and Europe (see figure with map above). The objective of this partnership, known as the IMCORE project (Innovative Management of Europe’s Changing Coastal Resource), is to develop methods and strategies that will enable coastal areas to adapt to the impacts of climate change. This will be done by exploring and developing skills in Marine Spatial Planning, Integrated Coastal Zone Management, future scenario visualisation and adaptive management strategies and will therefore address many of the requirements of recent legislation. The information gathered will be developed into tools that can be used by coastal managers and will inform decision makers at local, national and European level. The project will use an “expert couplet” approach to research problems and issues, bringing academic institutions and coastal managers together to bridge the gap between research and practice. Lough Swilly is an ideal case study area: it is used by a wide range of stakeholders, is environmentally sensitive having several designations (NHA, SAC & SPA), has coastal erosion and accretion issues, has a rich marine heritage and is a spectacular setting with high tourism potential. The proposed Marine Discovery Centre would not only provide a sensitive and sustainable tourism attraction for the Buncrana area but would be a facility that could educate current and future generations in sustainable integrated coastal management techniques; emphasise the socio-economic importance of the marine environment; facilitate a Lough Swilly Marine/Coastal Forum and increase awareness of wider global issues like climate change. The operation of the facility in relation to the above concepts is discussed further in section 4 below.

4. DEVELOPMENT OF MARINE SPATIAL PLANNING RESEARCH
4.1. Description of Marine Spatial Planning Concept

Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) can be defined as “the process of analysing and allocating parts of the three dimensional marine spaces (ecosystems) to specific uses to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives that are usually specified through a political process” (By IOC, UNESCO). Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) can be defined as: “the multi disciplinary process that brings all those involved in the development, management and use of the coast within the framework which facilitates the integration of interests and responsibilities. The aim is to achieve common objectives and to provide programmes for the protection and sustainable management of coastal resources and environments” (Cordah, 2001). MSP and ICZM are therefore intrinsically linked complementary tools for planning and management in the coastal and marine environment. In line with EU Maritime policy, we recommend that Donegal County Council uses data and information gathered by it and other organisations, academic institutions and government departments to promote debate with local communities, stakeholders and the wider public leading to agreement of a marine spatial plan for Lough Swilly. The information gathered should be displayed and interpreted for the benefit of local stakeholders and visitors: the Marine Discovery Centre is an ideal medium through which to do this. In this way, the centre can become a conduit for debate, education and agreement on the threats facing the Donegal coastline and the actions needed to stem these threats. In short, we consider that the MSP and Tourism Policy initiatives now being promoted by the European Commission can be driven jointly under one roof in Buncrana. The Marine Discovery Centre should also link with the emerging national ICZM policy within the Republic of Ireland (e.g. coastal stock-taking) and
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with the existing Northern Ireland ICZM strategy. The latter, in particular, presents major opportunities for the Swilly Centre to become involved in cross-border Ulster Coastline projects in MSP, ICZM and Marine Leisure.
4.2. Appointment and Funding of a Project Manager

Both the MSP process and the development of the centre itself need to be led by a Project Manager appointed by Donegal County Council, working full-time over a two to three year period. The Council has been successful in sourcing funding for this via the Interreg IVB project IMCORE (described above). Funding at 50% over a 3-year period has been secured to employ a Project Manager who will work on the IMCORE project in partnership with the University of Ulster. It has been agreed with the Interreg partners that IMCORE will pursue the development of the Marine Discovery Centre and facilitation of the Marine Spatial Planning process in Lough Swilly. The rationale for this is to develop a more strategic approach to management of the coastal zone and the marine environment in the county particularly in relation to adapting to climate change, sustainable management and development of marine tourism in line with the new EU policies and directives described. IMCORE will provide access to the latest research and technological advances in climate change, ICZM and MSP, which are not only topical and of interest to the wider general public but paramount in future management of the Donegal coastline. We recommend that Buncrana Town Council should contribute to the cost of the Project Manager as it stands to become a major beneficiary if the Marine Discovery Centre is located in the town. The centre is unlikely to be developed in the absence of a Project Manager driving the process and sourcing development grants. Buncrana Town Council will also need to fund the cost of planning the centre, e.g. site, design, statutory permissions (see section 6.5).
4.3. Role of the Project Manager

S/he should lead the management, implementation, organisation and planning of the project. S/he should specifically lead the development of the proposed Marine Discovery Centre at Lough Swilly which should embrace leisure, tourism, education and marine spatial planning. Using the findings of IMCORE and other research, s/he should also link with the forward planning and development of other projects underway in Donegal County Council’s Marine & Water Leisure Programme, e.g. SAIL WEST, Beach Management, Sea Angling. The project manager role should include the following primary responsibilities: • IMCORE project implementation and administration, including timely and proper administration of all project finance and grant claims; • Development of a pilot study for Marine Spatial Planning in Lough Swilly; • Project managing the development of the proposed Marine Discovery Centre in Buncrana, including applications for funding; • Positioning the Centre as a key driver of marine / coastal research, education and management in the Northwest.

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4.4. Linkages with Research Bodies

There are 17 partners participating in the IMCORE project: this connection provides a pool of expertise and knowledge from which Donegal County Council can benefit. An “expert couplet” approach is being used whereby local partnerships comprising coastal managers (typically Local Authorities) and Academic Institutions work together to build valuable research linkages. Donegal County Council is working locally with the University of Ulster’s Centre for Coastal & Marine Research. The IMCORE work programme is based on the recognised need to adapt to the impacts of climate change while developing skills such as ICZM and MSP at local, regional and EU level. We recommend that Donegal County Council should strengthen existing relationships with the Marine Institute, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the Northern Irish Marine & Coastal Forum among others to develop integrated coastal management skills and marine spatial planning.
4.5. MSP Fit with Swilly Centre

The centre can provide a focal point for tourism, education and conservation under one roof. Lough Swilly is a living entity with environmental, biological, economic, social and cultural characteristics and these should all be considered while undertaking the actions prescribed in the European Commission “Blue Book”. Buncrana is our recommended location for the Marine Discovery Centre and is ideally located between two important Sea Loughs on the North Ulster Coast, i.e. Lough Swilly and Lough Foyle. There is therefore great potential to share information and expertise on a cross border basis when developing tourism initiatives, management strategies and planning techniques. We think the centre can also become a conduit for the establishment of a ‘Swilly Marine Forum’, involving all stakeholders in the development of a marine spatial plan for the Lough. There may be potential to extend the existing NI Coastal Marine Forum to Donegal in a pilot interregional scientific trial. Research from IMCORE, academic institutions and research agencies can be demonstrated in the centre, providing a platform for discussion among stakeholders and planners. The centre can also play a critical and practical role in facilitating the actions and policies now being advocated by the European Commission, both in relation to marine spatial planning and tourism development.

