New partnership lights the way for sustainable tourism

by | Aug 4, 2022 | News

Paul Bircham - Electricity North West - Cumbria Tourism

Helping Cumbria’s multibillion-pound tourism industry embrace Net Zero is one of the key priorities for a new partnership between Cumbria Tourism and the North West’s power network operator, Electricity North West.

The company has committed to work alongside Cumbria’s official ‘Destination Management Organisation’ (or DMO) as an official Patron over the next year, to help support and signpost new ways for tourism businesses to identify leaner, greener ways of working.

The new agreement builds on previous joint working with Cumbria Tourism to support the sector in recent months, including a new project to engage with small tourism operators wanting to provide Electric Vehicle (EV) charging for their visitors.

Electricity North West recently launched the scheme to fund power network upgrade work for up to 100 sites across the county, as well as providing expert advice and support on how to use and maintain the new EV charging points.

The power network operator is also feeding into Cumbria Tourism’s new ‘sustainability toolkit’ – a bespoke online resource for businesses giving practical help and advice to help make them more sustainable. This includes signposting sector-specific advice on cutting energy bills and empowering tourism workplaces such as bars, restaurants, hotels and retailers to become more energy-efficient.

Looking ahead, the two organisations are planning joint workshops and networking sessions for the autumn to give face-to-face support to tourism operators looking to make the move to more sustainable ways of working through innovations like EV charging.

Electricity North West’s Engagement and Regulatory Director, Paul Bircham, said: “Our forecasts show we’re expecting to see 1.2 million electric cars and vans on the North West roads by the end of the decade. 

“As the power network operator for Cumbria, it’s our job to ensure those living in the county have a reliable power network they can trust to charge those cars when they need it.

“This partnership with Cumbria Tourism is key to helping encourage businesses to adopt electric vehicles and we’re delighted to be making that happen.”

Gill Haigh, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, added: “At a time of spiralling costs and a renewed focus on sustainable working practices, it’s a critical time for tourism businesses and we’re proud to have Electricity North West’s team, experience and enthusiasm alongside us as our new Patron.

“From staff and supply chains to accessibility and carbon reduction, sustainable tourism encompasses all areas of Cumbria’s visitor economy. Together we’re committed to helping tourism businesses adapt to more innovative, energy-efficient ways of working – not only to reduce their impact, but also to cut their costs and even develop new unique selling points.

“Not only will this activity benefit individual operators, but it is positive news for the wider destination and our industry as a whole. We’re looking forward to forging ahead with Electricity North West in the coming months.”

Electricity North West joins long-standing supporter, United Utilities, as a Patron of Cumbria Tourism.