Hundested Port has experienced explosive development during the last 6 - 7 years. Invio has been involved in that process.
In 2010, when Invio was contacted and asked to look at the development opportunities in Hundested Port a long and effective process was set in motion. The challenge was clearly the reduced number of visitors to the port, the dwindling fishing industry and the closure of the ferry service between Hundested and Grenå. But, at the very first meeting, Invio also found equally clear and positive qualities; namely the solid enthusiasm and determination of the local people with Harbormaster Søren Brink at the helm. In addition to looking after the professional business interests of the harbor, Søren Brink and a number of local enthusiasts also had thoughts about making the entire area much more attractive. Several ideas had already been discussed but they lacked input and inspiration from outside.
Through a series of interviews with members of the F5 Business Club in Halsnæs Local Authority and the creative forces in and around Hundested Port, a process was set in motion that was to take several months. During that time there were workshops, examples from other outlying parts of Denmark, experiences from the innovation networks, professional inputs and still more ideas from Hundested in support of the cause that was at the center of their enthusiasm. It was a long and sensitive process with many opinions, facts and figures, development plans, political discussions and, not least, the ever-closer agreement and collaboration between the creative forces of Hundested Port. The mantra was that, before one could invite new players "on board" with the development process, the original enthusiasts should themselves be leading the creative approach to managing the differences that would be necessary to ensure the desired successful outcome. The collaboration between the enthusiasts should function well, so that the more skeptical participants would join in when they saw the development. It resulted in many group meetings about common objectives and resources and, not least, action plans to be coordinated both politically and in practice. All told, a pure experience economy task that Invio would help to facilitate during the years ahead.
The result of the work of the many enthusiasts and their belief in the future, combined with public support and Hundested Port's untiring belief in positive change and progress have produced fantastic results that can be transferred to many of the other outlying areas that exist today. Today, Hundested Port is a symbol of living culture with industrious workplaces, exciting galleries and continually increasing numbers of visitors. So much so, that in 2017, the glass-blowers of Backhaus & Brown at the far end of the quay received over 80,000 visitors. At the same time, the Sand-Sculpture Festival received more than 75,000 paying guests, many of whom also visited and became customers at the Art and Handicrafts Market, Beddingen. The total number of visitors to Hundested Port and Town are considered to have been around 250,000 in 2017. The number of jobs in and around the harbor area have doubled in less than ten years and generated a turnover of around DKK 900 million.
This year, Mayor Steen Hasselriis said:
"Hundested Port could easily have suffered the same fate as so many other fishing ports, where the decline of the fishing industry has lead to the decline of life in the harbors. But, thanks to the far-sightedness at Hundested Port, today we have a harbor that is the envy of many others. That is something we can be very proud of. At the same time, it is clear that we need to continue the development process and, therefore, both the harbor and the municipality have big plans for the future".
With a background in handicraft together with innovation and experience economy as foundation, Hundested Port has lifted itself from being a dying harbor to a lively attraction. The key principles necessary for the success of the drive, energy and enterprise seen at the port during the recent years are:
- Support those who have the wish to achieve, and join the meetings.
- Without development there will be decline.
- Lifting together from the bottom is the only way to get the project up on its feet.
Hundested Port has become a destination for tourists, who find that they can spend many hours there. Christian Warrer, the owner of the Sand Sculpture Festival, says: "It's exactly like visiting Tivoli and spending the entire day there. It's just less expensive here".