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MP takes Lakes business Olympic survey to government

October 30, 2012 10:08 AM

TF ruralSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has pledged to take a report from Windermere & Bowness Chamber of Trade to the government after it revealed that the Olympics played 'a part in the downturn of the local economy', along with poor weather and the recession.

Responses from businesses across the area revealed 88 per cent had not experienced an increase in turnover with four of the businesses reporting a decrease of more than 15 per cent.

The greatest proportion of responders said the Games, whilst fantastic in every other way, were damaging for Windermere and Bowness and that they would make no difference to the rest of their trading year.

Tim will take the report to the Department of Business and his colleague the Business Secretary Vince Cable and ask that the study's findings are fully examined.

Tim has for many months been running a campaign to boost tourism and has been seeking to promote Cumbria as an 'attack brand' for Britain's tourism industry. The tourism sector plays a vital role in the Cumbrian economy, it provides around 32,000 jobs (Full Time Equivalents) and provides around £3bn of investment each year. Just last week, Tim was part of the team that celebrated the £1m boost to Windermere Steam Boat museum.

Tim said: "I thank Windermere & Bowness Chamber of Trade for doing this work. I will take its findings to the government and ask them to study it and come back with a real plan to help tourism and small businesses in Cumbria.

"The report reminds us that local businesses and the South Lakeland community are punching well above their weight and bucking the trend - the drop in unemployment locally and the increase in growth is even more impressive when you consider that this happened despite the fact that the Olympics, wonderful though they were, reduced tourism demand in our local economy"

"Tourismplays a key role in our economy. I would like the government to take a couple of easy steps to help tourism like creating acabinetcommitteeto cross departmental lines and allow ourtourismsector to be promoted at the heart of government. "