£10m boost for tourism in the north

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the celebration of Sir Alan Beith's 40th anniversary as MP. Ref: JCNG cleggbeith 20
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the celebration of Sir Alan Beith's 40th anniversary as MP. Ref: JCNG cleggbeith 20

Northern destinations will receive £10million of Government funding to boost tourism and attract international visitors from across the world, including the USA and China, the Deputy Prime Minister and Culture Secretary announced yesterday.

The funding will go towards a ground-breaking new initiative that will see tourism bodies, among others, work together to sell what’s unique about the north under one umbrella. The north has seen fantastic growth from overseas visitors in recent years, but there is more to do.

The move is expected to pump £177million into the region’s economy, creating more than 3,200 jobs and resulting in two million more nights spent in hotels and B&Bs.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “I’m immensely proud of the stunning countryside, history and culture that the north has to offer, and yet all too often international visitors flock to London rather than our northern beauty spots and cities. As the most senior member of Government from the north, I invited local people to get involved with my Northern Futures initiative to strengthen the economy and ensure the north is on the map as a top tourist destination. This funding will help bring together existing work being done to boost tourism right across the north, showcasing major events such as the Tour de Yorkshire whilst creating a single vision for showing off the jewels of the north for all to see.”

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Visitors to Britain want to see world-class heritage, culture and stunning landscapes, and the north of England has these in abundance. Our record tourism boom is already building the Northern Powerhouse, delivering jobs and growth as part of our long-term economic plan. By helping destinations work closely together to attract tourists we will ensure everywhere from Leeds to the Lake District benefits. This, in turn, will set an example across the country, showing what can be achieved when we work collaboratively.”

During his visit to the North East last month, Chancellor George Osborne announced a six-point economic plan for the north, with one being to boost tourism and the rural economy in the North East to attract an additional 150,000 overseas visitors each year, which includes new investment for Lindisfarne Castle as well as Hadrian’s Wall. The aim is to provide £1.2million to the National Trust to enhance Lindisfarne Castle.

Sally Balcombe, chief executive at VisitBritain, said: “Building on the success of recent events such as the Tour de France in Yorkshire in encouraging international visits, this funding will ensure that we continue to spread the economic benefits of inbound tourism across the country. We look forward to working closely with the northern partners and VisitEngland as we develop and deliver this project to inspire and motivate international travellers. Tourism is not only a job creator, but a key export industry at which Britain is demonstrably successful – breaking records for visitors in 2014 with further growth predicted across the North in 2015.”