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5. DEVELOPMENT OF A MARINE EDUCATION AND TOURISM FOCUS In preparing the implementation plan, we visited a range of existing centres that offer marine-related educational experiences. Their approaches to education and tourism in the coastal/marine environment vary but all have met with success in their own right, e.g. the Gulf of Maine Institute, U.S.; Mara Beo Dingle Aquarium, Co. Kerry; St Andrews Biological Station, Canada; the National Sea Life Centre, Bray, Co. Wicklow and the Coastal Zone Centre, Portrush, Co. Antrim. The lessons emerging are: (a) there are adequate avenues of education and tourism that can be pursued in the Swilly Centre aimed at different target audiences such as schools, community, stakeholders and the wider general public; (b) while it is important to be imaginative in attracting visitors, it is also necessary to align closely with education curricula if the school’s market is to be seriously tackled; (c) professional management and marketing is essential.
5.1. Description of Education Function

We propose that the centre should be an education venue for primary and secondary schools on both sides of the border providing field trips, hands-on experimentation and exploration of the marine environment, habitats and species. There are a large number of schools and third level colleges in the Swilly and Foyle water catchments as well as a general population of 328,564 i.e. Donegal + Derry + Limavady + Strabane. Exhibitions, demonstrations and practicals should be kept fresh, up to date and in line with the curricula for primary and secondary schools. Basic scientific experiments could be facilitated for school children on fish species (identification and dissection) with ongoing classroom links via the internet similar to a model developed at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in the USA7. To secure numbers on a regular basis the Swilly Marine Discovery Centre should be established as a ‘Discover Science Centre’ linked to the Discover Science and Engineering Programme run by Forfás on behalf of the Office of Science & Technology at the Department of Enterprise Trade & Employment, which encourages schools to become involved in the Discover Primary Science award scheme.

Interactive Centre at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Maine, USA.

7

See www.gmri.org

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Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

5.2. Links to Education Curricula

This section outlines how the activities and programmes proposed for the Swilly Centre can contribute to the current education syllabus. It is anticipated that primary school students from 3rd and 6th class and secondary school students from 3rd year and final year will be specifically targeted. However, exhibitions in the centre should be applicable and of benefit to all age groups. It is recommended that the exhibitions and information provided in the centre are developed in consultation with the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and the Department of Education and Science. Primary Schools: Social, Environmental and Scientific Education (SESE) is a subject on the primary school curriculum in the Republic of Ireland that provides opportunities for children to explore, investigate and develop an understanding of the natural, human, social and cultural dimensions of local and wider environments. These opportunities are delivered through the teaching of History, Geography and Science subjects. SESE is also concerned with the cultivation of important values and attitudes encouraging children to appreciate the inter-relationships of all living things and their environments and to actively conserve these environments. Primary curricula are divided into different strands and strand units, the units are similar for each year but are taught at a different level depending on the age group. Secondary Schools: Secondary school education is divided into 5 or 6 years. Years 1-3 prepares students for the Junior Certificate examination and students are taught the Leaving Certificate curriculum in years 4-5 (there is an option at some schools to take a transition year course before beginning the leaving certificate course). A similar education cycle is in place in Northern Ireland. Subjects are wide ranging and include: Science, Applied Science, Geography, History, Social Studies, Business Studies, Languages, etc. The Swilly Marine Discovery Centre can embrace all or most of these subjects, highlighting their interrelationships and relevance to the marine environment. A tour of the centre should ideally start from the beginning of time and chronologically move through geological and human history to modern times incorporating new scientific research and development along the way. The following table outlines how information displays and guided tours in
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Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

the Swilly Centre would link to and reinforce the education curricula. Displays should be kept fresh and should be changed regularly. Tours may be guided but guides should be familiar with the curriculum and should ascertain from teachers whether there are any particular areas of interest within the tour that require specific attention or detail. Coastal Education Centre Suggested Display/Activity BIG BANG theory. Geological evolution and natural processes that have formed the Swilly. Mountains rivers and lakes in the area. Biochemical cycles - carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen and their interdependency on each other. Types of soil and rock formations found in the Swilly area and the effect they have on: fertility of the land, crops grown, livestock chosen by farmers, acidity of freshwater courses. Touch and feel displays of the different sands, gravels, stones and rock types that can be found in the Swilly explaining how they are made and what they can be used for e.g. sand and gravel in the construction industry. Displays of fossils, different rock types and a geological cross section of the area. Relevance to Primary Syllabus Strand & Strand Unit Natural Environments: The local natural environment. Land, rivers and seas of the Irish north coast. Rocks and soils. Weather, Climate and atmosphere. Planet Earth in Space. Materials: Properties and characteristics of materials. Materials and change. Relevance to Secondary Syllabus Junior Cert Geography The human habitat: Processes and change. Population , settlement patterns and urbanisation. Patterns in economic activity. Science: Chemistry e.g. Air, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water. Physics e.g. force, light and sound. Soils. Geography: Patterns and Processes. Regional Geography. Geographical investigation and skills. Patterns and Processes in economic activity. Patterns and processes in the human environment. Geo-ecology. Culture and identity. Science: Organic & Environmental Chemistry. Leaving Cert Agricultural Science:

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Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

Coastal Education Centre Suggested Display/Activity Provide 3D virtual tours and a fly-over topographical map of the area using information from different institutional and academic sources e.g. data generated from seabed and other mapping of the area. Topics could include marine archaeology, geology, shipwrecks, hydro-geomorphologic processes and the hydrodynamics of Lough Swilly. Display EPA and Ordnance Survey Ireland SMARTMAP technology which shows information on local water quality, water history and land use around the Lough. What is a resource? Human exploitation of resources in Lough Swilly and sustainable management of resources. Information on current economic activities carried out in / on the Swilly e.g. aquaculture, marine tourism, transport, painting/photography. Practical demonstrations or interpretations of activities e.g. local fishing techniques and skills, fish farming and wild shellfish harvesting, net making, and basic boat design for traditional and modern boats. Detail on the different types of communities in Lough Swilly area, the different stakeholders in the area, how this affects Lough Swilly. E.g. conflict resolution between conservation and commercial activity. The bigger picture – how activities in Lough Swilly impact on the Ulster Coast and how global issues affect the Swilly: Discuss climate change, global warming, coastal erosion, water catchment management, EU Marine/Water/Habitat Directives, ICZM and MSP on the Ulster Coastline.

Relevance to Primary Syllabus Strand & Strand Unit Skills and concept development: A sense of place and space. Maps, globes and graphical skills. Geographical investigation skills.

Relevance to Secondary Syllabus Junior Cert Technical graphics: Communication Graphics. Geography The human habitat: Processes and change. Leaving Cert Physics: Waves. Geography: Geographical investigation and skills.

Human Environment: People living and working in the local area. Trade and Development issues. Environmental awareness and care: Environmental awareness and caring for the environment. Skills Development: Working Scientifically. Designing and making.

Civic, Social and Political Education: The Individual and Citizenship. The Community. The State – Ireland. Ireland and the world. Environmental & Social Studies: Settlement/Resources People in their environment. The modern world.

Geography: Patterns and processes in economic activity. Global interdependence. The atmosphere-ocean environment.

