Major investment in Hadrian’s Wall will boost Cumbrian tourism and improve visitor experience
Following a £400,000 investment from the government, the Hadrian’s Wall Connect Project is set to boost tourism numbers in 2016 through a range of improvements to make it easier for visitors to access the unique World Heritage Site.
The Hadrian’s Wall Connect Project is being delivered through the Hadrian’s Wall Marketing Partnership which includes Northumberland County Council, Carlisle City Council, Northumberland National Park Authority, Northumberland Tourism, Cumbria Tourism, NewcastleGateshead Initiative and English Heritage. All these organisations have been working together to develop transport links and enrich business and tourist information along the corridor of Hadrian’s Wall.
The £400,000 grant led by VisitEngland has helped to secure the popular Go North East AD122 bus service for a further four years and will also see the introduction of ‘Hadrian’s Wall Welcome Hubs’ at key visitor locations including Carlisle, Haltwhistle and Hexham railway stations.
The Hubs will provide visitors with direction at key points and improve access and information about some of the lesser known sites on Hadrian’s Wall such as the Epiacum Roman Fort at Alston and the Senhouse Roman Museum in Maryport.
The Project has also invested in the design and development of new website and marketing materials to promote the Wall as a leading tourist destination.
The new website at www.visithadrianswall.co.uk is optimised to function on mobile devices to help visitors plan their trips in real-time. It offers everything from pre and post arrival information, to event details, places to visit and travel information to improve connectivity between historical and local business sites along the Wall.
Other improvements include new road signage at key points and increased promotion of existing public transport options to fill gaps in the current provision of public transport.
Councillor Val Tyler, Policy Board Member for Community Infrastructure and Culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “Northumberland is a proud county with a proud history. Hadrian’s Wall marked the northern boundary of the Roman Empire for nearly 400 years and we take our duty to protect it, manage it and educate people about the monument very seriously.
“The Wall draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to the North of England every year and we owe it to businesses and service providers to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to enable visitors to access our key attractions. I would like to thank VisitEngland for their funding and I am delighted that we have been able to deliver some big improvements in a short time scale.”
The 150 mile Hadrian’s Wall frontier zone runs from the western Roman coastal defences at Ravenglass, through Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport to Bowness-on-Solway, along Hadrian’s Wall through Carlisle and Hexham to Newcastle, Wallsend and South Shields.
There were over 30 forts on the Roman frontier across the North of England, including 16 along the line of the 73 mile wall itself plus coastal, outpost and supply forts. Along the wall there were around 80 milecastles and 160 turrets, a ditch to the north and the great defensive vallum earthwork to the south.
VisitEngland Director Patricia Yates said: “Hadrian’s Wall is one of England’s greatest tourism assets and this investment to improve the visitor experience will drive more domestic and inbound trips, benefiting local businesses and communities and spreading the economic benefits of tourism across the region.”
Photo caption: The funding has secured the Go North East AD122 bus service for a further four years and created a new website to help visitors plan their trips in real-time.
For images, interviews and information relating to The Hadrian’s Wall Connect Project, contact Round Table Solutions Ltd: Amy Maughan E: firstname.lastname@example.org M: 07980 703566 Office: 01670 338 391, John McCabe E: email@example.com M: 07527 150 824 Office: 01670 338 391.
Notes to Editors:
Hadrian’s Wall Marketing Partnership includes:
English Heritage www.english-heritage.org.uk
Northumberland County Council www.northumberland.gov.uk
Carlisle City Council www.carlisle.gov.uk
Northumberland Tourism www.northumberlandtourism.org.uk
Cumbria Tourism www.cumbriatourism.org
National Trust www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hadrians-wall
Tyne & Wear Museums www.twmuseums.org.uk
Vindolanda Trust www.vindolanda.com
Northumberland National Park www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk
English Heritage – is the custodian of over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites through which we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year.
The Hadrian’s Wall frontier is part of the transnational World Heritage Site – Frontiers of the Roman Empire – which includes the Antonine Wall in Scotland and the Upper German/Raetian Limes. This represents the borderline of the Roman Empire at its furthest extent in the 2nd century AD. It stretched from the west coast of northern Britain through Europe to the Black Sea and from there to the Red Sea and across North Africa to the Atlantic coast.
The Hadrian’s Wall Partnership Board is responsible for coordinating management of the Hadrian’s Wall component of the FRE WHS including protection, public understanding and sustainable development. The 2015 – 2019 Management Plan was published on the www.visithadrianswall.co.uk website earlier this year. It sets out the significance of the World Heritage Site and policies and priority actions to protect this significance and to provide benefit to visitors and local communities. John Scott is the Management Plan coordinator and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org Hadrian’s Wall Connect provides an ideal opportunity to deliver Management Plan objectives, to strengthen partnership working, to assist businesses by addressing some key issues.
Hadrian’s Wall Country is the brand used to promote the World Heritage Site to visitors. The brand was introduced in 2002 by the Hadrian’s Wall Tourism Partnership and conveys and reinforces values that encourage visitors, linking the World Heritage Site to the rural and urban landscape through which it runs. Larger than the official boundary of the WHS, Hadrian’s Wall Country covers an area approximately ten miles north and south of the frontier and five miles in from the Cumbrian coast. The Hadrian’s Wall Country identity helps to locate and promote the WHS via information on the www.visithadrianswall.co.uk website, and the Hadrian’s Wall Country bus, railway line, volunteers, walking and cycling routes, and local produce sub-brands.
Uniquely for a heritage site, travelling and movement are key parts of the Hadrian’s Wall experience. Filling in the gaps of transport provision, ensuring sustainability of current transport provision, orientating visitors and ensuring the standardising of pre and post arrival information are essential to a quality visitor experience.
VisitEngland is the national tourism agency – a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), VisitBritain/VisitEngland* plays a unique role in building England’s tourism product, raising Britain’s profile worldwide, increasing the volume and value of tourism exports and developing England and Britain’s visitor economy.
Working with a wide range of partners in both the UK and overseas, our mission is to grow the volume and value of inbound tourism across the nations and regions of Britain and to develop world-class English tourism product to support our growth aspirations. See more at: https://www.visitbritain.org/overview#sthash.hKWeQiaE.dpuf
* VisitBritain/VisitEngland are legally constituted as the British Tourist Authority (BTA) under the Development of Tourism Act 1969. – See more at: https://www.visitbritain.org/overview#sthash.hKWeQiaE.dpuf