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Yacht Valley Strategic Vision

Strategy for the transformation of the yachting industry. The Yacht Valley Project is a cross-border cooperation between the coastal regions of France, England, Belgium and the Netherlands to reinvigorate the yachting industry in the region.

Even before the financial crisis, the yachting industry in the region was already slowing down, and by 2009 the effects were being compounded by the economic downturn. To face these issues, the Yacht Valley Project focuses on creating nautical "service centres" on redevelopment sites, giving old and often derelict industrial waterfronts new life.

Strategy for the transformation of the yachting industry
The Yacht Valley Project is a cross-border cooperation between the coastal regions of France, England, Belgium and the Netherlands to reinvigorate the yachting industry in the region. Taking its collective experience in the redevelopment of former industrial sites, Waterfronts NL and its partners Grontmij, KuiperCompagnons, Royal HaskoningDHV and WA Yachting Consultants drew up a new, integrated approach to waterfront development for the region. Applying its experience around the world, and looking at specific examples in The Netherlands, Waterfronts NL and the Yacht Valley Partners created a strategy for the overall transformation of the water sports industry in the area, and also specific plans for the redevelopment of five waterfronts.

Learn by example
The first step in the process was to learn by seeing existing examples that illustrate the diversity of nautical service centres. The Yacht Valley Partners came together in Lelystad and had a presentation from Waterfronts NL’s information centre on development principles, which was followed by a tour of seven different nautical service centres in the area, ranging from recreational marinas, to mixed use waterfront satellite towns, and the network that binds the region as a whole.

Five SWOT analyses and 18 building blocks to implement ideas locally
The second step of the process was to apply these ideas and examples to Ramsgate, Dunkerque, Nieuwpoort, Hellevoetsluis and Vlissingen. The resulting SWOT analyses provided not only conceptual plans for the physical development of nautical centres in these five locations, but also provides 18 building blocks for SMEs to adapt to changing markets.

Four priorities
Overall the strategy focuses on four priorities:

  1. Safeguarding and strengthening the natural setting: setting the stage
  2. Service and hospitality as a culture
  3. Cross-overs, diversification and cooperation
  4. Marketing and promotion

It also includes "snapshots" with specific recommendations for five cities.


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