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Popular website project back for a second year

28th June 2010

Categories: Latest News

Popular website project back for a second year

Students at Gateshead College have once again jumped at the opportunity to gain experience in the world of work, thanks to a website project set up by the College and Tourism Tyne and Wear.

Following the success of last year’s initiative, where six students were paired with local tourism businesses to design and develop new websites, the project has been extended to further develop five of the original sites and work with four new businesses. 

After 15 weeks of hard work the students have today (28 June) presented their final designs to class mates, tutors and business owners as part of their foundation degree in digital applications development. 

Jamie Burnip, 19, from Chester Le Street worked with Peter and Tracey Briggs who run the Ainsley Guest House in South Shields, he said; “The experience of working with the Briggs’ has been fantastic, I’ve really enjoyed working on the project and not only have I been able to put what I’ve learned about website development into practice, I’ve also built real life experience that I hope I can build on and will help me get a job when I finish the course.” 

For businesses the project has given them the opportunity to improve their consumer websites to encourage more visitors to book accommodation and experiences across Tyne and Wear.
Tracy Briggs, from the Ainsley Guesthouse added; “Jamie has worked brilliantly and the project has been really great for us as it’s a free opportunity to renew an important area of the business. We’ve really enjoyed the process and know of lots of other small businesses who are keen to get involved next year.”

Tom Keating runs Personalised Touring Services as a Blue Badge Guide and worked with 20-year-old Ryan Burrows, he said; “For me the project has been really important, initially Ryan came in and we had a chat about how we could refresh the website and make it more user friendly. The website had become tired and not up-to-date with current trends, and I was keen to ensure that it was also linking in well with other tourism organisations across North East England. 

“Now the site looks clean and modern and gives a flavour of the region as a tourism destination and most importantly, details how I can help visitors explore all that we have on offer.”

The project has been delivered as part of Tourism Tyne and Wear’s ongoing work with local tourism businesses to help influence the visitor experience from the moment they book to the time they leave. 

Cath Hindle, Head of Tourism at Tourism Tyne and Wear said; “We work very closely with businesses across Tyne and Wear. As well as encouraging and supporting them to develop quality experiences for visitors, we are also keen to help businesses make the most of online marketing opportunities. For many the first step lies in developing a vibrant and engaging website that gives visitors an insight into not only the business but also the destination. 

“Last year students worked with guesthouses and B&B’s producing some fantastic sites, this year the results are just as impressive with attractions and tourism experiences benefiting from the project too.”

Businesses and students taking part in the project this year also include Craig Forster, 19, who worked with Ocean Beach Pleasure Park in South Shields, and Christopher Marson, 21 who worked with the Marlborough Guest House in Whitley Bay. 

Adonis Walmsley, module leader and lecturer, at Gateshead College said: “We were really pleased with the results from the project in 2009 and felt that the opportunity for students to work with businesses for a second year would be hugely beneficial to their development, creating further opportunities from them once their foundation degree ends. 

“The students have worked tirelessly to do the best job they possibly can and the results have been fantastic. Each of the students involved in the project have really demonstrated bright futures in web design and the feedback from the businesses so far has been really positive.”

Tourism businesses wishing to explore how Tourism Tyne and Wear can help support through initiatives and advice on a range of subjects should contact Paul Szomoru, Tourism Tyne and Wear’s Business Relationship Manager paul.szomoru@tourismtyneandwear.com

Media Enquiries please contact
Shelley Ann Staines, Media and PR Manager, Tourism Tyne and Wear
shelley.staines@tourismtyneandwear.com 0771 763 1109

Notes to Editors

• Tourism Tyne & Wear is the Area Tourism Partnership for Tyne and Wear.
• The partnership is made up of key stakeholders involved in delivering, developing and promoting the visitor experience in Tyne & Wear and is supported by Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council, Sunderland city Council, South Tyneside Council and North Tyneside Council, and NewcastleGateshead Initiative.
• Tourism Tyne & Wear is a key partner in the Tourism Network North East. Along with the ATP’s in Durham, Northumberland and Tees Valley and the tourism team based within One North East.
• The Foundation Degree in Digital Applications Development covers a range of modules including software development, web programming and development, database development, project management and leadership.
• Gateshead College was rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted (Jan 2009) with grade ones across all six areas of inspection. This result places Gateshead College among the top colleges in the country.
• Gateshead College is one of the largest businesses in the borough with an annual turnover of £27.5million, employing 700 members of staff and educating over 13,000 students per year.
• The college operates from four world class campuses:
o Baltic Campus, Quarryfield Road, Gateshead
o The Skills Academy for Automotive, Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics, Team Valley.
o The Skills Academy for Construction, Team Valley. This Academy is also home to the Gateshead Collective and a Skills and Enterprise Centre for 14 – 16s.
o Academy for Sport at Gateshead International Stadium.
o And two outreach centres in Blaydon and Felling.

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