PEAK’S WARM RECEPTION FOR £10 MILLION NORTHERN TOURISM CASH BOOST

News that the Government is planning to pump £10 million into promoting tourism in northern England has been given an enthusiastic welcome by Visit Peak District & Derbyshire.

The area’s official tourist board has praised proposals to create a coherent strategy for attracting more tourists to the area, announced today (Thursday) by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the Northern Futures Summit in Leeds.

The Peak District was one of a ‘cornucopia of attractions’ cited by Mr. Clegg, Member of Parliament for Sheffield Hallam, which could be included in an initiative to lure tourists out of London to enjoy the North’s stunning countryside, history and culture.

Mr. Clegg revealed that ring-fenced cash from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is set to be channelled into national tourist board VisitEngland, with support from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, from 2015. Like previous RGF campaigns, it will rely on match funding, bringing together resources from the public and private sectors.

David James, Chief Executive of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, hailed the announcement as ‘a beacon of hope that will help to put leading tourist destinations such as the Peak District and Derbyshire even more firmly on the map’.

“It has the potential to help key destinations such as ours build on work we have already done during the three-year RGF Growing Tourism Locally campaign – including our first-ever high-profile television commercial – to persuade tourists that there’s much more to England than just the many attractions in the capital,” he added.

“The Peak District and Derbyshire is the perfect countryside partner for many of the country’s great northern cities – ideally situated between Manchester and Sheffield and within easy reach of Liverpool and Leeds – so we will be extremely keen to get involved in Northern Futures to maximise future investment in and opportunities for tourism businesses across our area.

“Like VisitEngland, we are pleased that the Government rightly recognises tourism as a key driver of economic growth, generating wealth and supporting and creating jobs. In 2013, its value to the Peak District and Derbyshire economy was £1.8 billion and it supported 27,500 full-time equivalent jobs.*

“We look forward to working with VisitEngland, our public and private sector partners and co-operating with other tourism destinations to make the most of the benefits that Northern Futures is poised to bring.”

Twitter followers can nominate their favourite Peak District and Derbyshire hotspots and Seven Wonders of the North by joining the on-line discussion using #NorthernFutures.

Visit Peak District & Derbyshire is one of 14 leading tourism destinations currently involved in the three-year RGF Growing Tourism Locally campaign. Research by VisitEngland reveals that it has so far generated more than £20.43 million in visitor spending, equating to 380 full-time equivalent jobs, in the Peak District and Derbyshire.

Ends.

For further details, contact Janette Sykes, PR Manager, Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, on 07792 924839 or at janette.sykes@visitpeakdistrict.com.

Note to News Editors

*Research compiled by Global Tourism Solutions (UK) Ltd, using the STEAM (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor) model used by the tourism industry to measure annual economic performance. It includes Derbyshire and the city of Derby.

Visit Peak District & Derbyshire – the area’s official tourist board – works with VisitBritain, VisitEngland, Derbyshire County Council, all local authorities in the Peak District and Derbyshire, tourism business partners and surrounding tourism organisations that share the Peak District. It is committed to the successful and sustainable development of tourism.

About ‘Growing Tourism Locally’ – a Regional Growth Fund Tourism Investment Project

In October 2011 VisitEngland’s application to the Government’s Regional Growth Fund was approved by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).  £19.8 million was awarded to deliver a three year partner marketing project entitled ‘Growing Tourism Locally’.

This project aims to stimulate the domestic visitor market to grow local economies through increased tourism activity by UK residents.  The project enables VisitEngland to work in partnership to facilitate growth at a local level, further amplifying the second Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign that was launched in March this year.

The project ‘Growing Tourism Locally’ has the potential to create the equivalent of 9,139 full time jobs across England and is focussed on supporting areas that are currently dependent on the public sector for employment to transition to private sector-led growth and prosperity where tourism can be a key contributor.

The RGF funding is matched with private sector funding at national and local levels to create a project of £41million over 3 years to March 2015.

About Regional Growth Fund

The Government’s Regional Growth Fund is a £3.2 billion fund designed to help companies in England to grow.  It supports projects and programmes committed to leveraging private investment and delivering sustainable jobs.

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