Culture in South Lakes
Helping businesses maximise world-class cultural assets.
A high-profile marketing and promotional campaign to showcase South Lakeland’s world-class cultural attractions is underway, thanks to £92,294 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
We were selected to carry out the work on behalf of South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) to help support the area’s cultural, heritage institutions and assets – and its wider cultural offer – during the traditionally quieter winter months out of the main visitor season.
The aim is to increase visitor numbers and engagement, raising the profile of South Lakeland as an outstanding cultural destination and helping to kickstart year-round tourism.
Let us introduce you to some of the wonderful venues featured in the Culture in South Lakes project.
Why is cultural tourism important?
Arts, entertainment and recreation in South Lakeland directly employs around 1500 people and indirectly supports thousands of other jobs in the district (Source: Cumbria Observatory).
The Cumbria Visitor Survey 2022 shows that 19% of people visiting Cumbria went to an art gallery, artistic/cultural exhibit or museum (rising to 27% of staying visitors and 35% of first-time visitors). 4% also watched performing arts – this figure is 5% in South Lakeland.
According to VisitBritain research, visiting museums, art galleries, castles and historic houses are all within the top seven activities undertaken by international visitors. The UK also ranks 3rd for culture out of 60 nations in The Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index 2022, underlining its importance for attracting overseas markets.
Cultural assets create a strong sense of place, not only adding economic value but bringing positive social impacts around health, wellbeing and community too
The tourism industry and culture sector can work hand-in-hand to create memorable visitor experiences which encourage people to return again and again.
A dedicated Culture in South Lakes page on our visitor-facing website www.visitlakedistrict.com is helping inspire both residents and visitors around South Lakeland’s cultural offer. You can also use this content to weave into your own marketing materials.
Top Tips to Attract Cultural Tourists
- Create awareness of ‘things to do’ and unique experiences by posting about cultural attractions and events on your social media feeds, and share content from facebook.com/LakeDistrictCumbria
- Have a ‘things to do’ page on your website and include hyperlinks to local attractions.
- Use good quality imagery on social and websites. Cumbria Tourism members can download imagery from our Media Library free of charge.
- If local attractions have a ‘where to stay’ (accommodation) page, ask them to link to your property. Reciprocal links can help your SEO rankings.
- To attract the attention of people motivated to visit by culture, include a ‘places to visit’ or ‘events’ section in your e-newsletters.
- Download our cultural itineraries below and add them to room folders, or hand them out to guests who ask for ideas on places to visit and things to do.
- Appeal to ‘warm contacts’ by advertising in Cumbria Tourism’s culture and heritage e-newsletter.
- Contact your local attractions and discuss joint promotions. For example, it might be possible to have an arrangement on ticketing that then allows you to run special offer, such as a theatre break.
- Increase the knowledge of your front-of-house staff by attending familiarisation visits arranged by Cumbria Tourism or contact attractions direct to arrange a date for your team to visit. Many attractions are happy to offer this service free of charge.
- From exhibitions celebrating iconic cultural figures of the past to contemporary arts events, South Lakeland has everything to keep your guests entertained. Keep up-to-date with events here
We’ve also put together a series of itineraries promoting ideas for cultural days out across South Lakeland, to give your guests and visitors suggestions on things to do.
View and Download Cultural Itineraries
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The fund aims to provide pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local businesses, and people and skills. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-prospectus