£5M boost for tourism in SW

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The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, was in Cornwall yesterday (March 5) to announce a £5 million investment to boost tourism in the south west.

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VisitEngland will administer the fund on behalf of the Government, which will then be distributed to appropriate local organisations.

The money will back proposals for “a clear strategy for tourism in the south west based upon the unique strengths that the region has to offer”.

Clegg said: “This funding will create a plan which will see the south west welcome thousands more visitors from home and abroad, strengthening the local economy and boosting business.”

The strategy has a number of aims. The funding will support work to increase awareness of the south west as a tourist destination in Europe and beyond.

Money will be allocated for marketing activity, building travel itineraries offered by travel operators serving the area and promoting transport links between Bristol, Exeter and Newquay.

Marketing will be global but targeted at visitors from Germany, Switzerland and Austria in particular. Work to capitalise on the interest driven from the German soap opera based on Rosamunde Pilcher’s novels, which is filmed in Cornwall, will also be explored.

The news has been welcomed by Visit Cornwall, whose future was confirmed this week as a Community Interest Company.

“I couldn’t be more delighted,” said Visit Cornwall head, Malcolm Bell.

“The cash injection will play a crucial role in helping the south west to showcase its assets to an international audience and level the playfield in funding across the country.

“We have been lobbying that while the north of England deserves their recent investment so does the south west, and this funding will enable vital development into growth markets that the private sector can’t fund in full.

“What amazing news for tourism and within hours of the announcement that the future of Visit Cornwall has been confirmed as a Community Interest Company!”