Background and Context

Cumbria Tourism Executive Board (CTEB) has responded to and encouraged all members to review and respond to the second stage consultation of the Lake District National Park’s Review of its Local Plan. CTEB saw this as a critical opportunity for the tourism industry to help shape and develop a vibrant and sustainable Lake District for all.

Cumbria Tourism based its responses on its research findings, Tourism Strategy, CLEP Visitor Economy Growth Plan and emerging Cumbria Local Industrial Strategy, all of which recognise the importance of the Visitor Economy to support economic growth.

Cumbria Tourism research recognises that the Lake District faces significant challenges, including:

  • the need for better communications connectivity;
  • the need for skills development;
  • the limited labour supply;
  • the shortage of affordable homes;
  • an ageing workforce;
  • the potential post Brexit squeeze on replacing EU workers;
  • the challenges of accessibility and travel to work.

Response to the Revised Local Plan Consultation

We are grateful many of the points made to the first consultation have been taken into consideration and in responding to the revised version CTEB reiterates the success story of national and international significance that our tourism offer is. It is the biggest employer in the National Park and biggest contributor to the economy, generating over £1.4 billion of visitor expenditure every year supporting approximately 19k fte jobs. It also contributes heavily to what makes this a fantastic place to live and work, as well as visit.

Vision and Objectives

The strategic vision for the Lake District is that, by 2030, it will be an inspirational example of sustainable development in action. Overall, CTEB is supportive of the vision and objectives of the Draft LPR but is keen to ensure that the policies recognise the importance of and help facilitate the visitor economy to achieve economic growth and the prosperity and other benefits this brings to the county as a whole.

 

The key areas of the response focussed on:

  • Housing and Jobs
  • Sustainable Transport and Parking
  • Showcase Areas and Local Developer Contributions

Award-winning Cumbrian accountancy firm, Lamont Pridmore, is calling on businesses to seek advice if they have any questions regarding the new digital tax regime.

Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT was launched in April 2019 and thousands of VAT-registered businesses above the VAT threshold (£85,000) across the region are now recording and reporting their affairs digitally to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

With many facing their first reporting date in the coming months, the firm said that nationally there had been issues identified with confusion surrounding registration for MTD, which left them concerned about local businesses.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has warned businesses across the UK that the registration process for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT takes seven working days.

This means that VAT-registered businesses need to register more than seven days before submitting their first return if they want to pay their tax bill by direct debit.  Registering involves setting up a Government Gateway user ID and ensuring compatible software is in place.

Graham Lamont, Chief Executive at Lamont Pridmore, said: “Businesses are currently benefiting from a ‘soft landing period’, which will last up to a year, to get MTD for VAT in place and be reporting their affairs accurately to HMRC without facing a penalty.

“However, many aren’t aware that they must register for the scheme in order to use it and have everything in place by their first reporting date. While we have seen many businesses take some of these steps, we are worried that many more might not be fully prepared for this new tax regime.”

Graham said that looking ahead MTD would likely affect more businesses as the Government looks to extend the system to other forms of tax by April 2021 at the earliest.

This new process will require a far larger number of businesses, including those which may be individually below the VAT threshold, to report their affairs digitally on a quarterly basis, this includes sole traders with income from one or more business, as well as income from letting UK property.

Chris Lamont, a Partner at Lamont Pridmore, added: “HMRC is currently in the process of testing and releasing information on software and the options for Income Tax and Corporation Tax, so businesses outside of the net of the current regulations should also start becoming aware of what their future obligations may be.”

To find out how Lamont Pridmore can help you and your business with MTD, please www.lamontpridmore.co.uk, call 0800 234 6978 or email info@lamontpridmore.co.uk

Our Winter Marketing Campaign, which ran from November 2018 until the end of March 2019 has reached a staggering 34 million and we are pleased to share the results with you.

The campaign, now in its third year, aimed to challenge the perceptions of the Lake District, Cumbria, during a traditionally quieter time of year and to market the county as an all-year-round destination. We have worked with a number of key sponsors and partners who have helped to support the campaign.

Highlights include:

  • A combined social media reach of more than 26 million including #cumbriaday, which reached an estimated 16.5 million people on Twitter in less than 48 hours
  • More than 1.3 million eNewsletters sent to potential visitors promoting Cumbria as a world-class winter destination
  • Press coverage reaching 5.7 million
  • National press coverage including features in: The Express, Irish News, The ‘I’, Sunday Times Travel, Sunday Post and Telegraph online

 

A diverse range of marketing and PR activity helped us to promote Cumbria as a winter destination and to encourage longer stays. Working with Countryfile Magazine, the campaign included an inspiring four-page feature in the magazine’s February edition, highlighting a range of events and celebrations that our world class destination has to offer for 2019.

A key element of the campaign included the business support toolkit exclusively available for our members. Resources included a collection of stunning and thought provoking #theplacetobe campaign imagery using quirky straplines to challenge perceptions of our destination. We also produced a series of itineraries and content to help inspire visits, from itineraries focusing on our marketing areas to celebrating Cumbria’s key themes including food and drink, adventure, culture and heritage to name a few.

 

Golakes Card & Club

Following the support and success of Love Cumbria in previous years, the scheme was redeveloped and rebranded to the Golakes Card for the 2018-19 season. The winter-focused Golakes Card, available online and through participating businesses (plus complimentary cards for bookings made through Golakes throughout the campaign), offered exclusive discounts across our breath-taking region and was valid for a two-week period to help inspire and encourage visitors to explore Cumbria’s vibrant offerings over the course of their visit.

