National park chiefs back campaign for long-term support for Cumbria’s hospitality and tourism sector
The Chief Executives of the Lake District National Park Authority and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority have lent their support to the campaign led by local MP Tim Farron and Cumbria Tourism for long-term financial support for the hospitality and tourism industry.
The campaign's petition, which calls for the Government to provide a support package lasting until Spring 2021, has garnered more than 3,300 signatures since it was launched last week.
Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park Authority said: "The green light to reopen many businesses from 4 July is fantastic news, for both our vital Lake District tourism providers and for everyone who plans to enjoy the National Park this summer. For many, the experience of camping, visiting a hotel or enjoying a pub lunch is as much a part of the Lake District as the fells and lakes.
"However, having missed out on such a key trading period, many operators are facing an incredibly challenging year, therefore we support the call for government to provide extended financial assistance to those most affected and secure the future of our visitor economy."
David Butterworth, Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority said: "You cannot understate how crucial tourism is to the rural economy in this area and across all National Parks. The effects are far reaching and impact on the individual businesses and whole communities.
"There is a great opportunity for Government to show practical support for this sector that will pay dividends for years to come."
Tim said: "Here in Cumbria we are very lucky to have not one but two stunning national parks, which are both massive assets to our visitor economy.
"I'm extremely grateful to the chief executives of both for lending their voice in support or our calls for extra support from the Government to help protect local jobs and businesses."
Gill Haigh, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism said: "Businesses and visitors alike are looking forward to the industry beginning to reopen from 4 July and we hope to be able to salvage some of what is left of the summer season.
"However, with more than half the period gone already, additional costs and restrictions associated with operating in the current climate, then moving into the far quieter winter period, it is worryingly inevitable that large job losses will be incurred without government confirmation of a package of support that will help bridge the winter period. We are grateful to both National Parks for their support."