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Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

Coastal Education Centre Suggested Display/Activity Using information and photo-records on local marine heritage and history from the Donegal Co. Co. archives and the local knowledge from the community the centre should: Provide narratives of stories told about local people in the area by local people (by head set or audio room) and have guest speakers from the Historical Society. Display and explain areas of archaeological significance in Lough Swilly. Explain through visuals and displays the historical evolution of society, work and culture in the Swilly area over time including human exploitation of the area, their accommodation, transport and the history of power in the area e.g. when electricity was first installed and how that effected the way people worked in the fishing industry or the move away from traditional fishing to commercial fish farming. Explain the significance of the Martello towers dotted along the coast of the Swilly. Have 3D underwater fly-over maps of WWI shipwrecks. Information should link to the Flight of the Earls Centre in Rathmullan and Fort Dunree British Naval Gun installation. (Reciprocal sale of tickets should be encouraged at complementary locations such as these to create a loop of activities in the Swilly area and to encourage visitors to stay in the area longer). Depict the way the Swilly is today and explore the challenges and changes it faces now and in the future.

Relevance to Primary Syllabus Strand & Strand Unit Local Studies: Games and pastimes in the past; Feasts and festivals in the past; Buildings, sites or ruins in my locality and my locality through the ages. Story: Stories from the lives of people in the past, myths and legends. Early People and Ancient Societies: Stone & Bronze age peoples, Romans, Celts, Vikings, Early Christian Ireland. Life Society, work and culture in the past: Life in Norman Ireland, Life in Medieval towns, the 18th and 19th century in Ireland. Language and culture in the late 19th and early 20th century, Life during world war II, Life in Ireland since the 1950’s Continuity and change over time: Food and farming, Clothes, Homes and houses, Transport, Energy and power. Eras of change or conflict: The great famine, World War I.

Relevance to Secondary Syllabus Junior Cert History: How we find out about the past. Studies of Change. Understanding the modern Ireland. Leaving Cert History: Topics for study: Early modern field of study and/or late modern field of study. Working with evidence: Research skills.

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Coastal Education Centre Suggested Display/Activity Information on the ecosystem, biodiversity, plant animal and fish life found in the Lough. Test water samples from L. Swilly. Demonstrate how to take kick samples from a river flowing into the Lough and identify the different species found and explain their significance. Identify marine life and species found in the Swilly including larger mammals (whales & dolphins) and sharks. Have demonstrations of fish dissection and a touch and feel pool for younger children. Depict lifecycles of marine life found in the Swilly including breathing, feeding patterns, reproduction, excretion e.g. Sally the Salmon, Ollie the Oyster, Charlie the Crab, Dolly the Dolphin, etc. Explain what is needed to sustain the ecosystem and outline possible threats to habitats e.g. pollution and eutrophication, recreational activities and chemical balance. Explain the hydro-geomorphology of the area using 3D virtual images and scenario building techniques. Effects of light, sound and heat in water e.g. • • • Difference between salt water and fresh water habitats; The effects a rise in temperature can have on Salmon; The way light refracts in the water – through glass, fish seem closer and bigger than they actually are!

Relevance to Primary Syllabus Strand & Strand Unit Living things: Plants and animals. Environmental awareness and care: Environmental awareness. Science and the environment. Caring for the environment. Skills Development: Working scientifically. Designing and making.

Relevance to Secondary Syllabus Junior Cert Science: Biology e.g. Animals, plants and microorganisms. Science: Chemistry e.g. air, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water. Leaving Cert Biology: the study of life. The organism. Organic Chemistry Environmental Chemistry: Water.

Energy and forces: Light Sound Heat Forces.

Science: Physics e.g. force, light and sound.

Physics: Temperature, Heat, Waves, Vibration, Sound, Light.

There is no doubt that a high-quality educational experience can be developed at the Swilly Marine Discovery Centre. The alliance of relevant curriculum-based displays and talks to boat tours with hands-on real-life experiences on Lough Swilly itself can be readily marketed to schools in the northwest if approached in a professional manner. While displays, activities and interpretation should be of interest to school children of all ages it is important that they also be of interest to the wider public and are developed carefully with this in mind. Visual examples of information are discussed further in section 5.4 below.

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Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

5.3. Market for Education

There are 178 first level schools in Co. Donegal with a further 60 in Derry. In general this represents a total of about 2,200 and 1,850 children respectively at each age level. We have assumed that between 12% and 20% of 9 year olds and 12 year olds in both catchments could be attracted to the Swilly Centre for a curriculum-based one-day visit including boat tour, i.e. about 1,700 child visitors in year 1 rising to 2,900 by year 5 of operation. There are 26 second level schools in Co. Donegal with a further 17 in Derry. In general this represents a total of about 2,000 and 2,200 children respectively at each age level. We have assumed that between 12% and 20% of 15 year olds and 17 year olds in both catchments could be attracted to the Swilly Centre for a curriculum based one-day visit including boat tour, i.e. about 1,700 child visitors in year 1 rising to 2,800 by year 5 of operation. We have projected admission fees in line with similar centres elsewhere at €5 for the centre and €8 for the boat trip per child (assuming no price increases over 5 years). While we are confident that these projections and charges are viable, the success of the centre as an educational attraction will depend on high-quality management, innovative and imaginative displays, relevance of available information to school curricula and the effectiveness with which the centre is marketed to schools. The Gulf of Maine Research Institute in the USA runs a very successful schools programme attracting every school in the State of Maine. GMRI has expressed an interest in working with the Swilly Centre and has already done considerable work with the Loughs Agency and Northern Regional Fisheries Board on a schools-based educational programme called ‘Vital Signs’.
5.4. Description of Tourism Function

In addition to targeting schools the Marine Discovery Centre will also be a visitor attraction on the northern coast of Ireland, educating visitors and generating awareness among the wider public on marine and coastal issues through the use of latest technology and practical demonstrations. A programme of specialised presentations, seminars and facilitated meetings should be developed with institutions and organisations such as the National Fisheries College in Greencastle, the Marine Institute and the University of Ulster. These would increase accessibility, understanding and awareness of the characteristics of coastal regions and the threats they each face from human activity and climate change. This would encourage debate and promote conflict resolution which can feed back into the Swilly Marine Spatial Planning process. The Swilly Centre should be used to showcase the findings of IMCORE and other research being carried out at local and national level. IMCORE will enable development of skills to deal with climate change including the development of simulation models. There may be, for example, potential to see in advance what effects a sea level rise would have on the Swilly coastline. Significant research has already been undertaken at a national level which relates to the EU Climate Change Action Plan including sea bed mapping, marine observations and data acquisition. Much of the data gathered is highly informative / educational and lends itself to interesting visual display. The four maps below are examples of the type of research that is
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Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

underway including: second phase of the Joint Irish Bathymetric Survey (JIBS): multibeam mapping of the sea bed across the Ulster Coast which joins up with INFOMAR and LiDar Mapping of the area (laser beams are bounced off the seafloor from vessels or aircraft to get an accurate map). For example, the underwater Limeburner Rock off the Ulster Coast has been accurately mapped for the first time during the JIBS project (it rises to within a few meters of the surface and is a popular diving site). JIBs: Multibeam Mapping of Ulster Coast

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Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

Limeburner Rock off the Ulster Coast accurately mapped for first time during JIBs project.

