Cumbria Tourism Vice Chairman represented members and the visitor economy at the recent Lake District National Park Authority’s (LDNPA) Local Plan Examination in Public alongside other bodies including the Lake District Economic Forum, Friends of the Lake District as well as other mainly single issue campaigning groups or individuals. The inspectors interim findings are expected to be published in January 2020.

CT put forward evidence in line with the Executive Board’s response to the consultation. Other views expressed ranged from those that believed the plan provided for unlimited and inappropriate commercialisation throughout the National Park to those that believed the plan limited development to the point where communities were not adequately provided for. Having sat through this examination Dan is confident that the Inspector and the LDNPA will produce a balanced and sensible plan which will provide for appropriate development of businesses and housing while protecting the thing that is all our reason for being here, the fantastic Lake District landscape.

Nominations are now open for VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar competition 2020.

VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar award recognises and celebrates those in the tourism industry who go the extra mile to ensure tourists across England have an amazing and unforgettable visitor experience.

Tourism Superstar nominees are passionate about where they work and the destination they live in and consistently set the bar high for the standard of service in England’s tourism industry.

It’s now your chance to put someone forward from your business to be considered for the Cumbria nomination

To qualify for the Tourism Superstar 2020 competition potential nominees must:

  • Work for a tourism business or organisation in England and continue to work for that organisation at the time of English Tourism Week
  • Be knowledgeable and passionate about the destination they work in and happy to talk about the destination outside of their work remit
  • Go above and beyond the call of duty to make the visitor experience memorable
  • Be available and willing to travel to London or be on site at their workplace from 20 January- early February 2020 to be filmed and happy for that film to be posted on The Mirror website for a number of weeks and used on VisitEngland’s social media channels as well as those of Cumbria Tourism and their employer
  • Be willing and able to attend an event in London on 23 April 2020 St George’s Day
  • Be available to attend the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020 ceremony in June 2020 exact date and venue TBC
  • Be aware that they have been nominated and happy to participate in any related PR and media opportunities during or post the announcement of the winner
  • Finalists will be required to fill in and sign a waiver form to allow VisitEngland rights to the films created
  • Previous winners must leave at least one year before applying again

To put someone forward as the potential Cumbria nomination, please email us providing their name, job role and employer, along with answers to the following questions from VisitEngland:

  • Why should this person win Tourism Superstar 2020 and how does your suggested nominee represent Cumbria as a destination? (Max 800 words)
  • Brief details of the channels that would be used to support the nominated Superstar to gather votes.
  • What activity would the employer undertake to drum up interest and votes?
  • What would it mean to the employer to have a member of their team recognised through this national award?

The deadline is 10am on Monday 6 January 2020.  Please respond to with your suggestion.

Submissions will be considered independently by the Cumbria Tourism Awards judging panel and ONE individual will go forward as the Cumbria nomination.


With eco-friendly weddings set to be one of the top trends for 2020, the organisers of the Lake District Wedding Fair say going green will be the big theme of next February’s showpiece event.

After welcoming more than a thousand people to this year’s inaugural Lake District Wedding Fair, 2020’s expanded event will feature a new ‘Natural Wedding Zone’ to help inspire couples looking for greener ways of tying the knot.

It’s the only event of its kind to bring solely Cumbria-based wedding venues and suppliers together under one roof and will take place in the Exhibition Hall at the J36 Rural Auction Centre on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 February 2020.

The Wedding Fair is also expected to include around eighty other exhibitors from across Cumbria, as well as live entertainment, the ‘Look’ fashion show, street food vendors and a series of special workshops to help couples plan their big day.

Event professional Nick Hood has been joined by Natural Cumbria Weddings Manager Annabel Candler to help arrange the 2020 event.

Annabel says, “Weddings can unfortunately lead to a lot of waste and some negative effects on the environment, and that’s why so many couples are looking at simple ways they can make their big day more eco-friendly. After working in the industry for more than ten years, I am thrilled to be part of this venture into the natural way of living and excited to showcase some wonderful green alternatives for both wedding parties and the businesses themselves.”

“The Lake District Wedding Fair isn’t just about the ceremony and the reception,” adds Nick Hood. We want to showcase the full Lakeland experience, including what to do the day before or after the wedding. With its awe-inspiring landscape, many couples travel from across the country to get married in the Lake District and we hope this event will help inspire many more to consider the wide range of options on offer here.” 

For more information about exhibiting or visiting the Lake District Wedding Fair, contact:

Or speak to the organisers on 015394 47692 /

The Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) is aiming to formally launch the Growing Our Potential Fund in January 2020 subject to receiving final Board approval for the scheme.

Up to £2m will be available for established businesses to support growth, increase productivity, foster innovation and create jobs.  The fund can support the delivery of capital improvements for between 10-40% of total project costs with an anticipated lower grant request of £50,000.

In order to be compliant with State Aid regulations, CLEP are intending to administer the grant under either De Minimis or GBER.  More information on the rules around both of these regulations can be found in the guidance for the Fund.  This also provides an indication of the upper limits for the level of grant available but typically;

  • If awarded under GBER – applicants must be able to demonstrate that the total public grant funding they have received must not exceed £1m within the rolling three year period.
  • If awarded under De Minimis – applicants must be able to demonstrate that the total public grant funding they have received must not exceed €200,000 over three fiscal years.

