'£10m kickstart for tourism welcome - but doesn't go far enough'

A Government pledge to give tourism a £10m kickstart has been given a reserved welcome in Lancashire.

Friday, 3rd July 2020, 4:57 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd July 2020, 4:58 pm
Rachel McQueen of Marketing Lancashire

Rachel McQueen, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, said: "We very much welcome the news of sector specific grant support for tourism businesses in England - it is exactly the type of initiative that we have been calling for.

"We are awaiting further detail and are confident that the support delivery structures we have in Lancashire will help our tourism businesses to access whatever funds are available.

"However, my concern is that this does not go far enough.

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"We may end up with just £200,000 for Lancashire, and with grants likely to be between £1,000 and £3,000, up to £5,000 in exceptional circumstances, we may only be able to support a hundred or so businesses.

"We have many more businesses in much greater need than that.

"Lancashire alone attracts 68.74 million visitors annually, who contribute £4.41 billion to the local economy and help support almost 61,000 jobs. We look forward to future announcements about a more comprehensive support package for the sector that will help to see them through the winter. "

Following the Prime Minister's 'New Deal' announcement earlier this week, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, in collaboration with partners, has successfully secured £34.1m from the 'Getting Building Better Fund'.

Steve Fogg, chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership said, ''I am delighted Lancashire has managed to secure £34.1m to help drive economic growth in the county.

''The 'Getting Building Better Fund' is part of the Government's drive to minimise the potentially devastating effect on the economy due to the Covid-19 crisis. Money received from this fund will be invested in projects which will create jobs and invest in much needed infrastructure improvements, helping the county recover and bounce back quicker from the pandemic.''

Steve added: ''Working closely with all Lancashire local authorities, Sarah Kemp, the chief executive of the LEP and her team, over the past couple of weeks have been identifying a long list of projects across the county which can start almost immediately, be completed within 18 months and which can deliver jobs and green recovery.

"The fact that Lancashire has managed to secure a significant amount of funding is testament to the collaborative working between the LEP and its partners to work to together to help protect Lancashire's businesses and the livelihoods of our residents.

''We will continue to work with partners as we begin negotiations with Government to determine which projects will receive funding based on their ability to accelerate growth and create employment.

"Each day we are hearing of failing businesses and people losing their jobs. However we are also hearing of businesses which have diversified and shown extreme resilience in such unprecedented times.

"Clearly this money alone will not be enough but it will be a positive start and I am hoping by working together, we can come back stronger and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership will continue to engage with and listen to businesses to ensure they are getting the support they need to recover from this crisis.''