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Heritage Great Britain celebrates anniversary with £5m investment

Heritage Great Britain (HGB), a leisure and tourism operator based in the North West of England, is celebrating its 20-year anniversary with a £5 million investment, despite challenges facing the UK economy.

HGB Group finance director, Peter Johnson-Treherne, told M&IT: “Brexit uncertainty dents the public’s confidence in spending on days out and holidays. The tourism industry generally is finding recruitment of staff a challenge – certain parts of it have relied on EU workers and this pool of talent has started to shrink and so there is more competition for staff.

“Customers are looking more and more for experiences, as opposed to products when spending their leisure monies – HGB is well placed for this as we offer a number of unique opportunities.

“It gives me great pleasure to see the business flourishing after 20 years, having navigated some challenging times for both the UK economy and tourism industry. In addition to normal maintenance and spend, we have already planned for, and committed, around £5m towards inward investment across the next three years.”

The investment is partly funded by Santander bank and marks the decade-long relationship with the tourism operator.

“This important funding will come from business profits, with the support of facilities provided by Santander whom we have banked with since 2009, making us their longest-serving customer in Liverpool,” Johnson-Treherne added.

HGB has pledged to spread the funding across its portfolio of well-known attractions, which include Land’s End in Cornwall, Snowdon Mountain Railway in North Wales, The Needles on the Isle of Wight and Mattel Play! set within Liverpool’s Royal Albert Dock.

For example, the £5m investment will help to fund the opening of a new beachfront attraction at Sandown on the Isle of Wight and be used to upgrade the accommodation offering at Land’s End.

“We will also be looking at a new attraction for Land’s End, the concept is still being worked on, and within HGB we are also spending significant funds on enhancing the infrastructure – everything from toilets to catering and retail units to ensure we stay at the top of the game,” Johnson-Treherne told M&IT.

Most recently, HGB added the top floors of Liverpool’s Royal Liver Building to its attraction list by opening RLB360, an interactive viewing platform boasting views across the city, which has proved to be “very popular, with many days sold out,” according to Johnson-Treherne.

Alongside enticing leisure tourists, HGB wants to open its portfolio of attractions to the meetings industry for corporate clients.

In regards to the newly opened Royal Liver building, Allan Leech, CEO of HGB said: “Going forward, we have plans to use our new lower ground floor visitor centre for corporate drinks receptions and gatherings outside public operating hours.”

Santander corporate and commercial relationship director, Gordon Clements said: “Heritage Great Britain PLC is a highly valued, esteemed client and we’re delighted to be able to provide this funding to help it capitalise further on its historic portfolio of assets and deliver an exciting calendar of events through to 2022.

“Liverpool has long been a core region for the Bank and Santander is committed to supporting clients such as Heritage with an insight led, relationship-based approach to banking and funding.”

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