Miranda Dobson

Cheshire firm to boost UK rural tourism

Chester-based marketing firm, Marketing Cheshire has partnered with VisitEngland after securing £19.8m from the Regional Growth Fund (FGF).

Together the two outfits will launch a campaign designed to boost domestic tourism in England’s rural locations.

Organisations in the leisure and tourism industries around Cheshire have offered their support to the campaign, including Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction, Favourite Days Out, the Royal Horticultural Society, Arley Hall and Gardens, and Go Ape as well as Cheshire Peak District and Cheshire’s Towns and Villages.

RGF is a £2.6bn government fund aimed at private sector projects with the potential to drive economic growth and sustainable employment.

Other parties will provide further investment over a three year period as part of the “Growing Tourism Locally” campaign, with £9.1m invested from VisitEngland and £12.7m from national and local partners.

VisitEngland’s chief executive, James Berresford, said: “This exciting campaign is one of several launching this year with the aim of growing tourism in England.

“The campaign aims to inspire UK residents explore our green and pleasant land, and take a short break in one of England’s most beautiful rural destinations.

“This is a great example of the industry working in partnership to stimulate tourism and grow jobs throughout the country.”

Marketing Cheshire and VisitEngland’s project aims to generate £420m in additional tourism over a three year period, and encourage UK residents to take more holidays at home.

The scheme also hopes to create 9,100 more jobs in tourism to stimulate employment around the UK before March 2015.

Sam Youd, chair of Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction, commented: “We are delighted to be part of this exciting and dynamic campaign, which will showcase the finest parks and gardens across Cheshire and inspire visitors to explore our stunning rural landscapes.”

Caroline Hoppe, project manager for the Rural Escapes campaign at Marketing Cheshire, added: “We are very pleased to be working with VisitEngland on such a hugely important project for the rural tourism industry across Cheshire and deeply appreciate the support we have received from partners across the sector to deliver the Rural Escapes campaign.”

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