Prime Minister David Cameron has announced funding for damages caused by floods and a campaign to promote tourism in the north.
David Cameron has announced a new package that will include £2M of government funding which will be used to fix bridges, rebuild walls and restore footpaths across the Lake District National Park. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has identified 180 local apprentices who will be mobilised to help with the park’s repair effort.
The package will include £1M to boost the north of England’s tourism industry and encourage British families to visit the region over the Easter break, with the launch of a marketing campaign co-ordinated by VisitEngland.
The package builds on the government’s £10M programme to grow tourism in the north with a new £4M Holidays at home are GREAT campaign, and advertising space worth £500,000 has also been made available at Heathrow to promote flood affected areas.
The announcement comes before the Prime Minister’s scheduled visit to Cumbria and Lancashire, where he will witness first-hand the investment in the area that is helping businesses and communities recover from the December floods.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “From York Minster to Honister Mine, Carlisle Castle to the Leeds Armouries, the north has some of the most iconic tourist attractions the UK has to offer. So it is absolutely right that we do everything we can to make sure these businesses feel supported and ready to receive visitors.
“The measures we’ve announced today are an important step, showcasing the best the region’s tourist industry has to offer while helping one of its key attractions in the Lake District National Park get back on its feet.”
The funding announced today will ensure that any damage to the Lake District Park’s 1400 bridges and 2,000 miles of paths, will be fixed as quickly as possible, with reinforcement of structures to ensure that they are resilient to flooding in the future.
Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss added: “The support we have promised today will help get those parts of the park in need of repair ready for visitors, so that families looking forward to their Easter and summer breaks can visit this stunning environment and back businesses and communities affected by the recent floods.”
The new DCMS-funded advertising campaign will launch on February 9 to coincide with the run-up to the February half-term and Easter holidays. The target audience will be London and the south-east, using London Underground posters, national press, social media and radio as well as key markets in Scotland and the North. The campaign will showcase key attractions and the picturesque countryside that Yorkshire, Northumberland, Cumbria and Lancashire have to offer.
The government’s support comes after some businesses in affected areas reported a drop in bookings of up to 60%.
Tourism businesses that have been directly impacted by the flooding are eligible for Department of Business, Innovation and Skills’ £6 million flood recovery grant.