Derbyshire tourist board to cash in on funding

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News that the Peak District and Derbyshire are to benefit from a major national campaign to boost the economic value of tourism and create more jobs over the next three years has been welcomed by the area’s official tourist board.

Visit Peak District & Derbyshire is one of a number of key tourism destinations set to share in national tourist board VisitEngland’s successful bid for funding from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, announced on October 31.

The money will be spent on a three-year campaign, Growing Tourism Locally, whose main focus will be a inspire Britons to spend more short breaks and holidays at home and increase the number of jobs in the tourism sector.

“This is excellent news as we pursue our quest to support VisitEngland initiatives to fully exploit tourism’s huge potential to help rejuvenate Britain’s economy, support local tourism businesses and create employment,” said David James, Chief Executive of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire.

“We have been working closely with the national tourist board to maximise the industry’s role in creating and sustaining vibrant and viable conditions to promote current and future prosperity for all.

“This welcome announcement means that we will be able to consolidate and build on the solid foundations we have built over the past six years – including a huge return on investment on our marketing campaigns in 2010.

“We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with VisitEngland over the next three years to make the Growing Tourism Locally initiative a success – locally, regionally and nationally.”

The Peak District and Derbyshire is one a number of leading English destinations – including Bath, Birmingham, Cumbria, Manchester, Merseyside, Newcastle and Nottinghamshire – to share in the national tourist board’s planned campaign.

The money will be spent on designing and implementing local campaigns with partner destinations and on wider thematic campaigns focusing on countryside, heritage, coastal and business tourism, from 2012 through to 2015.

VisitEngland’s Chief Executive, James Berresford confirmed: “This is a huge boost for tourism in England and acknowledgment of the value of our industry to England’s economy.  We will be working in partnership with the Peak District to facilitate growth at a local level.”

Andrew Pugh, Chairman of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, paid tribute to Derbyshire County Council’s crucial role in supporting the area’s tourist board through challenging times.

“The County Council, and in particular its leader, Councillor Andrew Lewer, has played a vital part in co-ordinating and securing continued backing for the tourist board from all the local authorities in the area,” he said. “We are very grateful for the council’s – and his – efforts to ensure that we can move forward with confidence to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by this exciting campaign.”

Added David James: “VisitEngland will now work with the Government on the next stage of the process, to determine the terms and conditions of the funding. When we know exactly how much funding we will be allocated from the national pot, we will then work out in detail what campaigns we will be running to optimise its value – and stimulate even more economic growth - over the next three years.”