Visit County Durham adopts a partnership approach to all of its functions. Since its inception in 2006 Visit County Durham has established or joined coalitiions of organisations and individuals from the private and public sectors who agree to work together for a common aim or a set of compatible aims, and who share resources and responsibilities and agree to work in a co-operative and mutually supportive fashion.
Visit County Durham is a member of the County Durham Economic Partnership which comprises over 50 public, private and voluntary sector organisations involved in the economic development and regeneration of the county. Through membership of the partnership, Visit County Durham seeks to influence economic strategy and policy, promoting the opportunity for economic success that the visitor economy presents and supporting partner organisations contribute to the development of the county's tourism offer.
The MD is a member of the county's Cultural Partnership Board and provides the link between the Cultural Partnership Board and the Economic Partnership Board. The Cultural Partnership comprises a board of 10 led by an independent chair that in turn supports a wider forum for many of the county's cultural organisations.
Durham County Council is the main funder of Visit County Durham and also the employer of its staff. This arrangement, where the private sector company draws its staff from the local authority ensures that both the company and the authority benefit from the knowledge, skills and expertise of the staff and that the approach to the county's visitor economiy is a true public/private partnership.
Area Action Partnerships (AAPs) act as a conduit between local communities and Durham County Council in the delivery of services to enable local people to make decisions about their area. Three of the fourteen partnerships have identified tourism as a local priority and Visit County Durham works with those AAPs attending meetings and providing support in the form of information, advice and market intelligence.