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Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

Lough Swilly is one of the 26 priority areas due to have its sea bed mapped in the INFOMAR Survey (INtegrated mapping FOr the Sustainable management of our MARine Resources – see LiDar map below). This exercise will produce maps illustrating the features of the sea bed from sand bars to canyons to cliff faces etc. (see Galway Bay LiDar map on p.24 as an example)8 Sea bed classification maps also provide information on the types of sediment that can be found e.g. sand and gravel which may be important for the construction industry or for habitats essential to the survival of our flora and fauna. This information can be used for many different purposes including education of local people and visitors (e.g. maritime archaeology, diving sites, maritime heritage, resource management and renewable energy). LiDar Survey Priority Areas in Donegal including Lough Swilly.

8

http://www.marine.ie/home/services/surveys/seabed/JIBS.htm

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Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

The Seafloor of Galway Bay as revealed by LiDar Survey.

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Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

The centre could also host a tour vessel similar to the Killary Harbour Catamaran or the Donegal Town Waterbus (see photos below left and right respectively), which would allow visitors to directly experience the marine environment they have learned about in the centre while being entertained and informed by knowledgeable local guides. This, for example, might include: visits to famous shipwreck sites such as the Laurentic with stories of lost gold bullion or to modern day aquaculture installations to hear how mussels, oysters or salmon can be cultivated and grown for market; visits to historical sites such as the Fort Dunree British Naval Gun Installation and the Rathmullan departure site for the Flight of the Earls in 1607; observation of interesting coastal cliff formations such as Urris, Dunaff Head, Fanad Head including visits to bird colonies and storm beaches; observation of whales & dolphins at the mouth of the Swilly possibly followed by a call to Portsalon Harbour for refreshments or a stroll on the extensive stocker strand. Lough Swilly is a large fjord of striking natural beauty and readily lends itself to interesting itineraries. Because of the scale of the Sea Lough, it is proposed that boat trips would be varied based on the educational themes depicted in the Visitor Centre, thus allowing people to choose a trip of particular interest to them.

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Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

5.5. Market for Tourism

The centre can fill a market gap as a much needed tourism attraction on the Inishowen peninsula with potential to attract 35,000 to 60,000 visitors per year. There is a population of c.300,000 living within 60 miles of Buncrana. There were c.450,000 visitors (overseas and domestic) to Co Donegal in 2007. We have assumed that about 5% of these can be attracted to the Swilly Centre in the medium term, i.e. c.40,000 visitors per year (excluding education based visits by schools as per section 5.3 above). In terms of competition for this business, a Marine Institute Study in 2006 identified 18 marine themed visitor centres in the Republic of Ireland9. The map opposite, courtesy of the Marine Institute, shows that the distribution of these is largely concentrated in areas outside the northwest. The only water themed centre of note in Co. Donegal was listed as Bundoran Waterworld attracting 80,000 visitors, clearly demonstrating a market opportunity for a marine centre in the county. The Marine Institute report went on to recommend the development of two such visitor centres in Donegal. Competitors outside the county in 2006 were drawing between 45,000 visitors (e.g. Mizen Vision Cork, Atlantiquaria Galway, Lough Key Forest Park Roscommon, Hook Lighthouse Centre Wexford) and 100,000 visitors annually (e.g. Dunbrody Famine Ship Wexford, Splashworld Waterford, Aquadome Tralee, Oceanworld Aquarium Dingle, Cliffs of Moher Clare). In addition, figures for a number of visitor centres that may more closely match the profile of the Swilly Centre suggest that the visitor numbers we are projecting for Buncrana (35,000 growing to 60,000 by year 5) are sufficiently prudent and conservative, e.g. Skelligs Experience Portmagee Co. Kerry 65,000 / Blasket Heritage Centre Dunquin Co. Kerry 65,000 / Queenstown Story Heritage Centre Cobh Co. Cork 61,000. In relation to the proposed tour vessel, the Marine Institute report listed 84 small tourism vessels in the Republic of Ireland of which 12 were located in Donegal. Leaving aside ferries, only two vessels in Donegal can be described as large tour vessels, i.e. the Donegal Town Waterbus on the Eske River and the Toucan One tour boat on Lough Foyle.
9

Marine Institute. 2006. Water-based Tourism and Leisure Product Audit. Dublin.

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Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

Based on this research, we are confident that the proposed marine centre and tour vessel in Lough Swilly can attract sufficient market interest to justify the financial projections we have set out (see appendix 1). It should be noted however that it will take time to build a market presence and that this will correlate closely with the quality of the visitor experience and the level of promotion and marketing carried out. An example of successful visitor interpretation of the coastal zone can be seen at Portrush in Co. Antrim where an old building (formerly a bathhouse) with a relatively modest low-cost display attracts about 60,000 paying visitors per year. Its success is linked to the high environmental profile of its owners, the NI Environment Agency.

The Coastal Zone Centre Portrush.

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6. BUSINESS PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION The proposal can be summarised as the provision of a 350 sq.m. visitor centre with information displays both physical and technological, all working in tandem with a tour vessel. Based on the performance of similar centres elswhere, it is anticipated that the Buncrana facility can attract approximately 35,000 visitors in year 1, building gradually to about 60,000 p.a. within 5 years. The centre will employ 5 full-time and 3 part-time staff. Full financial tables for 5 years are appended which project that the facility including vessel will cost about €3.85million to provide and could be profitable by year 3. The basis for these projections are discussed in the sub-sections below. In deriving this financial analysis, we have had access to both public and confidential information from the operators of similar centres and tour vessels elsewhere. The business sensitivity analysis enclosed at the end of appendix 1 takes full account of this inormation. It should be noted that these financial projections have been prepared by us as an alliance of development and scientific consultants whose main aim has been to assess the feasibility and methodology of establishing a marine themed education & research centre. While we are confident that the financial projections presented in this report are reasonable in that they are based on similar existing ventures, we do not hold ourselves out as financial consultants nor are we acting as financial advisors to Donegal County Council or Buncrana Town Council. We suggest that these bodies may rely on the appended financial projections as guidelines subject to taking independent accounting advice should they decide to pursue the project.
6.1. Cost Projections and Assumptions: Facilities, Building & Staffing

Build cost for the centre @ €1.5million has been based on design and quantity survey work done by Donegal County Council and the local Town Council for a Sea Life Centre in Bundoran, scaled back to 350sq.metres. On a similar basis, fit out has been estimated @ €1.4million. Based on our recommendations in the 2006 feasibility report that Buncrana is the most suitable location, we have assumed that Buncrana Town council will provide a suitable site and will fund full design of the centre, putting it forward for planning permission as done for the Bundoran Sea Life Centre. We have assumed a grant of 75% but it may be possible to secure greater financial support. We have looked at a number of tour vessels elsewhere. Based on information received from these operators we are confident that construction of a suitable vessel can be commissioned or a second hand vessel purchased for €1million or less. Indeed, at this time there are a good number of used vessels in good condition available on the UK market (comment from Irish Marine Federation). We have consulted with the operators of the Waterbus at Donegal Town, with accountants employed by Bundoran Town Council (to prepare financial projections for its proposed Sea Life Centre) and with the manager of the Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium in Co. Kerry. Based on these discussions, we have projected that the Swilly Marine Centre will require a full-time manager to oversee the facility on a daily basis assisted by two full-time assistants and two parttime assistants in reception / shop together with a qualified boat skipper assisted by one full-time and one part-time crewman to operate the tour vessel. The total cost of staffing will be about €200,000 in year 1. Donegal and Buncrana Councils should work with the IMCORE Interreg project to fund a full-time marine spatial planning officer to drive the research agenda and guide the education programme (it may be feasible for the MSP Officer to manage the centre).

