‘Health check’ launched for tourism businesses

Cumbria’s tourism businesses are being asked to take part in a county-wide survey to find out how the sector is performing.

The ‘Tourism Business Health Check’ being co-ordinated by Cumbria Tourism aims to understand the successes and challenges being faced by businesses across the county’s £2.62 billion tourism industry.

As Cumbria heads into its main visitor season, the anonymous survey being distributed to businesses will enable them to benchmark their performance over the past 6 months (October 2016-March 2017) and comment on the issues and trends affecting trade – from the impact of Brexit to the skills and training needs in their organisation.

The research will be used by Cumbria Tourism to help make the county’s case for future investment funding and business support. It will also inform the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and its Growth Plan for the Visitor Economy.

Research Manager for Cumbria Tourism, Helen Tate, says, “This survey is quick and easy to complete and is really important for helping us to understand the factors affecting trade, in both a positive and negative way. We have been carrying out the six monthly business survey for many years now and it has helped us to build up a long-term picture of current and emerging issues, so we can keep supporting the industry and continuously improving the county as a tourism destination.”

Cumbria Tourism’s six-monthly ‘Tourism Business Health Check’ is just one area of regular research undertaken by the organisation. Other analysis by the research team includes county-wide visitor surveys, monthly occupancy surveys, regular analysis of accommodation stock and data collection from Tourist Information Centres and visitor attractions, all of which help us to understand the performance of – and plans for – the tourism industry in Cumbria.

For more information, contact Research Manager, Helen Tate: htate@cumbriatourism.org

VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence 2017 name Cumbrian finalists

Three Cumbrian Tourism Award winners have been revealed as finalists in VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence 2017 in the following categories:

• Park Cliffe Camping & Caravan Estate Windermere – Holiday Park / Holiday Village of the Year category

• The Waternook Estate Ullswater – Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year

• FSC Blencathra Centre, Threlkeld – Sustainable Tourism Award

The national awards recognise and congratulate those businesses and individuals from across England who champion the very best practice and excellence in customer service, with the local finalists all selected from Cumbria Tourism’s own regional award winners in 2016.

This year saw the highest number of applications ever submitted for the awards, and the 67 finalists were selected from almost 600 applications spread across 22 categories.

Rachel Tyson Head of Marketing and Sales at Cumbria Tourism, says;
“It is a fantastic achievement for these three highly successful Cumbrian businesses to reach the final stages of these prestigious awards and represent Cumbria at a national level. They are already Cumbria Tourism award-winners and I wish them all the best for the final and look forward to the results.”

Commenting on being shortlisted in the Sustainable Tourism category;

Tim Foster Head of Centre at FSC Blencathra Centre says;

“This is quite amazing following on from our success in 2016 as the Cumbria Tourism Sustainable Tourism Winner and reflects well on our organisations commitment to sustainability. At the heart of our work is renewable energy and this has expanded our education programmes to cover demonstration of renewable energy issues both to our learners and to a wider business audience making sustainability a reality.”

The winners of this prestigious accolade will be announced by VisitEngland at the Awards ceremony on Monday 24 April at the Hilton Waldorf, London.

VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence 2017 name Cumbrian finalists

Three Cumbrian Tourism Award winners have been revealed as finalists in VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence 2017 in the following categories:
• Park Cliffe Camping & Caravan Estate Windermere – Holiday Park / Holiday Village of the Year category
• The Waternook Estate Ullswater – Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year
• FSC Blencathra Centre, Threlkeld – Sustainable Tourism Award

The national awards recognise and congratulate those businesses and individuals from across England who champion the very best practice and excellence in customer service, with the local finalists all selected from Cumbria Tourism’s own regional award winners in 2016.

This year saw the highest number of applications ever submitted for the awards, and the 67 finalists were selected from almost 600 applications spread across 22 categories.

Rachel Tyson Head of Marketing and Sales at Cumbria Tourism, says;
“It is a fantastic achievement for these three highly successful Cumbrian businesses to reach the final stages of these prestigious awards and represent Cumbria at a national level. They are already Cumbria Tourism award-winners and I wish them all the best for the final and look forward to the results.”

