Cumbria Tourism reinforces message telling visitors to stay away

 Jim Walker, Chair of Cumbria Tourism said, “Last night the Prime Minister issued strict new instructions for us all, to protect the NHS and to help save lives in this time of national emergency. All visitors, second home-owners and holiday park caravan owners are very clearly being told to stay at home in their primary residence and we urge people to do just that. We now also need anyone who is here already to return home.

 “Visitors, tourism businesses and residents must take responsibility for themselves and their wider communities. We cannot stress how vitally important this is for Cumbria and its ‘super-ageing’ population, not only to limit the spread of the virus but also to safeguard local health services and infrastructure, which may well come under immense pressure just servicing those local residents’ needs.

 He adds, “To support tourism businesses, our phone lines continue to be open and we are responding to queries as quickly as possible. This is a situation no-one could have anticipated, but we are continuing to lobby the Government for further practical and immediate financial support to help our industry through this critical time. We are also asking tourism operators to keep completing our Business Impact Survey, so we can share evidence of their first-hand experiences with high-level decision-makers.”

Media release: 13:30 24/03/2020

Ahead of the weekend Cumbria Tourism reinforces the importance of staying at home

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, ‘With the weekend coming up and this gorgeous weather we’re having, it’s even more important that we all follow government advice and stay at home. We know it could be very tempting to head to the fells, lakes and other outdoor spaces across Cumbria and the Lake District, but please don’t. We ask you to think about the community, your own health and that of household members, be responsible, stay at home and together we can stop the spread of this disease and help save lives.’

Media release: 16:50 26/03/2020

One of the best known figures in Cumbria’s business community has been selected as a finalist in the ‘IoD North West & Isle of Man Director of the Year Awards 2020’.

Jennifer Cormack has made the shortlist in the Non-Executive Director category, in recognition of her role as a Cumbria Tourism Board Director.

Jennifer is Sales and Marketing Director at Windermere Lake Cruises, also Chairs the English Lake District China Forum and was voted onto the Board of Directors at UKinbound last year – the only trade association to represent the country’s inbound travel industry.

The winners will be revealed at the prestigious Institute of Directors (IoD) awards ceremony at The Hilton in Manchester on Thursday 14 May 2020.

Commenting on the announcement, Jennifer says, “I’m obviously thrilled to have been shortlisted and I’m so grateful to those who nominated me. Collaborative working has never been as important as it is right now, given the challenges we are all working through. However, we work through it together as a team, and calm seas never made a good sailor.

“It is always such a pleasure working with the members of staff and fellow Board Directors at Cumbria Tourism, but also working closely with businesses from across Cumbria and the North of England to strengthen the wider Cumbrian economy. I feel truly humbled to be recognised by the IoD in this way, which motivates me even further to do whatever I can to steer us through these challenging times faced by so many amazing businesses.”

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “Cumbria Tourism is the county’s largest membership organisation, representing approximately 2,500 member businesses and we are extremely fortunate to have such a strong and supportive Board who, between them, possess a wealth of expertise and a shared ambition for Cumbria Tourism members.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that Jennifer is a real powerhouse in the tourism industry, working internationally, national, regionally and here in Cumbria and she brings that same level of energy and commitment to Cumbria Tourism. Along with Cumbria Tourism’s Board and staff, I wish Jennifer the best of luck following this well-deserved nomination.”

Inspirational speakers from key organisations, including the upcoming Eden Project North, will bring together tourism businesses from across Cumbria as they innovative ways to develop the county’s £3billion visitor economy.

Keynote speaker Rob Barratt from the highly anticipated Eden Project North will inspire Cumbria Tourism members with an update on one of the most exciting projects in the North West and how their ethos of education, ecology and community will run alongside opening a ground-breaking must-visit attraction.

The ongoing Coronavirus situation is expected to be a major talking point for attendees at the members’ event, held at The Villa, Levens and sponsored by Considerate Group. Cumbria Tourism will be sharing news and advice on best practice for businesses and directing its members to the support available on its website from the government and VisitBritain.

“Supporting our members on how to react to Coronavirus is a priority for Cumbria Tourism and we are working hard to advise businesses as we shift our short-term focus to staycations within our beautiful rural destination.” says Gill Haigh, Cumbria Tourism MD. “At the same time, we must also keep our eye on future opportunities and developments – it’s vital that Cumbria is ahead of the curve.

“Sustainability and greener tourism practices are becoming more of a priority for both domestic and international visitors and we’re ensuring that local businesses receive the very best advice on how they and their customers can protect the planet.

“It’s also important that the benefits of responsible are understood. Our county boasts two beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Activities and promotions embracing and celebrating the landscape such as our recent Dark Skies Festival can really help open the county to new and emerging markets.”

The event is sponsored by Considerate Group, a specialist company which helps businesses more responsibly through a blend of extensive hospitality industry knowledge, sustainability analysis and more. Additional speakers include the Lake District National Park’s new Low Carbon Coordinator Danny Coward alongside representatives from NFU Mutual, The National Trust and Save Grange Lido.

Cumbria Tourism is expressing serious concerns about the Government’s proposed new UK points-based immigration system, which it says fails to recognise the county’s unique recruitment challenges – and could cause real damage to its £3billion tourism industry.

The proposed post-Brexit immigration system unveiled today, 19 February 2020, means there would be no route for lower-skilled workers to come to the UK from the end of this year.

However, the county’s official Destination Management Organisation says this is a major blow for Cumbria, where there is already a labour shortage and European workers are needed to fill job vacancies in tourism and hospitality.

President of Cumbria Tourism, Eric Robson, comments, “The issue of future restrictions has been repeatedly highlighted by businesses and organisations including Cumbria Tourism, but disappointingly, these proposals fail to recognise the specific needs of our visitor economy.

 “Cumbria’s population is less than half a million – and ageing fast – which means there is a limit on the number of eligible working age people available locally. Therefore, we require a range of workers to sustain tourism related- businesses, maintain vibrant communities and secure future prosperity for all sectors.

 “From the start, we have been calling for ‘special case’ recognition for rural areas like Cumbria which face unique recruitment challenges. European workers are an important asset and we’re calling on the Government to rethink this flawed policy, which will severely restrict our industry’s ability to attract and retain the staff they need to not only to fill job roles but also to deliver world class customer service.

“Cumbria Tourism will be speaking to organisations nationally such as UKinbound, VisitBritain and the Tourism Alliance, as well as calling directly on our own MPs and wider government, to urgently address this issue.”

Cumbria’s tourism-related businesses are eagerly awaiting the Lake District Wedding Fair 2020 – a unique event which last year welcomed around 1000 visitors from around the UK to meet face-to-face with bridal venues, suppliers, attractions and activity providers.

The county has a growing reputation as a rural wedding destination and according to Cumbrian Registrars, there were more than 5,000 weddings performed in the county in 2018 and 2019, with 2,300+ currently booked for 2020.  There has also a been a leap in bookings for civil ceremonies already this year, following new legislation that allows opposite sex couples to form a civil partnership as of December.

The Lake District Wedding Fair 2020 on 22 and 23 February is poised to bring authentically local businesses a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with even more prospective brides and grooms.

As well as dozens of exhibitors and a new ‘Natural Zone’ for eco-conscious couples, there will also be live entertainment, the ‘Look’ fashion show, and a series of special workshops to help attract new wedding-related business to the county.

With the Lake District and Cumbria proving increasingly popular for mini-moons, honeymoons and hen and stag dos, bridal business is a potential revenue stream throughout the year,” says event organiser Nick Hood.

We also know that many of the couples who get married here continue to return to the same venue year after year to mark their anniversaries, so canny businesses genuinely can inspire repeat guests for life.

 “We’re now into the final countdown, but we do still have a couple of last-minute exhibitor spaces left, so we are hoping to get all the finer details for the show finalised in the coming days.”

 See www.lakedistrictweddingfair.co.uk/exhibiting-advertising for more information about exhibiting at the Lake District Wedding Fair, which takes place in the Exhibition Hall at the J36 Rural Auction Centre near Kendal on 22 and 23 February 2020.

Over the last month, the Judges have been meeting to go through the entries submitted for this year’s Cumbria Tourism Awards to draw up a shortlist of finalists across the 17 categories. We are delighted to announce that the celebration, held on Wednesday 21st June 2017, will be returning to Cartmel Racecourse for a second year and catered by Campbell and Rowley’s.
The awards celebrate the huge range and diversity of Cumbria’s tourism industry and are open to a whole range of tourism related businesses including; hotels, B&Bs, holiday parks, pubs, visitor attractions, events, businesses and tourism staff, which make up the county’s successful tourism industry.

Most of the winners from the awards will go on to represent the county at the Visit England Awards for Excellence in 2018.

The shortlisted businesses will attend a prestigious black tie award ceremony and compete for the honour of being recognised as the best in Cumbria in their respective category.
Ian Stephens, Managing Director at Cumbria Tourism, says:
“2017 has been another fantastic year for entries with exceptional quality shown across all the categories, demonstrating that Cumbria’s businesses continue to offer world class levels of quality, service and experience for visitors.  It’s been a tough job for the shortlisting panel but we are now able to announce the successful finalists for the 2017 Cumbria Tourism Awards. I would like to congratulate each and every business for making it to this year’s final and for their continuing hard work and commitment to tourism in the county.”

Cumbria Tourism would like to thank their sponsors for making the event possible, they include: Armstrong Watson, Burnetts Solicitors, Chris Brammall Ltd, Christie & Co, Colliers International, Colourmedia, Cumberland Business, Enterprise Answers, H&H Reeds Printers, Lamont Pridmore, Lakeland Chauffeurs, Out of Eden, University of Cumbria, Cartmel Racecourse and Campbell and Rowley’s.

The 2017 finalists are:

Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year
Sponsored by Out of Eden
• The Nests at The Swan
• Pullwood Bay
• The Halston

Self-Catering Holiday Property of the Year
Sponsorship opportunity available
• Gate House
• Waitby School
• Hart Barn

Holiday Park of the Year
Sponsored by NatWest
• Waterfoot Park
• The Quiet Site
• Skelwith Fold Caravan Park
• Holgates Silverdale Holiday Park

Guest Accommodation of the Year
Sponsored by Lamont Pridmore
• Hazel Bank Country House
• Broadoaks Country House
• The Grange Country House Bed and Breakfast

B&B of the Year
Sponsored by Cumberland Business
• Hill Crest Country Guest House
• The Malabar
• Lanercost Bed and Breakfast

Taste Cumbria Award
Sponsored by Enterprise Answers
• Askham Hall
• Merewood Country House Hotel
• The Lingholm Kitchen and Walled Garden
• The Bistro, Lakes Distillery

Sustainable Tourism Award
Sponsored by University of Cumbria
• Newlands Adventure Centre
• The Quiet Site
• Ullswater Steamers
• Skelwith Fold Caravan Park

Tourism Event of the Year
Sponsored by Colourmedia
• The Winter Droving (Eden Arts)
• Go Herdwick Public Art Trail (The Lake District Calvert Trust)
• Where is Peter Rabbit Production (World of Beatrix Potter Attraction)
• Beatrix Potter 150th Anniversary Programme (The National Trust)

Large Hotel of the Year
Sponsored by Armstrong Watson
• The Daffodil Hotel & Spa
• The Trout Hotel
• Castle Green Hotel
• The Swan

Small Hotel of the Year
Sponsored by Colliers International
• Appleby Manor Hotel & Garden Spa
• Cragwood Country House Hotel
• The Ryebeck

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
Sponsored by Burnetts Solicitors
• World of Beatrix Potter Attraction
• Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery
• Walby Farm Park
• Holker Hall & Gardens

Visitor Attraction of the Year
Sponsored by H&H Reeds Printers
• Wordsworth House & Garden
• The Beacon Museum
• Mirehouse & Gardens

Tourism Experience of the Year
Sponsorship opportunity available
• Cyclewise Whinlatter
• Go Ape Whinlatter
• Bay Cycle Way

New Tourism Business Award
Sponsorship opportunity available
• Cliffhanger Rooms
• CBA Events @ Graythwaite
• Chocolate World

Wedding Venue of the Year
Sponsorship opportunity available
• The Villa Hotel
• The Daffodil Hotel & Spa
• The Wild Boar
• The Coppermines Mountain Wedding Venue

Tourism Pub of the Year
Sponsored by Christie & Co
• The Mason’s Arms, Strawberry Bank
• Kirkstile Inn (Loweswater)
• The Flying Pig
• Three Shires Inn

The Sheila Hensman Award for Outstanding Contribution to Excellence
• Mel Ibbotson, The Leathes Head Hotel
• Paula Richardson & Frank McGurk, Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel
• Brimstone Hotel Host Team

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.

Lake District named as Britain’s top walking destination

The Lake District, Cumbria, is officially the most popular destination for walking in Britain, according to a new nationwide survey just released by Ordnance Survey.

Their OS Maps service analysed more than 500,000 routes over ten years and revealed that the Lake District has topped the country’s league table with Keswick and Ambleside being the most popular locations for walkers.

And of the 20 most popular places to create a walking route across Britain, an impressive 18 of them are within the core areas of the Lake District National Park – taking in popular locations including Keswick, Ambleside, Grasmere, Helvellyn and Scafell Pike.

Managing Director for Cumbria Tourism, Ian Stephens, says, “This is the ultimate place to enjoy the great outdoors and this latest Ordnance Survey research confirms that the Lake District, Cumbria, is indeed the UK’s Adventure Capital.

“With a network of just under 2,000 miles of Rights of Way and some of the most spectacular scenery you are likely to find, it’s great to see that the Lake District remains a firm favourite. Whether you’re taking a gentle lakeside stroll with the family or scrambling up more challenging locations like Sharp Edge on Blencathra, this spectacular landscape appeals to everyone from the occasional walker to the more specialist adventurer.”

Nick Giles, Managing Director of Ordnance Survey Leisure, says: “For centuries the Lakes have held a special place in people’s hearts, and we know the area is loved by map users, because the region frequently tops our bestselling paper maps. However, when we started examining this data and looking at the route-creating habits of people, we weren’t expecting the Lake District to dominate so strongly.”

Just a few of the walks highlighted by Ordnance Survey include England’s highest mountain Scafell Pike and Langdale Fell which forms part of the popular Cumbrian Way. Other breathtaking walks include Nethermost Pike, one of the highest Wainwrights’ in the eastern fells; Allen Crags which is frequented by walkers on route to Scafell and Fairfield Horseshoe, one of the more classic Lake District walks.

For full details of the research, visit Ordnance Survey’s blog
For ideas and inspiration on walking in the Lake District, Cumbria, visit the GoLakes website.
Image attached: Scafell Pike
ENDS

Notes to Editors:
1. For more information, please contact Rebecca Walker at Cumbria Tourism Press Office on: 01539 825003 or email rwalker@cumbriatourism.org
2. Cumbria Tourism is the lead organisation for tourism in the county and is at the heart of the Cumbria Visitor Economy. It is also the largest membership organisation in Cumbria with more than 2,400 members. In 2015, more than 43 million people visited Cumbria, contributing more than £2.62 billion to the local economy and supporting around 61,000 jobs.
3. For more information about visiting the Lake District, Cumbria, visit: www.golakes.co.uk
4. To find out more about the work of Cumbria Tourism, visit www.cumbriatourism.org
5. Top 20 Ordinance Survey locations (by 1km grid square) and number of routes.
1. OSGB GridRef: NY2107 – Scafell Pike Summit – 2172
2. OSGB GridRef: SH6054 – Snowdon Summit – 2111
3. OSGB GridRef: NY2308 – Allen Crags (Near Scafell Pike) – 1918
4. OSGB GridRef: NY2208 – Great End (Near Scafell Pike) – 1908
5. OSGB GridRef: NY2806 – Langdale Fell (Cumbria Way) – 1865
6. OSGB GridRef: NY3415 – Helvellyn Summit – 1793
7. OSGB GridRef: SD8072 – Horton in Ribblesdale – 1593
8. OSGB GridRef: NY2514 – Rosthwaite – 1576
9. OSGB GridRef: NY3308 – Grasmere (North) – 1558
10. OSGB GridRef: NY1807 – Wast Water (North) – 1551
11. OSGB GridRef: NY2623 – Keswick – 1539
12. OSGB GridRef: NY2407 – Rossett Pike (Near Scafell Pike) – 1531
13. OSGB GridRef: NY3414 – Nethermost Pike (Near Helvellyn) – 1527
14. OSGB GridRef: NY3704 – Ambleside – 1520
15. OSGB GridRef: NY3816 – Glenridding – 1519
16. OSGB GridRef: NY2209 – Great Slack (Near Scafell Pike) – 1515
17. OSGB GridRef: NY2906 – Langdale Fell (Cumbria Way) – 1491
18. OSGB GridRef: NY3511 – Fairfield Summit – 1487
19. OSGB GridRef: NY3307 – Grasmere (Centre) – 1467
20. OSGB GridRef: NY2109 – Sty Head (Near Scafell Pike) – 1431