As a wider part of this initiative, we are also delighted to launch the Golakes Club. The Lake District, Cumbria, has a loyal and frequent tourist base visiting regularly throughout the year and we have met and spoken with people from across the country at multiple trade and travel events this year who enjoy visiting the destination time and time again. We therefore identified an opportunity to create the club as both a thank you as well as an incentive to keep visitors coming back again and again.

The Golakes Club is not just a discount card, but an annual membership, encouraging regular visits and promoting the opportunities available across Cumbria throughout the year. The scheme offers our members the exclusive opportunity to reach tourists with enticing offers and incentives. There is still time to get involved- to pledge your offer, please complete and return the booking form to campaigns@cumbriatourism.org

 

We are already looking ahead and beginning to put plans in place to boost our county’s profile during the traditionally quieter months – please contact us for more information.

Following Cumbria Tourism’s recent appearance and championing of rural tourism at a special public hearing in the Houses of Parliament, we are delighted to see that the Government has now formally recognised the importance of tourism to the rural economy.

A report just published by the Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy is recommending the creation of a specific Rural Strategy. It also says that the new Tourism Sector Deal has the potential to provide a more consistent and systematic support to our sector.

The news comes after our MD Gill Haigh was invited to give evidence at Westminster last autumn, alongside a panel of other experts on tourism and rural heritage issues. It was part of a programme of public hearings the Lords Select Committee ran to learn more about the key issues and challenges relating to the rural economy.

Gill’s session focused on the contribution of tourism to local economies and communities in areas such as Cumbria. Skills, employment and Government policy around tourism featured in the session, as well the potential impact of Brexit and infrastructure and planning issues.

 Gill says, “As one of the largest Destination Management Organisations in the UK, lobbying national decision-makers is a core part of the activity we undertake on behalf of our members and we are delighted to see that the Government is now taking positive action to prioritise the rural economy. We need to keep the pressure up at the highest-level to ensure Cumbria is in the mix and we can collectively make the most of new opportunities, particularly around the new Tourism Sector Deal.”

With their love of culture, heritage and the natural landscape and with England and Wales hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup this summer it’s the perfect time to capitalise on the fast-growing Indian market.

We have already been working with Marketing Manchester in recent months to help promote the county out in India and have met with tour operators and travel agents face-to-face. We now want to continue and grow the work already started and are inviting businesses who are interested to join a new India Forum.

Following this work, Cumbria Tourism has now become a destination partner with Marketing Manchester on an India campaign for 2019/2020 financial year and hopefully beyond. The India Forum will help to guide this work and decide what activity is undertaken in addition to make the most of the opportunities for this growing market, at a time when there are more routes into the UK than ever and in anticipation of the extensive coverage that hosting the Cricket World Cup will generate.

 

How to get involved and next steps

Cumbria Tourism, with the help of the strategic partnership programme, has already been able to secure the funds to buy into a campaign partnership with Marketing Manchester. We are asking businesses who want to be involved in the forum for a contribution of £300 +VAT for the first 12 months. This will allow the forum to look at other opportunities outside of the Marketing Manchester campaign partnership, produce collateral and to have a working budget.

We are looking to set this group up now in order to make the most of the upcoming opportunities, therefore please get in touch with the team if you wish to join. If you would be interested in being a steering group member, we are seeking members who have experience or are excited about this market, willing to put the time and effort in and feel they can play a very active role in the forum. We are looking to have the first steering group meeting week commencing 20th May, with the first full meeting of the forum shortly after.

 

If you are interested in joining or finding out more about the forum, please contact the team on campaigns@cumbriatourism.org

Cumbria Tourism are revamping the conference page listings on Golakes and are now pleased to offer a FREE listing to all our members

Advertise your business’ conference facilities, bookable meeting rooms or function space simply by completing our simple online form.

If you have any questions please contact Sam at stollerson@cumbriatourism.org

The Lake District National Park Local Plan is almost ready for submission to an independent Inspector, with the final step being an consultation survey, open until 5pm on the 3rd of June 2019

Cumbria Tourism will soon be commenting on behalf of out membership, but businesses and locals are invited to respond individually as part of the process.

View full details and respond

Longtime supporter of Cumbria, HRH Prince Charles, returned to the county earlier this month, visiting a wide range of people and businesses across the county.

As well as meeting members of Langdale Mountain Rescue team in Ambleside, His Royal Highness also celebrated the 20th anniversary of CT members Hawkshead Relish, congratulating them on their effort and ingenuity in building a fantastic brand which helps raise Cumbria’s profile the world over.

Cumbria’s royal visitor also found the time in his busy schedule to officially open Cumbria’s newest attraction, and officially opened our county’s newest attraction – the Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stores flowing its £20 million redevelopment by Lakeland Arts. Again, His Royal Highness’ strong links to the county were highlighted as he viewed Brankshome, the boat he sailed aboard when he visited the previous museum on the same site in 1977.

Cumbria Tourism convened a meeting with Cumbria County Council and representatives of businesses affected by the Windermere Ferry disruption.

It was a constructive meeting that, amongst other things, discussed how to improve ferry resilience, stakeholder engagement and also opportunities to improve marketing of the service and join up marketing with areas and products it connects with. CT and CCC will be meeting over the coming weeks to help progress some of the actions.

For updates regarding Windermere Ferry please visit the council’s Facebook page and other social media.