Agenda item

Dogs Trust Trail


The Corporate Director for Communities presented a report, so as to request approval to participating in and hosting the Dogs Trust Mini Snoopy Trail in Porthcawl in 2022; to enter into an agreement between the Dogs Trust Trustee Limited and Dogs Trust Promotions Limited and Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC), and to outline the associated cost for the Local Authority.


The background of the report, confirmed that Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) had been approached by the Corporate Development Team of the Dogs Trust, to host a mini trail in Porthcawl to be run as an extension of the main Cardiff Dogs Trail with Snoopy in 2022.  The current proposed timeframe was for a 10 week period from March to June 2022, though this could change depending on circumstances nearer the time.


She explained that the proposal builds on the Wild in Art trail model and is well-established having, to date, delivered over 50 trails around the world. A recent example was the Cardiff Snowdogs trails in 2017, which attracted 350k visitors across the 10 week period and generated £10.5m for the local economy. The project was looking to expand satellite trails of 6 or more Snoopy sculptures across the region.


The Dogs Trail proposal fulfils a number of the Council’s corporate well-being objectives, especially in relation to supporting the local economy. One of the three overarching priorities in the Bridgend destination Management Plan 2018 – 2022, was to raise the profile and attract more visitors to Bridgend County Borough by promoting the Bridgend County Borough through targeted Public Relations (PR) and marketing and developing a diverse portfolio of events, to include attracting new events of regional or national significance.


The proposal would be run as an extension of the main Cardiff trail, with easy access for visitors and a minimum of 6 sculptures within the destination.  This would be cited so as to create at least a half a day visit.


In addition to the community, tourism and economic benefits, there was an extensive Learning programme associated with the project which aims to engage with 130 schools across the South Wales region, many of which will be within the Bridgend County Borough.


The Corporate Director for Communities Dogs Trail project team would manage all aspects of trail planning and delivery, with no requirement for BCBC to be heavily involved, other than to assist in recruiting learning programme participants and facilitating liaison with various Council departments in relation to the trail.


BCBC was required to enter into a Sponsorship Agreement with Dogs Trust Trustee Limited and Dogs Trust Promotions Limited. Negotiations were currently taking place with the relevant parties over the terms of this Sponsorship Agreement, she added.


If, following negotiations, final terms cannot be agreed between the parties or any perceived risks to BCBC exist that cannot be removed or mitigated, then BCBC will not be proceeding in taking part in this event, further added the Corporate Director for Communities.


She concluded her submission, by confirming the report’s financial implications which meant that there would be a commitment from BCBC of £30k as a one-off contribution, that would be met from the Tourist Events Fund.


The Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration advised that there weren’t that many dog re-homing centres that he was aware of throughout the UK, but he was pleased to see that the one located in Bridgend was an expanding Charity. Porthcawl he considered, was a good location for the event and he was aware that the proposal had been discussed with local Forum groups in this seaside attraction, such as the Destination Management Group which deals with tourism and the Coastal Partnership Group, which consults with key stakeholders that include Porthcawl Town Council, as well as BCBC Members.


The Cabinet Member for Communities confirmed that the Council had a long association with the Dog Trust in Bridgend, which had in recent years flourished and expanded. He was also in agreement with the ‘Snoopy Trail’ which would encourage both extra tourism and revenue for the County Borough and was an added attraction in Porthcawl, together with the new Noddy train facility.


The Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Future Generations noticed from the report, that there were a number of potential different locations for the Snoopy Trail in the County Borough, but that the Dog Trust had selected Porthcawl as the venue for this. She asked what other areas were put forward, bearing in mind that there were other lovely areas (such as in our valley locations), where this could have alternatively taken place.


The Corporate Director for Communities, confirmed that when the BCBC were approached by the Dog Trust, they gave the Authority a set of requirements that had to be met in terms of a suitable location, for example, flat sections of land in the Council’s ownership, that were accessible to wheelchairs etc and were of a certain required length. The Council then went back to the Dog Trust with a list of suitable locations that fitted with these requirements, that included routes in the valleys. However, of them all the Trust felt that Porthcawl was the most suitable of all the suggestions put to them. The Corporate Director for Communities added however, that for any similar ideas or events to the one that formed part of the report, these could be looked to be held in other areas of the County Borough.


The Deputy Leader noted the financial commitment of £30k and he asked if the statues proposed to be cited would remain as part of this.


The Corporate Director for Communities advised that these would be cited as part of the event, to increase the attraction for tourism and the revenue that would come with that. However, after the event, the Dog Trust would then sell on the Snoopy statues.


The Leader confirmed that the Bridgend Dog Trust was facing unprecedented demands, in that they were being faced with taking on more and more dogs including puppies, so this event would hopefully help in supporting their Charity. The event would also give rise to an increase to visitors to Porthcawl and them spending money in shops and businesses there. This would help them make up for what they had missed out on in terms of income and revenue, when shops had closed there in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.   


RESOLVED:                That Cabinet, subject to the terms of the Sponsorship Agreement being agreed as set out in clause 3.7 of the report (correction to report which read clause 4.7 ):-


    approved BCBC participating in and hosting the Dogs Trust Mini Snoopy Trail in Porthcawl in 2022;

    approved the use of £30,000.00 of Tourism Events funding as outlined in section 8;

    delegated authority to the Corporate Director Communities, in consultation with the Chief Officer - Legal, HR & Regulatory Services and the Interim Chief Officer, Finance, Performance and Change to agree and approve the terms of the sponsorship agreement and to arrange execution of that agreement on behalf of the Council.


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