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6.2. Income Projections and Assumptions: Education and Tourism

We are projecting visits by about 24,000 adults, almost 8,000 children and about 2,000 families in year 1 giving a first year visitor total of about 36,000 visitors. As outlined in section 5 of the report, this is a conservative figure relative to other attractions in the northwest. In terms of breaking into the education market, prices have been set at €5 per student for access to the centre with a further charge of €8 to take the boat tour. This compares favourably with fees currently being paid for school tours. Prices for boat tours are contained in the business sensitivity analysis at appendix 1. No price increases have been assumed over the first five years. Similarly, access prices to the centre for general summer visitors have been fixed for five years at €8 adults, €5 children and €25 for families. Again this is competitive. Boat tours have been priced relative to the Foyle Cruise Line, the Donegal Bay Waterbus and the Connermara Princess (Killary Harbour). These three vessels have 175, 165 and 135 passenger capacities respectively. The Donegal Bay Waterbus carried a total of 35,000 passengers in 2008 with the Foyle vessel carrying c.18,000. We are projecting a maximum carrying capacity for the Lough Swilly tour vessel of about 23,000 passengers per year, based on acquisition of a smaller 50 passenger vessel to cut down on purchase and running costs. This would allow the targeting of about 10,000 passengers in year 1 comprising circa 66% adults, 21% school children and 13% families. We feel we have erred on the side of caution in projecting this to grow to c.15,000 passengers by year 5. In normal circumstances, with good marketing and professional operation, there is little doubt that this could be increased based on experience elsewhere – however the full effect of the global economic downturn on tourism numbers remains to be seen. Please see business sensitivity analysis at appendix 1 for more detail.

6.3. Marketing Plan

We have projected a substantial and sustained marketing budget of approximately €75,000 per year over the first five years of operation. This is essential if the target markets are to be reached and is fairly typical of the level of promotional spend by the better visitor centres in Ireland. Based on discussions with experienced marketers, we have outlined a draft marketing plan at appendix 2.

6.4. Ownership, Grant Aid and Matching Funds

Our financial projections are based on an assumption that the centre can attract grant aid of at least 75%. Failure to do so would render the proposal unviable. It may be possible to secure 100% funding under the environmental aspects of the Interreg programme given the focus of the centre on marine spatial planning and climate change in line with the latest maritime policy analysis of the EU Commission. The fact that development of the centre is part of an existing Interreg (IMCORE Project) initiative by local authorities and universities to develop MSP tools and techniques should add to the case for grant aid. The centre will not be suited to private ownership as this would reduce the eligibility for grant assistance, seriously undermining the commercial feasibility of the proposal. Therefore, the most feasible development scenario is under public sector ownership and management. Our financial projections have assumed this to
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be the case and we suggest that a site should be provided by Buncrana Town Council adjacent to the sea either in the town or at the harbour (see 2006 feasibilty report). Our figures also assume that the local authority will provide €500,000 in start-up funding to match a similar amount borrowed by the Centre, thereby providing the necessary match funding. We do not envisage any breach of State Aid Rules in providing this matching finance as investment in the centre by the local authority will not displace private investment. The local authority may be able to recover its initial investment from the centre after five years or so. 6.5. Key Decisions and Actions to Develop Swilly Centre We have examined the model used by Bundoran Town Council to develop its proposal for a Sea Life Centre. The Council there provided one of its own sites in a prime tourism location, funded design of the building, employed a consultant to design and cost the interior display and fit-out, had the full build cost assessed by a quantity surveyor, consulted with Donegal County Council and the local community about planning issues and eventually granted the facility full planning permission. While we are not at liberty to disclose the cost of all of this, we consider the sum paid to represent good value for money. The Buncrana Centre holds an advantage over the Bundoran proposal in that it will be significantly less expensive to build. We consider that the following steps should be taken by Buncrana Town Council, should it decide to pursue the project. • Project Manager The importance of this appointment has been outlined at length in section 4 of this report. An opportunity exists for Buncrana Town Council to work with the IMCORE Interreg project on climate change and marine spatial planning. As the IMCORE project manager position is funded @ 50% for three years, we recommended that Buncrana Town Council should provide matching funding in return for project managing the development of the Swilly Centre. • Site As happened in Bundoran, we recommend that Buncrana Town Council should consider provision of a suitable site for the centre. • Design / Planning Permission We recommend that Buncrana TC should consult with Bundoran TC and Donegal County Council to identify suitable architects to design the Swilly Centre, to consult with the local community and to submit plans for statutory permissions (may require a foreshore licence in addition to planning permission). • Vessel Commission As stated earlier, the Irish Marine Federation considers that suitable second-hand vessels are available on the market. However, it may not be possible to secure grant aid on a second-hand boat, thereby requiring design and commissioning of a custom built vessel. This is a specialist undertaking requiring the involvement of a marine surveyor from the outset. Again, it would be distinctly advantageous to have this driven by a dedicated project manager. The Manager should explore the possibility of attracting a private operator with an existing vessel to provide the boat touring aspect of the visitor and schools attraction.

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• Operator Once the centre has been designed and fully costed, the market should be tested for interest from private undertakers with experience in managing similar centres. Expressions of interest through a public tender process would enable the Town Council to make an informed decision on whether to manage the facility itself or through the appointment of a management company. • Centre Name Finally, it will be important to choose a suitable name for the centre: one that takes account of the need to stand out in a crowded tourism market and at the same time resonate with research bodies, schools and users of the Lough as a centre that makes a real input to marine / coastal education and management. If a title such as “Coastal Research & Education Centre Lough Swilly” is used it runs the risk that many visitors will not realise it is a tourism centre. While a consensus needs to be reached within the Town Council / local community, we suggest that the working title used in this report “Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly” be used for the implementation phase. A title of this type suggests tourism, education and research functions and this, or a name along these lines, should be acceptable to local stakeholders and visitors.

******************************************** Enclosures Appendix 1 (Financial Projections) Appendix 2 (Marketing Plan).

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APPENDIX 1

MARINE DISCOVERY CENTRE LOUGH SWILLY
PROJECTED ACCOUNTS AND CASH FLOW STATEMENT FOR THE FIRST FIVE YEARS.

Contents: 1. Balance Sheets 2. Income & Expenditure Accounts 3. Cashflows 4. Schedule of Visitor Numbers and Receipts 5. Schedule of Staff and Related Costs 6. VAT Reconciliation 7. Creditors' Reconciliation 8. Business Sensitivity Analysis 9. Notes on Financial Assumptions.

Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

MARINE DISCOVERY CENTRE LOUGH SWILLY PROJECTED BALANCE SHEETS FOR THE FIRST FIVE YEARS. Op. Posit. € Sch. FIXED ASSETS Land (local authority) Buildings Fixtures & Fittings Boat Flora and fauna Less: Depreciation 0 1,500,000 1,400,000 900,000 50,000 3,850,000 0 3,850,000 LONG TERM LIABILITIES Bank Loan 0 1,500,000 1,400,000 900,000 50,000 3,850,000 235,000 3,615,000 0 1,500,000 1,400,000 900,000 50,000 3,850,000 470,000 3,380,000 0 1,500,000 1,400,000 900,000 50,000 3,850,000 705,000 3,145,000 0 1,500,000 1,400,000 900,000 50,000 3,850,000 940,000 2,910,000 0 1,500,000 1,400,000 900,000 50,000 3,850,000 1,175,000 2,675,000 Year 1 € Year 2 € Year 3 € Year 4 € Year 5 €

500,000 3,350,000

500,000 3,115,000

500,000 2,880,000

500,000 2,645,000

500,000 2,410,000

500,000 2,175,000

CURREN T ASSETS Stocks Bank

37,500 0 37,500

37,500 51,410 88,910

37,500 134,136 171,636

37,500 304,687 342,187

37,500 556,634 594,134

37,500 893,498 930,998

CURREN T LIABILIT IES Creditors Bank Overdraft WORKING CAPITAL NET ASSETS

0 0 37,500 3,387,500

54,620 54,620 34,290 3,149,290

55,873 55,873 115,763 2,995,763

60,275 60,275 281,912 2,926,912

61,402 61,402 532,732 2,942,732

62,524 62,524 868,474 3,043,474

FINAN CED BY: Local Authority or Private Investment Revenue Reserve Development Grants

500,000 0 500,000 2,887,500 3,387,500

500,000 -61,960 438,040 2,711,250 3,149,290

500,000 -39,237 460,763 2,535,000 2,995,763

500,000 68,162 568,162 2,358,750 2,926,912

500,000 260,232 760,232 2,182,500 2,942,732

500,000 537,224 1,037,224 2,006,250 3,043,474

Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

MARINE DISCOVERY CENTRE LOUGH SWILLY
PROJECTED INCOME & EXPENDITURE ACCOU NTS FOR THE FIRST FIVE YEARS. Year 1 € Sch. INCOME Gate Receipts Boat Receipts Shop Gross Profit Total Income a. b. c. 350,760 180,425 37,804 568,989 409,220 200,472 44,104 653,797 467,680 220,519 50,405 738,604 526,140 240,567 56,706 823,412 584,850 260,614 63,017 908,480 Year 2 € Year 3 € Year 4 € Year 5 €

EXPEND ITURE Wages d. Staff Pension Costs Light, Heat & Power Insurance Site Maintenance Bank Charges Loan repayment Loan Interest Upkeep exhibits and computer graphics Maintenance and fuel boat Printing, Stationery & Postage Motor Leasing Audit& Accountancy Marketing Repairs & Maintenance Telephone, Fax & Internet Cleaning Motor & Travel Expenses Rates Miscl Grant Amortisation Depreciation Total Expenditure Net Income Taxation Opening Revenue Reserves Closing Revenue Reserves

196,309 5,889 25,000 20,000 1,500 2,500 100,000 20,000 50,000 15,000 2,700 4,800 13,000 75,000 7,000 2,500 5,000 5,500 13,500 7,000 -176,250 235,000 630,949 -61,960 0 -61,960 0 -61,960

196,309 196,309 196,309 196,309 5,889 5,889 5,889 5,889 25,000 25,000 25,000 25,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,500 2,625 2,757 2,893 3,040 100,000 100,000 100,000 100,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 50,000 50,000 50,000 50,000 15,000 15,000 15,000 15,000 2,700 2,700 2,700 2,700 4,800 4,800 4,800 4,800 13,000 13,000 13,000 13,000 75,000 75,000 75,000 75,000 7,000 7,000 7,000 7,000 2,500 2,500 2,500 2,500 5,000 5,000 5,000 5,000 5,500 5,500 5,500 5,500 13,500 13,500 13,500 13,500 7,000 7,000 7,000 7,000 -176,250 -176,250 -176,250 -176,250 235,000 235,000 235,000 235,000 631,074 631,206 631,342 631,489 22,723 0 22,723 -61,960 -39,237 107,399 0 107,399 -39,237 68,162 192,071 0 192,071 68,162 260,232 276,992 0 276,992 260,232 537,224

Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

MARINE DISCOVERY CENTRE LOUGH SWILLY
PROJECTED CASHFLOW STATEMENT FOR THE FIRST FIVE YEARS.

Year 1 € RECEIPTS Gate Receipts (Net) Boat Receipts (Net) Shop Receipts (Net) VAT on Gate Receipts VAT on Boat Receipts VAT on Shop R eceipts 350,760 180,425 75,607 73,660 37,889 15,878 734,219

Year 2 € 409,220 200,472 88,209 85,936 42,099 18,524 844,460

Year 3 € 467,680 220,519 100,810 98,213 46,309 21,170 954,701

Year 4 € 526,140 240,567 113,411 110,489 50,519 23,816 1,064,943

Year 5 € 584,850 260,614 126,033 122,819 54,729 26,467 1,175,511

PAYMENTS Creditors Wages Staff Pensions VAT Power Light & Heat Insurance Site Maintenance Loan Repayments Bank Charges Opening Balance Surplus/(Deficit) Closing Balance

3%

244,750 196,309 5,889 66,861 25,000 20,000 1,500 120,000 2,500 682,809 0 51,410 51,410

293,448 196,309 5,889 96,962 25,000 20,000 1,500 120,000 2,625 761,734 51,410 82,726 134,136

301,072 196,309 5,889 111,623 25,000 20,000 1,500 120,000 2,757 784,150 134,136 170,551 304,687

308,696 196,309 5,889 132,708 25,000 20,000 1,500 120,000 2,893 812,995 304,687 251,948 556,634

316,330 196,309 5,889 150,579 25,000 20,000 1,500 120,000 3,040 838,647 556,634 336,864 893,498

Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

MARINE DISCOVERY CENTRE LOUGH SWILLY
SCHEDULES a to c Year 1 € PROJECTED VISITOR NUMBERS Adult Children Family (avg. 4 persons) 23,970 7,830 4,794 36,594 Total Visitor No's Schedule a. PROJECTED GATE RECEIPTS Adm Fee (ex VAT) Yr 1 Yr 2-3 Yr 4-5 Adult 8.00 8.00 8.00 Child 5.00 5.00 5.00 Family 25.00 25.00 25.00 Net Income VAT Content @ 21% Schedule b. PROJECTED BOAT INCOME Yr 1 Yr 2-3 Yr 4-5 15.00 15.00 15.00 8.00 8.00 8.00 45.00 45.00 45.00 36,594 27,965 9,135 5,593 42,693 42,693 31,960 10,440 6,392 48,792 48,792 35,955 11,745 7,191 54,891 54,891 39,950 13,050 8,000 61,000 61,000 Year 2 € Year 3 € Year 4 € Year 5 €

191,760 39,150 119,850 350,760 73,660

223,720 45,675 139,825 409,220 85,936

255,680 52,200 159,800 467,680 98,213

287,640 58,725 179,775 526,140 110,489

319,600 65,250 200,000 584,850 122,819

Adult Child Family Net Income VAT Content @ 21% Schedule c. PROJECTED SHOP INCOME Total No. of Visitors Shop Visitors @ 50% Spend @ €5.00 each Net Sales VAT Content @ 21% Gross Profit (VAT excl) @ 50%

101,693 17,717 61,016 180,425 37,889

112,992 19,685 67,795 200,472 42,099

124,291 21,654 74,575 220,519 46,309

135,590 23,622 81,354 240,567 50,519

146,889 25,591 88,134 260,614 54,729

36,594 18,297 91,485 75,607 15,878 37,804

42,693 21,347 106,733 88,209 18,524 44,104

48,792 24,396 121,980 100,810 21,170 50,405

54,891 27,446 137,228 113,411 23,816 56,706

61,000 30,500 152,500 126,033 26,467 63,017

Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

MARINE DISCOVERY CENTRE LOUGH SWILLY
SCHEDULE d

Schedule d.

