Strategies & Plans

Investing in Durham's Visitor Economy

Visit County Durham provides an intelligence-based critical friend investment support process to those wishing to invest in the county’s tourism product. Whether you're an expanding visitor attraction or accommodation provider or new to the area and considering investing in the county's visitor economy, we can help. Our Investment Evaluation Process (IEP), has been in place since 2007 and is based on the Durham Tourism Management Plan.

Using a set of criteria that has been agreed by the county’s Economic Partnership and tested by a range of live projects, the IEP process identifies issues that proposers need to think about when developing a proposal. By using the criteria proposers are forewarned of the criteria most support agencies and funding bodies relate to and are able to focus on the key issues relating to tourism development.

On completion of the process, most proposers should be in a stronger position to progress projects which are more customer and market focused, more viable and sustainable and which fit strategically with county and regional plans. The DTMaP process itself does not judge or decide on whether or how projects progress.

The IEP shapes and supports new and existing tourism projects, particularly capital projects. It allows project developers to ensure their proposal is evidence-based and appropriate to the development of the county as a visitor destination and how they can maximise support from a variety of agencies. 

We would like your development ideas to be successful and we'd like to help if we can.

More information on the IEP can be found in the Durham Tourism Management Plan in Strategies and Plan section or you can contact the Destination Development Team on 03000 261220

Future development of visitor accommodation

Hotels Solutions were commissioned by Visit County Durham and Durham County Council to provide a robust, evidence-based assessment of the potential for the future development of visitor accommodation.  

The executive summaries below provide an insight into the findings of these reports.  

Bishop Auckland Hotel Development Study Executive Summary
Durham City Hotel Development Study Executive Summary
Seaham Hotel Development Study Executive Summary
Wider County Hotel Development Study Executive Summary

Bed & Breakfast
Bed & Breakfast Review Executive Summary

Glamping Development Executive Summary

Download: Glamping Toolkit

Pub Accommodation
Pub Accommodation Development Executive Summary 

Download: Pub Accommodation Toolkit

Accommodation Development Workshop

Bishop Auckland is continuing to evolve as a visitor destination and there are plenty of exiting opportunities from accommodation development.  To find out more download the presentations from a recent accommodation development workshop which highlights all the opportunities and how to get involved.

Accommodation Development Workshop Presentations

For more information please contact 

Tourism Development 

If you are considering expanding an existing facility or developing a new facility for the visitor economy, we would recommend discussing your proposals with our Planning Development Service, who are keen wherever possible to support the growth of our visitor economy. In addition guidance in this area can be found on the Visit Britain website.

Or contact:

Stephen Reed
Development Manager
Planning Development
Regeneration and Local Services
Durham County Council
County Hall

03000 263 870