Tourism and the rural economy will come under the spotlight over the next two days, as Minister for the Arts, Heritage & Tourism, John Glen MP, heads to Cumbria to visit the newly designated Lake District World Heritage Site and hear first-hand from a range of business about what it means to them.
The visit (on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 September) has been arranged by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), in conjunction with Cumbria Tourism and the Lake District National Park. It will showcase one of the country’s most popular visitor destinations and the evolving cultural landscape and heritage which helped secure the accolade of UNESCO World Heritage Site status this summer.
Arriving in the county today, Mr Glen will start his tour by visiting two National Trust properties – Claife Viewing Station, Windermere, and Hill Top – and The Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere. Later, he will attend a private dinner at the Lakes Distillery, Bassenthwaite, alongside representatives from key organisations involved in the Lake District’s successful World Heritage bid.
On Friday, the Minister will sail on Ullswater and tour a National Trust tenanted farm at Glencoyne. He will also meet with rural stakeholders before visiting Another Place for a lunch with Cumbria Tourism members and partners to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the visitor economy in the county.
Later in the day he will tour the site of the new ‘Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories’ and meet representatives from Cumbria’s strong cultural sector, to discuss a broad range of key issues.
John Glen, Arts, Heritage and Tourism Minister, said, “The Lake District National Park is an amazing landscape that blends the preservation of stunning scenery with a modern and thriving tourism industry. World Heritage status was the culmination of years of dedication and it has been fantastic to see how local people and businesses are working together to capitalise on this achievement and raise the profile of the Lakes around the world.”
Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, said, “As well as celebrating World Heritage Status, this visit is a key opportunity for Cumbria Tourism and its partners to meet directly with a key influencer at government level. On behalf of our 2,500 member businesses we will be proud to help showcase the unique and vibrant identity and tourism offer of the Lake District and Cumbria as a whole, as well as to explore opportunities and barriers to future growth with the Minister. It is vital that the tourism sector works closely with industry to influence national policy-makers and ensure that regional and national decision-making and infrastructure supports the needs of our £2.72billion tourism economy.”
Chairman of the Lake District National Park Partnership, Lord Clark of Windermere, said: “We are delighted to welcome the minister to the UK’s newest World Heritage Site. It’s an opportunity to explore with government how we manage the challenges and opportunities that come with looking after such an iconic, yet constantly changing, landscape for the future benefit of everyone who enjoys this special place.”