Gross Salary

Em ployers P.R.S.I.

Total

€ Wages Senior & Managerial Staff: 1 1 1 1 1 Manager Assistant Manager Full time Shop / Reception Boat Skipper Maintenance and Crew Assistant 40,000 30,000 25,000 30,000 25,000

4,800 2,550 2,125 2,550 2,125

44,800 32,550 27,125 32,550 27,125

Wages Part Time Staff 1 Boat Crew Assistant 2 Shop / Reception Assistants 9,880 19,760 179,640 840 1,680 16,669 10,720 21,440 196,309

Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

MARINE DISCOVERY CENTRE LOUGH SWILLY
VAT RECONCILIATION Year 1 € VAT RECONCILIATION Purchases subject to VAT Upkeep exhibits and computer graphics Maintenance and fuel boat Printing, Stationery & Postage Motor Leasing Audit& Accountancy Marketing Repairs & Maintenance Telephone, Fax & Internet Cleaning VAT @ 21% Power Light & Heat VAT @ 13.5% Telephone & Fax VAT @ 21% Total VAT Collected Total VAT Paid Total VAT on Shop Purchases Total VAT Liability plus: Opening Liability less: Closing Liability Net VAT Paid Year 2 € Year 3 € Year 4 € Year 5 €

50,000 15,000 2,700 4,800 13,000 75,000 7,000 2,500 3,500 173,500 36,435 25,000 3,375 2,500 525 127,426 40,335 7,939 79,153 12,292 66,861

50,000 15,000 2,700 4,800 13,000 75,000 7,000 2,500 3,500 173,500 36,435 25,000 3,375 2,500 525 146,559 40,335 9,262 96,962 12,292 12,292 96,962

50,000 15,000 2,700 4,800 13,000 75,000 7,000 2,500 3,500 173,500 36,435 25,000 3,375 2,500 525 165,692 40,335 10,585 114,772 12,292 15,441 111,623

50,000 15,000 2,700 4,800 13,000 75,000 7,000 2,500 3,500 173,500 36,435 25,000 3,375 2,500 525 184,825 40,335 11,908 132,582 15,441 15,315 132,708

50,000 15,000 2,700 4,800 13,000 75,000 7,000 2,500 3,500 173,500 36,435 25,000 3,375 2,500 525 204,014 40,335 13,233 150,446 15,315 15,182 150,579

Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

MARINE DISCOVERY CENTRE LOUGH SWILLY
CR EDITORS RECONCILIATION

Year 1 € CREDITORS PAID Upkeep exhibits and computer graphics Maintenance and fuel boat Printing, Stationery & Postage Motor Leasing Audit& Accountancy Marketing Repairs & Maintenance Telephone, Fax & Internet Cleaning Shop Purchases VAT @ 21% less: Credit 60 D ays Rates Motor & Travel Expenses Sundries Creditors b/f Total Paid 50,000 15,000 2,700 4,800 13,000 75,000 7,000 2,500 5,000 37,804 212,804 44,689 257,493 42,328 215,165 13,500 5,500 10,585 244,750

Year 2 € 50,000 15,000 2,700 4,800 13,000 75,000 7,000 2,500 5,000 44,104 219,104 46,012 265,116 43,581 221,535 13,500 5,500 10,585 42,328 293,448

Year 3 € 50,000 15,000 2,700 4,800 13,000 75,000 7,000 2,500 5,000 50,405 225,405 47,335 272,740 44,834 227,906 13,500 5,500 10,585 43,581 301,072

Year 4 € 50,000 15,000 2,700 4,800 13,000 75,000 7,000 2,500 5,000 56,706 231,706 48,658 280,364 46,087 234,277 13,500 5,500 10,585 44,834 308,696

Year 5 € 50,000 15,000 2,700 4,800 13,000 75,000 7,000 2,500 5,000 63,017 238,017 49,983 288,000 47,342 240,658 13,500 5,500 10,585 46,087 316,330

Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly : Implementation Plan_

MARINE DISCOVERY CENTRE LOUGH SWILLY
NOTES AND ASSUMPTIONS ON PROJECTIONS

1 Capital Expenditure including professional fees and based on detailed costings amounts to €3,850,000

2 Borrowings are projected at €500,000 repayable over 5 years at an interest rate of 4%. 3 Light, heat & power, wages and all other expenses are based on existing running expenses in similar visitor centres and given the current economic climate are projected to remain at this level over the period of the projections.

4 Ticket prices are projected to remain constant for five years. Pr ices compare favourably with similar ventures elsewhere, as set out in the sensitivty report.

5 A grant @ 75% is assumed against building and fit out, boat, flora and fauna.

7 The effects of taxation are ignored as Capital Allowances may be available on the new development. The developer will need to pursue this with Irish Revenue.

9 Depreciation is charged as follows: Buildings Boat Fixture & Fittings Flora and fauna over over over over 50 15 10 10 years years years years

10 These financial projections have been prepared by an alliance of development and scientific consultants whose main aim has been to assess the feasibility of establishing a marine themed education & research centre. While we are confident that the financial projections presented in this report are reasonable we do not hold our selves out to be financial experts nor are we acting as financial advisors to Donegal County Council or Buncrana Town Council. We advise these bodies to take independent accounting advice should they decide to pursue the project.

APPENDIX 2: Marketing Plan
__________________________________________

Marine Discovery Centre Lough Swilly __________________
Target Audiences TRADE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Fáilte Ireland Regional Tourism Offices Independent Tourist Organisations Major tourism industry companies, including airlines, ferries, Bus Éireann, tour operators and car hire companies. The local and North West tourist industry Schools: teaching staff and principals Media

CONSUMER 1 2 3 4 General Public Local Population Special interest groups Tourists in the region

The above are targeted under the following main headings 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Tourism / Fáilte Ireland Publications and Marketing Events Regional Tourism Publications and Marketing Events Promotional material General Tourist Publications Tourism information display units Educational Publications Co-operative marketing PR Internet Miscellaneous

Registration with Fáilte Ireland North West, benefits of which include: Marketing spend by North West Tourism body Representation at 35 consumer promotions Representation at 4 Fáilte Ireland workshops in Ireland and Britain 100’s marketing / promotional media opportunities.

