The contribution that heritage sites and historic buildings make to the UK’s economy is significant, enabling the country to leverage value from unique assets that attract visitors from all over the world.
While the pandemic restrictions led to unusual fluctuations in visitor numbers, the pre-pandemic figures provide a more reliable picture of how popular heritage attractions are in the UK – and the numbers speak for themselves.
According to English Heritage, 6.2 million people visited its sites in their 2019/2020 year and visitor attractions who are members of ALVA (Association of Leading Visitor Attractions) – many of which are heritage sites –recorded a total of 156.6 million visits in 2019. Top draws for visitors before the pandemic already included Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Edinburgh Castle and Stonehenge, and during the Covid affected 2020-2021 period there was a significant shift to outdoor attractions which saw Windsor Great Park hit top spot in 2021’s figures.
What the visitor numbers show is the strong appetite for tourists to experience and explore the UK’s rich heritage, both inside buildings and the grounds in which they are set. That means ensuring the outdoor ‘offer’ is attractive and useable spaces are equipped in a way that enables events, facilities and services to be extended right across a site.
Key to enabling this is access to power. Almost any outdoor space around a heritage building, such as a courtyard, paved areas around entrances/exits, parks and gardens, footpaths and car parks, can be prepared for power connectivity through the installation of outdoor power distribution units. And as a result, events ranging from food and drink festivals and Christmas fairs to live music gigs and children’s entertainment can be hosted.
Outdoor power distribution units from UK company Pop Up Power Supplies are designed to be permanently installed in the ground, strategically positioned for easy connection, which means they are always ready and available for users. Hiring temporary generators, therefore, should no longer be necessary, providing the anticipated usage and number of users has been correctly identified and the design and specification stage.
Two products in the Pop Up Power Supplies range are ideal for historic and architecturally sensitive locations because they are hidden when not in use – the pop-up power unit and the in-ground power unit.
Pop-up power units are retractable. When not in use they are submerged in the ground, with the only evidence of their presence being the unit’s lid. When an event requires a power connection, the unit is raised from the ground using a simple turning handle – and after the event, the unit is lowered easily back into the ground.
An in-ground unit is accessed via a lockable flip-lid which is recessed to allow for paving, grass or other surface coverings to match the surroundings. This makes it virtually unnoticeable when the lid is closed. Power can be drawn from the unit with the lid locked down, which makes the unit ideal for continuous unattended use.
The ‘hidden in plain sight’ benefit of both the pop-up and in-ground unit is popular with architects, landscape designers and estates managers who are keen to minimise the visual impact of an outdoor power distribution unit.
A number of high profile heritage sites already benefit from these units, including Edinburgh Castle, the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace and the Cutty Sark in Greenwich.
To find out more visit www.popuppower.co.uk.
Tel: 020 8227 0208