Commenting on being shortlisted in the Sustainable Tourism category;
Tim Foster Head of Centre at FSC Blencathra Centre says; “This is quite amazing following on from our success in 2016 as the Cumbria Tourism Sustainable Tourism Winner and reflects well on our organisations commitment to sustainability. At the heart of our work is renewable energy and this has expanded our education programmes to cover demonstration of renewable energy issues both to our learners and to a wider business audience making sustainability a reality.”

The winners of this prestigious accolade will be announced by VisitEngland at the Awards ceremony on Monday 24 April at the Hilton Waldorf, London.

charles-hrh

HRH The Prince of Wales honoured by Cumbria’s tourism industry.

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is being recognised with a unique award for his ‘Special Contribution to Tourism in Cumbria’ during a visit to the county today, Monday 10 April 2017.

Cumbria Tourism – the destination marketing organisation which represents 2,400 tourism businesses – is honouring The Prince of Wales for his many years of strong support for visitor dependent businesses and communities. Notable examples include 2001’s outbreak of foot and mouth disease, as well as the floods in 2009 and 2015.

His Royal Highness is being presented with a personalised print of iconic Herdwick sheep in a Lake District setting by the Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Ian Stephens. It is part of a visit to preview Whitehaven’s redeveloped Rosehill Theatre, which is set to open to the public in May, including a newly restored auditorium and a new restaurant overlooking the Solway Firth.

Rosehill is a member of Cumbria Tourism and this exciting redevelopment represents a significant addition to the visitor economy of the west coast of Cumbria. This will lead to increased business for hotels and accommodation providers, as well as extended stays and additional draw from the central Lake District and further afield, linking closely with our cultural tourism programme.

The Herdwick sheep print is the work of celebrated photographer Ian Lawson, whose Herdwick exhibition at Rheged in 2015 was enjoyed by His Royal Highness on a previous visit to the county.

Ian Stephens said, “The Prince of Wales has been extremely supportive of Cumbria and helped communities and businesses through some difficult times. He has always been willing to come to the county in time of crisis and so many of the residents and businesses that we’ve spoken to have a very real sense that he genuinely cares about what happens here”.

He added, “As an organisation, Cumbria Tourism felt the time was right to recognise His Royal Highness for this long-standing commitment and this presentation is a reflection of the affinity and long-standing respect he has for this special part of the world”.

Richard Elder, Director of Rosehill said: “We are very pleased to welcome Cumbria Tourism to make this presentation to His Royal Highness at Rosehill, and to highlight the significant part Rosehill can play in the Cumbrian visitor economy, following this redevelopment”.

£5m of funding available for rural businesses and communities in Cumbria

Applications for LEADER grants are invited from rural businesses, farmers, foresters, growers, landowners, tourism providers as well as voluntary and charitable organisations.
Capital funding is available to support a wide range of activities including:

  • New farm technologies to improve profitability and sustainability.
  • Micro and small rural businesses, including community and social enterprises, to start up and grow and to provide improvements in productivity and efficiency.
  • Farm diversifications including adding value to farm produce and diversification into non-farming activity.
  • Small scale tourism projects, such as new and existing visitor attractions, accommodation and activities.
  • Enterprising community projects such as multi use space hubs for key services, innovative technologies and products, small scale community infrastructure projects.
  • Forestry investments in new machinery and equipment and to add value to forestry products.
  • Culture and heritage projects including restoration and conservation of buildings, enhancement of cultural activities etc.

Priority will be given to projects that create jobs, help your business to grow, and which benefit the wider rural economy.
The LEADER programme funding is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), and is being funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the European Union (EU) through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
The funding is administered by the Cumbria Fells & Dales, and Solway, Border and Eden Local Action Groups (LAGs) with Cumbria County Council acting as the Accountable Body.
Fells and Dales Local Action Group joint chairs, John Turner of Lonsdale Estates and Steve Ratcliffe of the Lake District National Park Authority, said: “The LEADER programmes continue to support the county’s rural areas in ways which respect both its distinctiveness and diversity, and they help build stronger, more resilient rural communities.”

Solway, Border and Eden Local Action Group joint chairs Brian Armstrong, a local farmer who also represents The Farmer Network and Rob Randell, Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership Chair, said: “We are looking for innovative ideas and projects which will be a springboard for job creation and economic growth.”

To find out if your project is eligible for funding, how to apply and examples of previously funded projects please visit the LAG websites:  www.sbeleader.org.uk and www.fellsanddales.org.uk.

