£10 million funding to boost tourism in the North of England
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Culture Secretary Sajid Javid have announced a £10 million fund to boost tourism in the North of England.
The fund will go towards a new initiative that will see tourism bodies, such as ‘Cumbria Tourism’ and ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’, work together to attract overseas visitors to the North.
There has been a surge in overseas visitors in recent years, but there is work to do before the North can compete with southern spots like London and Newquay in terms of tourism.
According to data released by the Office for National Statistics, only 9% of overseas visits to England were to the North, with London accounting for over half (54%).
The initiative is expected to pump £177 million into the region’s economy, creating more than 3,200 jobs and resulting in two million more nights spent in local hotels and B&Bs.
UK tourism thriving
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.”
UK tourism has boomed since 2012 with record growth in 2013 and 2014.
Overseas tourists spent £21.7 billion in 2014 and numbers are expected to continue to rise in 2015. The government says it wants to ensure that regions across the country benefit from this boom.
Promote the best of the North
The campaign includes plans to bring travel journalists to the North, to experience and promote the best of the region’s festivals, cultural and sporting offerings.
Major attractions include the Manchester International Festival this July and the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire in May.
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.”