The draft guidance and application form for the scheme is attached with the final version anticipated by the beginning of January.  The LEP will also be able to confirm the dates for the decision making panels as well as dates for submission at this stage as well.

As a number of businesses within the LEP’s Governance structure have previously expressed interest in capital grant funding support, they wanted to give you early sight of their plans and give you the opportunity to consider if an application might be appropriate.

All projects will need to be completed by 31 December 2020.

The LEP are also particularly keen to hear from applicants who have the ability to fully deliver by 31 March 2020.  If your project falls into this category, please do contact them at the earliest opportunity.

If you would like any further information or are intending to submit an application, please contact Corrine Watson, Head of Programme Management at

Do you own or manage a small tourism business?

 Mike Turner, MD of Treetop Trek is the Small Operator Representative on Cumbria Tourism’s Executive Board. As part of this role we are inviting you to meet him to discuss and consider challenges and opportunities for your businesses and how Cumbria Tourism can best support this sector.

The meeting will also be an opportunity to learn more about the new Visit Lake District, Cumbria website as well as hearing about our upcoming long-term strategy for the county’s visitor economy.

Exact dates and times will be finalised in the New Year, but we are looking to arrange the meeting for late January or early February.

If you are interested in attending please email

Our Destination PR work continues to generate fantastic national and international coverage, helping to showcase Cumbria as #theplacetobe this winter and into 2020.

Our sustainable travel campaign continues to bear fruit with upcoming pieces in both the Sunday Post, Scotland and Sunday Telegraph. The focus is on the ease of accessing the county by train and public transport and aims to inspire those looking to book a sustainable 2020. The county’s coast has also featured heavily in this campaign, including a Guardian Travel feature showcasing its highlights as a rail-accessible visitor destination.

Following Cumbria’s success in this year’s Michelin Guide national press have also visited the county as a foodie drink destination. Olive Magazine recently published a “Foodie road trip in the Lake District” both online and in print and with an upcoming feature in the “I” also highlighting the county’s culinary delights, visitors will be spoilt for choice when choosing where to sample.

2020 is, above all else, the year of Wordsworth. Centred around the 250th anniversary of the iconic poet’s birth, attractions and locations from across the county will celebrate their connection with a varied programme of events. Cumbria Tourism are playing a key part in arranging major press coverage throughout the year, with The Telegraph and Observer already scheduled to visit, as well as a major international familiarisation trip in association with VisitBritain.

We are still looking to arrange further trips and coverage over the year. If your business has a particular connection to Wordsworth, however unusual or quirky please contact the team at to get involved.

Cumbria is also set to appear on the international stage as we welcome this week a South Korean production company filming a travel documentary over the weekend and next month’s National Geographic Traveller puts the county’s stunning coast firmly on the world stage.

Cumbria Tourism have been working with the local authority and partners to put a real focus on tourism in the Furness area. The first meeting of the Furness Tourism Forum was held in November and we are proud to play a key role on the group.

The group is made up of Barrow Borough Council, Morecambe Bay Partnership, Furness Economic Development Forum, Ulverston Town Council and a number of key businesses from that immediate area. Over the past few weeks we have hosted press trips from National Geographic Traveller magazine, Coast Magazine and the “I” to further increase the area’s profile.

Over the coming weeks Cumbria Tourism will be going through a major technology infrastructure upgrade including a new visitor facing website which will be rebranded as Visit Lake District, Cumbria (

The rebrand comes following research and benchmarking other destinations as well as how businesses promote themselves to potential visitors and it was agreed unanimously that CT should be using ‘Visit’ as a prefix.

We are also moving from the NVG Destination Management System to their parent company Simpleview. The new infrastructure available from this move will allow our member to offer bookings to visitors through a number of channels including, Expedia, GDS Hotel Planner and Guestlink.

There will be itinerary builder functionality and improved searching across the website. Cumbria Tourism will be investing heavily in Search Engine Optimisation so that the Visit Lake District, Cumbria site is easily accessed by potential visitors.

Our web team are currently contacting members to update their online images with newer, larger versions. If you haven’t already replied, please do so as soon as you can. Image sizes are 1500 * 879px.

The Lake District’s reputation as the ultimate rural wedding destination is continuing to grow, with the return of the Lake District Wedding Fair – a unique opportunity for brides and grooms to meet around 80 local wedding venues, suppliers and attractions/activity providers from the iconic region under one roof.

Cumbria Tourism is again supporting the event, which takes place on Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 February 2020 at The Exhibition Hall J36 Rural Auction Centre, near Kendal.

This year’s inaugural event welcomed around 1000 visitors through the doors. For 2020, there will be a range of new additions, including a new ‘eco zone’ where visitors can discover more about going green on their big day.

Street food vendors and live entertainment throughout the weekend will help bring the main exhibition hall to life. The event will also include ‘the Look’ catwalk show, alongside a collection of special seminars with Wedding Planner Annabel Candler to help brides plan their special day.

Annabel says, “This event isn’t just about the ceremony and the reception. We want to showcase the full Lakeland wedding experience, including what to do the day before or after the main event. With its awe-inspiring landscape, many couples travel from across the country to tie the knot in the Lake District and we hope this event will help inspire many more to consider the wide range of options on offer here.” 

 For more information about exhibiting at the event, visit: