Chair of VisitEngland Advisory Board makes VIP visit to Cumbria

by | Mar 20, 2024 | News

Lady Borwick in Kirkby Lonsdale

The Chair of VisitEngland’s Advisory Board, Lady Borwick, is in Cumbria for a special two-day visit as part of the celebrations for English Tourism Week.

The trip has been organised by Cumbria Tourism in its 50th Anniversary year and comes exactly a year after the organisation was officially awarded Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) status by VisitEngland. The visit has already seen Lady Borwick meeting businesses from around the county, to find out more about their successes, opportunities and challenges for the future.

After staying overnight at Langdale Chase, Lady Borwick started the day in Kirkby Lonsdale, with a visit to the community-run Tourist Information Centre and Shop, before taking a whistle-stop tour of the historic market town. She then headed to The Yan at Broadrayne to talk sustainability, before hearing direct from cultural representatives from around the county who gathered at Wordsworth Grasmere.

The final stop of the day was a visit to Bassenthwaite Lake Station – trailblazers in accessibility and finalists at the national VisitEngland Awards 2023 – ahead of a ‘roundtable’ discussion with a group of leading tourism business leaders and Cumbria LEP (Local Economic Partnership) and local government partners at Armathwaite Hall this evening.

The visit will culminate in the official launch of a new Destination Management Plan (DMP) for the county during Cumbria Tourism’s Members’ Meeting tomorrow, Thursday 21 March. Cumbria Tourism has been working with a range of public and private sector organisations to help shape the collective strategy which will help manage the county’s visitor economy and support the county’s future growth as a great place to live, work, visit and study.

VisitEngland Advisory Board Chair Lady Victoria Borwick said: “I am delighted to be in Cumbria and to see for myself the businesses and attractions at the heart of this community that make this region an outstanding visitor destination. As we celebrate English Tourism Week, it is timely to shine the spotlight on the amazing people at the heart of our industry and the fantastic partnership work underway with stakeholders across the region to grow the visitor economy and spread prosperity.

 “We look forward to continuing to work with the Cumbria Tourism Local Visitor Economy Partnership supported by the new Destination Management Plan, building on the region’s success and ensuring it remains a top destination for both domestic and international visitors now and in the years ahead.”

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, added: “We’re honoured that Lady Borwick has chosen to visit Cumbria during English Tourism Week. It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase our world-class destination and crucially, to bring a national industry leader to meet directly with local tourism businesses on the ground to hear about their current challenges, hopes and innovations. We are particularly grateful she is here in person to officially launch the county’s new Destination Management Plan on behalf of VisitEngland.”

Kirkby Lonsdale was one of the locations Lady Borwick specifically asked to visit. The Tourist Information Centre and Shop is run locally by volunteers and is a vital focal point for visitors and residents alike.

Chair of Kirkby Lonsdale Community Interest Company (CiC), Allan Muirhead, commented: “Kirkby Lonsdale is a truly resourceful town which has come up with a unique, local solution to offer tourism support and information through a network of dedicated volunteers. By working together as a community, the CiC not only maintains the shop and its interactive visitor attraction – known at The Vault – but it also runs regular heritage walking tours, puts on public events like the annual Christmas Fair, maintains vital public toilets and looks after local rental properties to generate income for the town. We’re delighted Lady Borwick has had the opportunity to see this first-hand!”