PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Leeds, Yorkshire, United Kingdom, 2012/08/30 - Marketing Leeds has secured over £500,000 of funding from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to grow tourism to Leeds, increase visitor spend and boost employment in the sector - MarketingLeeds.com / Aberfield.com.
The funding is part of ‘Growing Tourism Locally’, a three-year programme coordinated by national tourist board VisitEngland, which is expected to create over 300 new jobs in the city.
The programme aims to inspire UK holidaymakers to rediscover and take advantage of England’s outstanding visitor attractions and will see £19.8m invested in promoting UK holidays and attractions, creating 9,100 jobs nationally in the process.
VisitEngland will be working directly with Marketing Leeds, hotels, travel companies and visitor attractions in Leeds and the wider city region to create focused marketing campaigns around specific areas and themes, including Christmas, food, music and culture.
The tourism and the hospitality industry supports over 45,000* jobs and contributes nearly £1.13 billion – 7.4% of GVA* – to the city’s economy every year.
Business Tourism in the city is also to receive a boost through the Regional Growth Fund, building on VisitEngland’s work with destinations to grow the value of international conferences, events and conventions.
Lurene Joseph, Chief Executive, Marketing Leeds said: “The visitor economy makes a huge contribution to the prosperity of Leeds and there is real potential for further growth. The funding is fantastic news both for Leeds and for the tourism businesses that help make our city the success it is.
“As well as creating hundreds of new jobs in the tourism sector, Leeds will be positioned on the national and international stage as a leading destination for short breaks, meetings and conferences.”
Gordon Jackson, General Manager of Thorpe Park Hotel and Spa & Chair of the Leeds Hotels & Venues Association, added: “Leeds is a great city, home to wonderful visitor and cultural attractions, leading independent and chain hotels and some of the finest venues in the UK. With the Leeds Arena and Trinity Leeds opening next year, the opportunities to grow the visitor economy are enormous.
“The city also has a great offer for business tourism and is the perfect destination for academic, professional and business conferences. The further we can spread this message, the better, and the funding will give much greater reach and impact to our promotion of the city.”
James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive said: “The RGF money is a huge boost for tourism in England. This project enables our public and private sector partners to work together to stimulate tourism and ultimately grow jobs throughout the country, with particular emphasis on some local areas.
“This is a great time to launch and we hope that by riding on the crest of a wave of a successful London 2012 Olympic Games we will harness the swell of national pride and inspire Brits to take the home advantage and holiday at home this year and beyond.”
The investment is funded through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and contributions from VisitEngland and the private sector.
About Marketing Leeds
Marketing Leeds (marketingleeds.com) works to raise the profile of Leeds on the national and international stage, promoting the city as a key destination for inward investment, business and leisure tourism. The organisation works with key private and public sector partners to attract new investment and drive economic growth. Its aim is to help create and sustain jobs and employment opportunities in the region.
VisitEngland (visitengland.org / visitengland.com) is the country’s national tourist board. It work in partnership with the industry to develop the visitor experience across England, plan national tourism strategy, grow the value of tourism in England and provide advocacy for the industry and visitors.
About the Regional Growth Fund
The Regional Growth Fund (bis.gov.uk) was launched in October 2010 and has so far allocated £1.4 billion through two bidding rounds. An additional £1 billion was added to the fund in the 2011 Autumn Statement which closed in June 2012. The winners will be announced in the Autumn.
*Hospitality : driving local economies. A report by the British Hospitality Association, October 2011