Notes to Editors:

LEADER is a well-established method of providing European Rural Development Programme (RDP) funding at the local level. LEADER is a (French) acronym which roughly translates as ‘Links between the rural economy and development actions’.
The Solway, Border & Eden (SBE) area covers a large area of northern Cumbria, comprising the predominantly lowland areas of the West Cumbria and Solway coastal plain and parts of the Eden Valley, extending to the more sparsely populated North Pennines uplands in the east. The Cumbria Fells and Dales area (CFD) will correspond to both of the National Parks, plus the remainder of South Lakeland District (including rural actions based in Kendal), Upper Eden, and Penrith and beyond and the Millom peninsula.
During the previous EU programming round (2007-2013), Solway, Border and Eden and Cumbria Fells and Dales Local Action Groups (LAGs) delivered RDPE funding in Cumbria with a total grant budget of £15 million. Grants were awarded to farms, foresters, small businesses and rural communities across the LAG areas. Combined with match-funding the programmes facilitated a total investment of more than £30 million. The investment supported over 350 projects, created 321 jobs and safeguarded 112 jobs. It also delivered 15,000 training days to 12,627 beneficiaries.
Contact details for LEADER Programmes:
Websites:
www.sbeleader.org.uk
www.fellsanddales.org.uk
Emails:
sbeleader@cumbria.gov.uk
fellsanddales@cumbria.gov.uk
Tel: 01900 706000 – Cumbria County Council Economic Programmes Office

La'al Ratty

Lake District’s newest attraction to open this Summer

In June 2017, the Ravenglass Railway Museum will officially open to the public after undergoing a major, two year, Heritage Lottery-funded redevelopment.

Built on the site of Ravenglass Station, in the West of Cumbria, the new train-shed extension will double the previous museum’s footprint and create a brand-new museum experience.

The museum owns more than 6,000 objects ranging from 15inch gauge locomotives and rolling stock through to uniforms, photographs and historic engineering, but the new development will see these artefacts come to life with interactive exhibitions allowing visitors to not only see the heritage steam locomotives, but to watch how they work and sit in the driving seat too.

David Rounce, Project and Activities Manager of the Ravenglass Railway Museum said: “We’re excited for the public to see everything we’ve been working on. The museum relies entirely on volunteers and over the last year they have worked extensively to restore the stock, much of which is over 100 years old, to make sure it is in working order and in exhibition condition.’

A star attraction will be the steam locomotive ‘Katie’ which ran at Ravenglass in 1916 and has just been restored to working condition for the first time since the 1920s.

The new professionally-designed displays will appeal to the family and enthusiast alike. Exhibits will include a collection of locomotives and rolling stock spanning the line’s opening in 1875 to the present day, including an interactive steam engine exhibit that visitors can operate themselves. There will also be models and objects telling the story of ‘La’al Ratty’s industrial past as well as the daily life of workers on the railway including their uniforms, ‘bait’ boxes and games to determine if the visitors would be suited to the job.

Thanks to Arts Council PRISM funding, awarded in January 2017, the museum will also boast the restored ‘Big Saloon’ coach which dates back to the opening of the railway to 3ft gauge in 1875, and visitors will be able to hop in and imagine taking a trip up the new line in the 1870s.

Located in the only coastal village in the Lake District, Ravenglass Station is also home to the Ravenglass and Eskdale Stream Railway, or ‘La’al Ratty’; a 7-mile tourist attraction traveling through the Eskdale Valley.

David continued: “As well as attracting tourists from ‘La’al Ratty’ to the museum, we hope it will become something of a community focal point through a programme of changing, community-led, exhibitions, and a range of curriculum-linked resources for schools are being developed to educate local children about the technology and history not only of the railway, but also life and industry in the area.”

There will also be a private archive on the upper level of the new building, for researcher and enthusiasts to book in advance and see intricate artefacts and memorabilia from the heritage railway’s history.

The museum will be open whenever the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway is running, which is every day in the summer season. An official opening day and event will be announced soon.

Ends.