Promotional Material

Brochures & Flyers A total of 150,000 brochures, 3,000 Posters, 2,000 leaflet and booking forms for schools will be printed for distribution and use in all Centre Marketing campaigns

APPENDIX 2: Marketing Plan
__________________________________________

Brochures will be distributed to all tourist outlets (including B&Bs, Hotels etc) in the North West Tourism catchment area as well as to other counties in the North West and Northern Ireland.

General Tourist Publications Be Our Guest A book which has Hotels, B&Bs and Guest Houses advertised for the consumer to choose where they will stay. This book covers the whole of Ireland.

Choice Hotel Ireland Publication in all rooms in Choice Hotels in Ireland.

Touring Ireland Magazine Publication promoting Ireland and Donegal as a destination for tourists.

Tourist Information Display Units In local tourism officers in Donegal and Derry.

Educational Publications Education Magazine A publication for teachers supplying information on all aspects of education including school tours. It is circulated free of charge to schools and colleges in the Republic and Northern Ireland.

Kingswood School Tours Directory This is distributed free of charge to all primary, secondary and third level schools nationwide.

Direct Mailing Promotional book sent to schools in Ulster area including an introductory letter outlining school tour packages.

Mail shots to special interest groups Such as Universities, Regional Colleges of Further and Higher Education, Fáilte Ireland etc

Miscellaneous Golden Pages Special listing under Aquariums / Viistor and Heritage attractions in national and local directory.

Local Donegal Advertising The Centre will advertise on local radio especially before Easter, June Bank Holiday, Christmas and during low season to let people know it is open all year round.

APPENDIX 2: Marketing Plan
__________________________________________

Local Newspaper Local newspaper ads will be used throughout the year e.g. School Tours feature, Christmas feature etc.

Local Radio Stations (including Outside Broadcasting Units) A great marketing tool for Official Opening of the new Centre. Signage Signage will need to be erected on all major routes into Buncrana. Signs will need to be erected around Buncrana town giving directions to centre. Television Television advertising is expensive therefore it is better to run competitions as these may be done free. This can be done by contacting other activities and accommodation sectors in Buncrana and Inishowen, e.g. a prize could consist of free family pass to the centre, accommodation in local hotel, dinner in local restaurant Hotel Channel Viewing In house entertainment for accommodation providers - 10 minute dvd of centre run in hotel or Guest House rooms. Internet Develop an interactive fun-based educational web site. This site will need to be updated frequently (news and events). This should also include an online ticket booking service for school tours. PR Create a local and National media list. Have many press releases throughout the year to include new displays, wacky fish, tour schedules, schools programmes, competitions, etc.. This will also create photo opportunities for the press. Create good working relationships with the press, radio stations and national news tv stations.

Marketing Plan for Centre in conjunction with Inishowen Tourism Providers Introduction There is obvious merit in working with complementary tourism activity and promoters in the area. Some ideas on what can be achieved are set out below. The overall objective is to develop economies of scale in reaching the market while also making it easy for visitors to plan their holiday activities. Outputs In order to market the facilities effectively we would suggest the following methods: • Joint Brochure Produce a joint print promotional piece for major facilities. This brochure would give equal space to each facility involved, profiling their attractions. The brochure would complement the existing Inishowen guides. It would be planned that this joint brochure could be inserted into the main Inishowen or Fáilte Ireland guides.

APPENDIX 2: Marketing Plan
__________________________________________

• Brochure Distribution The joint brochure should be distributed via tourist offices nationwide using a brochure distribution company. Inishowen Tourism probably already uses the services of a Brochure Broker for this activity. Such a distribution exercise ensures effective nationwide coverage. • Joint Advertising Local facilities of good quality should advertise in newspapers, magazines and brochures in both Ireland and the UK. Ideally this would involve an advert of a decent size profiling local facilities together with supporting editorial feature complete with approved images. Publications used to advertise should include Irish, Northern Irish, Scottish and Northern English newspapers. Magazines would include tourist guides and school tours journals. Sharing the costs of advertising increases the media buying power and therefore means greater coverage including editorial. • School Tours & Group Market Using the joint brochure local facilities would undertake mailings to school groups and other organisations such as Scouts groups. This would firstly inform recipients about local visitor facilities and secondly encourage them to organise day trips and/or school tours to Buncrana . Obviously the mailing would highlight group rates and discounts by way of an incentive for tour organisers to choose Buncrana / Inishowen as their destination. • Joint Ticketing Local facilities should work together in developing a joint admission system. This would offer discounts meaning visitors (particularly group bookings) would only have to make one transaction. Such a system could offer substantial discounts in off-peak times. • Website Marketing Donegal Tourism currently profiles the county via the Donegal Direct website. This website features activities, attractions, accommodation, entertainment, events, eating out and so forth. The plan would be to add the Swilly Centre to this and develop a link to the centre’s own website. Reciprocal links could be made with other relevant websites of good quality. • Promotions Inishowen Tourism and Donegal Tourism co-ordinate the marketing of the county with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland at holiday fairs and shows. In order to promote the Swilly Centre effectively at such events it will be necessary to develop a dedicated promotional stand with trained personnel. • Information Points Local Inishowen tourism facilities have information points installed around venues on the peninsula which carry literature regarding visitor attractions and facilities. The Swilly Centre should get involved in this on a reciprocal basis. This type of cross-selling will encourage visitors to visit more attractions.

Swilly Marine Discovery Centre – Suggested Annual Marketing Budget Brochures – DL folded to A4 - €3,500 Posters – 3,750 - €750 Free Family Pass – 5,000 - €800 Admit one – 1,000 - €250 Comment Card – 5,000 - €250 School Tours – Mail shot to all schools in Donegal and surrounding areas - €800

APPENDIX 2: Marketing Plan
__________________________________________

Newspapers - Local Full colour page of text and images - €3,000 Weekly PR 4 week countdown to opening - €750 PR throughout the year x 6 - €1,400 Newspaper – National Full colour page of text and images - €2,000 Other newspaper advertising throughout the year - €2,000 Radio – Pr on local and national radio throughout the year - €12,500 Ocean FM, Highland and others Website – Set up and design of new website for the centre - €8,000 Brochure distribution Companies which distribute brochures throughout Donegal, Derry, Sligo & neighbouring counties - €5,500 Fáilte Ireland North West Tourism – Membership - €300 Photographer – Pictures of new centre for PR - €3,500 Logos / flags on Centre vehicles and tour boat - €1,500 Kingswood Publishing - School Tours magazine - €400 Education Magazine – School tours promotion magazine x 2 - €700 Golden Pages – PR in 07/09/ bordering Northern Ireland counties - €3,000 Signage – New signage for centre to be erected around Buncrana and neighbouring areas - €3,000 Hotel channel Viewing – 5 Hotels in Inishowen / Derry / Letterkenny - €4,000 Launch – Finger Food x 50 - €2,000 PR for launch - €2,000 Letters & Invitation - €500 Wine - €400 Shopping Centre Promotions in Letterkenny and Derry - €1,000 INTO Stand at congress - €1,500 Holiday World Ireland stand in RDS Dublin - €2,500 Consultancy –Marketing - €8,000

TOTAL MARKETING SPEND ANNUALLY: circa €75,000.
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