Training scheme for businesses in protected areas

The Northern Lands Partnership has launched a new training scheme for businesses operating in the North East’s protected landscapes.

The Northumberland National Park, the North Pennines and Northumberland Coast areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) and the Durham Heritage Coast together cover more than 30 per cent of the North East.

They represent some of the finest landscapes in Northern England and are home to much of the area’s most iconic wildlife, many national nature reserves, the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site, a UNESCO-endorsed European Geopark and much of the nation’s best coastline.

Entitled Sense of Place, the scheme is designed to equip businesses with enhanced skills in welcoming visitors, improve product knowledge and become Protected Landscape ambassadors.

Starting in September, Sense of Place will give businesses the opportunity to have their front-line staff trained to deliver a great customer experience that will leave their visitors raring to return to the North East’s Protected Landscapes.

A series of experience days will incorporate a blend of local knowledge and customer service skills needed to deliver effective and excellent customer service and gain the prestigious Welcome Host Gold certification with the option to complete a nationally-recognised qualification – City & Guilds Level 2 Award in Principles of Customer Service in Hospitality Leisure, Travel and Tourism.

The programme runs across three days each focusing on a specific product or skill. The first is classroom-based and focuses on customer service skills.

The second is an experience day focused on improving knowledge of the protected landscape with a tour led by a blue-badge guide.

The final day is a guided tour sampling new products created through the Northern Lands Project.

Contact Michelle Gorman on 03000 261 221 or michelle.gorman@visitcountydur