Notes to editors:
1. Images: ‘Katie’ (ran the railway in 1916 and has been restored to working order ready to use and display in the museum. Katie hasn’t yet arrived at Ravenglass) Peter (the museum curator drives Synolda across Barrow Marsh towards Ravenglass May 2016)
2. For more information contact: Catherine Taylor, 01539 825019, ctaylor@cumbriatourism.org
3. The project gained £488,700 of Heritage Lottery Funding in September 2015, along with match-funding from Cumbria Community Foundation (CCF), Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG), Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Preservation Society (RERPS) and Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway (R&ER).
4. Located in Ravenglass on the Cumbrian coast, the current museum opened in 1978in one of the former Furness Railway platform buildings housing a collection of artefacts which had been accumulated around the centenary of the Ravenglass &Eskdale Railway (‘La’al Ratty’) in 1976. The museum is run by the Ravenglass Railway Museum Trust in partnership with the R&ER and RERPS (Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway Preservation Society), and the collection consists of more than 2,000 items, ranging from the 15” gauge Bassett-Lowke loco’ ‘Synolda’ through to models, tools and remnants of one of the original 3’ gauge coaches, plus an extensive archive of photographs (c5,000), tickets, timetables and other ephemera.

gardens-at-lakeside-hotel-spa-windermere

Help your community flourish with an entry into the 2017 Cumbria in Bloom Awards

Entries are now open for this year’s ‘Cumbria in Bloom, Pride in Your Community’ Awards and tourism businesses are being urged to make their mark on the competition by 30th April 2017.

For over 30 years, Cumbria in Bloom has been encouraging people to make visual improvements to their surroundings for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike. With the outcome of the Lake District’s bid for UNESCO World Heritage status expected this summer, there’s never been a better time to spruce up Cumbria’s horticultural delights and showcase this inspirational ‘cultural landscape’.

Cumbria Tourism is backing the awards, with three special categories for the county’s tourism businesses to take part in:

• Visitor attractions, tourist information centres, caravan parks, and self-catering providers can compete for the Rose Bowl.

• Hotels can showcase their floral delights in a bid for the Jackie Sanderson Trophy.

• B&Bs and guesthouses face a botanic battle for the Cumbria Tourism Chairman’s Trophy.

Also, new to this year is the Greening Grey Britain for Wildlife award, which is open to entries from tourism businesses, schools and neighbourhood groups.

Some of the 2016 winners include: The World of Beatrix Potter (Rose Bowl), The Willowsmere Bed & Breakfast (Cumbria Tourism Chairman’s Trophy), Lakeside Hotel & Spa and Cedar Manor Hotel (Joint winners of Jackie Sanderson Trophy).

ct logo 477 x 322

Businesses to debate key issues for £2.62 billion tourism sector

The impact of Brexit on Cumbria’s tourism industry, tourism apprenticeships, and trends in the camping and caravanning sector – just three of the key issues to be highlighted by guest speakers at Cumbria Tourism’s Commercial Members’ Meeting taking place at Armathwaite Hall in Bassenthwaite on Thursday 9 March 2017.

As the county’s official destination marketing organisation, Cumbria Tourism represents 2,400 member businesses and holds regular Commercial Members’ Meetings around the county to network and discuss topical issues, insights and marketing opportunities for the industry.

Next week’s event gets underway with guest speaker Kurt Janson, who is Director of the Tourism Alliance and will be discussing the implications of Brexit and other current legislation for tourism-related businesses.

Attendees will also hear from the outgoing National Chairman of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association, Henry Wild, who will give an update on the camping and caravan sector. Meanwhile, Enterprise & Innovation Lead at the University of Cumbria, Paul Armstrong, will talk about the new Apprenticeship Levy coming into force for UK employers.

There will also be an update on Cumbria Tourism’s recent and planned activity on behalf of the county’s £2.62 billion tourism sector led by Managing Director, Ian Stephens, alongside Head of Marketing and Sales, Rachel Tyson.
Stands will include Bespoke Aroma, Out of Eden, Uptop Photography & Videography, University of Cumbria and NPD.

If you are a current member and have not yet booked your place at the Commercial Members’ Meeting – or if you are not yet a member and are interested in joining Cumbria Tourism – please contact the team on 01539 822222 / stollerson@cumbriatourism.org.

turma-two

Tickets on sale date announced for ‘Turma! Hadrian’s Cavalry Charge in Carlisle’

The dramatic sight of 30 cavalrymen performing intricate manoeuvres and showcasing their skills with javelins and other weapons can be seen in Carlisle on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July in ‘Turma! Hadrian’s Cavalry Charge in Carlisle’.

