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New Group Meets to Boost Our Visitor Economy

Butlins, Doddington Hall, the National Trust, Lincoln Cathedral, Visit Lincoln and the Lincolnshire Showground are amongst the organisations represented on a new group which aims to boost Greater Lincolnshire’s visitor economy.

The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership has brought together 20 public and private sector leaders to sit on its new Visitor Economy Board, which met for the first time yesterday (Thursday).

The group will report in to the main board of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP and its role will be to support the sector and shape and influence the future of the visitor economy in Greater Lincolnshire.

The visitor economy is made up of the businesses and services which support people who come to the area for a variety of reasons: for holidays and day trips, on business or to visit relatives and friends.

The LEP already has boards which focus on food, investment, employment and skills, and water management.

“The visitor economy is one of the top three priority sectors in Greater Lincolnshire and the LEP has set itself the challenge of doubling the value of the visitor economy by 2020,” said Chris Baron, Resort Director at Butlins in Ingoldmells and Chair of the Visitor Economy Board.

“The sector is worth around £2 billion a year to the Greater Lincolnshire economy, and that figure grew by £350 million a year in the four years after the LEP was set up.

“Our visitor economy is currently buoyant, but we want to go further and maximise the potential of the sector. The role of the new board will be to boost the growth of the

visitor economy and to shape and influence future visitor economy products to meet the needs of visitors and businesses in Greater Lincolnshire.”

Lydia Rusling, head of Visit Lincoln, said: “The board will be an important step in the right direction for collaboration and encouraging enthusiasm and pride in Lincolnshire. The board is focused not only on increasing the number of visitors to the area, but also on building knowledge and confidence in the visitor economy sector.”

Among the initial tasks the board has set itself are:

• produce a comprehensive body of information about visitors to Greater Lincolnshire
• produce a place marketing toolkit for visitor economy businesses
• maximise the opportunities offered by Mayflower 400 (a celebration planned in 2020)
• identify the skills shortages in the sector and work with businesses to address these

Board members are: Claire Birch (Doddington Hall), Dave Skepper (Stagecoach East Midlands), Jackie Croft (Lincoln Cathedral), Jayne Southall (Lincolnshire Agricultural Society), Lydia Rusling (Visit Lincoln), Mary Powell (Lincolnshire County Council), Matt Corrigan (Lincoln BIG), Richard Beason (Bishop Grosseteste University), Sukhy Johal (University of Lincoln), Paul Learoyd (Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust), Sara Blair-Manning (National Trust), Bob Callison (Adelaide Hotel), David Norton (Springfields Horticultural Society), Flora Bennett (Wilkin Chapman LLP), Liz Parry (Abbys Group), Mark Hollingworth (Giant Store Lincoln), Nicky Barr (International Bomber Command Centre), Simon Beardsley (Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce) and Stuart Hardy (Hardys Farm).

The Visitor Economy Board will meet two or three times per year. To find out more visit www.greaterlincolnshirelep.co.uk.

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