Tickets to attend this unique event celebrating the accession of Hadrian to the Imperial Roman throne 1,900 years ago go on sale from Friday 3 March.
Part of Hadrian’s Cavalry (www.hadrianscavalry.co.uk), a unique exhibition along the full length of Hadrian’s Wall celebrating the cavalry regiments that once guarded the mighty North West frontier of the Roman Empire, Turma! Hadrian’s Cavalry Charge in Carlisle, will see a troop of 30 Roman cavalrymen perform together for the first time in over 1,500 years.

Taking place at Bitts Park, Carlisle on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July, Turma! Hadrian’s Cavalry Charge in Carlisle will showcase some of the exercises the Roman cavalry would have performed at sites across the Wall, many described by Hadrian himself.

Bill Griffiths, head of programmes for Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and chair of the Hadrian’s Cavalry steering group, said: “This is a rare chance to see the Roman Cavalry in action. Roman cavalry were famous for their lavishly decorated helmets and body armour. The Cavalry would regularly perform exercises to illustrate their skill and prowess. We are really looking forward to bringing this Roman display back to life!”

Bitts Park in Carlisle will be transformed into a Roman Cavalry pageant, complete with mini Hadrian’s Wall visitor village. After passing through the recruitment house, audiences will enter a Roman infantry encampment where they will be invited to join separate teams to cheer on the Roman cavalrymen as they compete with each other in the parade ground. Audiences will also be able to meet some of the cavalrymen and their horses to see close-up the ornate armour and dress.

Turma! Hadrian’s Cavalry Charge in Carlisle will feature Roman re-enactors, exhibitions from across the wall, crafts and food and drink concessions.
Zoe Bottrell, producer of Turma! Hadrian’s Cavalry Charge in Carlisle, said: “It is a privilege to be working alongside Alan Larsen and his fabulously skilled horses and riders to create the Turma. It is unique and special event to be able to re-create a bit of history, whilst adding a bit of theatre along the way. We hope that audiences will enjoy this remarkable show of skill and pageantry.”
Historically, a turma was a troop of 30 cavalrymen, the basic unit of a Roman cavalry regiment. Turma! Hadrian’s Cavalry Charge in Carlisle brings to life the training exercises the cavalrymen performed in front of senior officers and sometimes the Emperor himself. The exercises included performing intricate manoeuvres whilst showcasing their skills with spears and other weaponry. Teams of cavalrymen competed to receive the Emperor’s praise.

Turma! Hadrian’s Cavalry Charge in Carlisle takes place on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July at Bitts Park, Carlisle. Performance times are 2pm and 6pm on Saturday 1 July and 4pm on Sunday 2 July 2017. Early bird tickets, available until Monday 1 May, cost £6.50 for children and £9.50 for adults. Full price tickets cost £8:00 for children and £12.50 for adults. A special family ticket (two adults, three children) cost £35.

Tickets go on sale at 10:00 on Friday 3 March from www.hadrianscavalry.co.uk/tickets. Turma! Hadrian’s Cavalry Charge in Carlisle tickets can also be bought in person at Carlisle Tourist Information Centre and Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery.

Turma! Hadrian’s Cavalry Charge in Carlisle ticket holders can also benefit from discounted entry into some Hadrian’s Cavalry exhibition venues and the AD122 Hadrian’s Wall Country bus. For full details visit www.hadrianscavalry.co.uk.
Other cavalry-themed re-enactment events will take place throughout August as part of Hadrian’s Cavalry. Venues include Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum (5 & 6 August), Great North Museum: Hancock (19 & 20 August) and Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum (27 & 28 August).

Additional Roman-themed re-enactment events can be seen at various English Heritage sites too. For details visit www.english-heritage.org.uk

Turma! Hadrian’s Cavalry Charge in Carlisle is part of Hadrian’s Cavalry, which opens on Saturday 8 April at 10 museums and heritage attractions along the full 150mile length of Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site area. The exhibition brings together a unique group of Roman cavalry objects including ornate helmets, armour and weapons on loan from national and international museums; all shown alongside objects from museums across the Wall. Hadrian’s Cavalry runs until Sunday 10 September 2017.

For more information visit www.hadrianscavalry.co.uk
Turma! Hadrian’s Cavalry Charge in Carlisle is funded by Arts Council England, Carlisle City Council and Christian Levett.