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Destination Lincolnshire awarded LVEP accreditation by VisitEngland for Greater Lincolnshire & Rutland

Destination Lincolnshire awarded LVEP accreditation by VisitEngland for Greater Lincolnshire and Rutland

Greater Lincolnshire and Rutland have achieved Local Visitor Economy Partnership LVEP accreditation. The bid was led by Destination Lincolnshire and will unlock growth opportunities for the area's multi- billion-pound visitor economy.

The LVEP programme is creating a portfolio of nationally supported, strategic and high-performing organisations which will provide local leadership and governance in tourism destinations all over the country.

Destination Lincolnshire’s application was approved by a panel of experts at VisitEngland and visitor economy policy makers at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The accreditation also signals a major milestone in the evolution of Destination Lincolnshire, which has been through a four-year transformation to make sure it was perfectly positioned to support businesses, operators and councils after covid.

“The Local Visitor Economy Partnerships (LVEP) programme is transforming the visitor economy landscape in England” said Andrew Stokes, Director at VisitEngland. “LVEP’s are supporting sector growth in a more inclusive, accessible and sustainable way and I am delighted to welcome Greater Lincolnshire and Rutland. Working together, LVEPs are simplifying our tourism landscape, ensuring England continues to be a compelling destination for both domestic and international visitors. As Greater Lincolnshire and Rutland is established as an LVEP, VisitEngland will provide ongoing support including a dedicated regional lead.”

Charlotte Goy, Chief Executive at Destination Lincolnshire added: “The accreditation is testament to the amazing performance of our team, the vision of our Board of Directors and the unwavering support of our partners. We’re just at the beginning, but already we can see where the step-change will be. With LVEP status secured, we’ll be invited to take part in national development and marketing activities with VisitEngland, which could unlock funding for marketing campaigns, destination development, data and insights, and business support with training. There will also be a regional strategy which will encourage East Midland LVEPs to collaborate with each other. We’ll do this via aligning on ‘Destination Management Plans’ which will be used to draw down further investment into regions that offer a similar product to similar visitor profiles. This could include thematic activities like sports and cycling holidays or international ancestral tourism linked to history and heritage. But most importantly, at a local level, there is now an accredited strategic lead for the visitor economy that is representative of the public and private sector and aligns delivery into devolution discussions for long-term continuity.”

Chris Baron, Chair of Destination Lincolnshire and chair of the DMP and LVEP Governance Group, said: “I am so pleased that we have achieved this important milestone in establishing an LVEP covering the whole of Greater Lincolnshire and Rutland. The process has been so useful in establishing a true partnership approach for one of the area's most important industries and I am sure we will go from strength to strength in supporting businesses in our area.”

Nicky van der Drift, CEO International Bomber Command Centre, Chair of the GLLEP Visitor Economy Board, and member of the DMP LVEP Governance Group, said: “Having been a supporter of Destination Lincolnshire for many years, both through the GLLEP and as a Partner and Pathfinder, I am overjoyed to see Destination Lincolnshire become an accredited LVEP. A key piece of the Greater Lincolnshire puzzle, Charlotte and her team are the best possible advocates for driving forward the ambitious goals we have all set for the county. This includes tackling issues such as seasonality, identifying growth opportunities and supporting inward investment. Together we’ll continue to shine a light on the wonder that is Lincolnshire, both as a tourist destination - with its buzzing holiday resorts along the coast to the award-winning attractions in the city - as well as a desirable place to work, live and study.”

Discover Rutland and Rutland County Council have welcomed their new partnership with Destination Lincolnshire. It is a natural extension of the longstanding affiliation between the neighbouring geographies. Rutland and Lincolnshire already share visitors and have similar experiences such as walking, cycling, nature and artisan food and drink and strong connections by rail and road – all factors that have been identified in the shared Destination Management Plan.

Chair of Discover Rutland and owner of a Rutland pub and touring site, Jason Allen, commented: “This is a very exciting development for the area and offers huge opportunities. Tourism has an economic impact of almost £150 million each year in Rutland, proving how vital the visitor economy is to the county, and we look forward to growing this with Destination Lincolnshire through the LVEP.”

Local Visitor Economy Partnerships have been introduced as part of the Government’s response to an independent review of how the nation’s visitor economy is coordinated and promoted and have the potential to draw in additional support and funding from Westminster.

Tourism is worth more than £2.6 billion each year in Greater Lincolnshire and £150m to the Rutland local economy and nearly 30,000 workers being employed within the sector. Lincoln has been declared as one of the UK’s happiest places to live and work and one of the top 20 places to visit in the world – two factors which contribute to nearly 31 million visits being made to Greater Lincolnshire every year, further generating a visitor spend of over £500 million on food and drink alone.

Laura Dunne, Destination Lincolnshire Board Member, said: “It has been a collaborative effort with many partners to develop Greater Lincolnshire and Rutland’s application, so it’s fantastic news that Destination Lincolnshire has been awarded LVEP status. The potential for the visitor economy is exciting, with the Destination Management Plan outlining the priorities to achieve our growth ambitions in this important aspect of the local economy.”

Professor Neal Juster, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln and Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “I am delighted that Destination Lincolnshire has been awarded LVEP accreditation. This is a great reflection of the hard work and expertise of the team. It also helps reinforce Lincolnshire as an attractive place to live, work, study, visit and invest. The visitor economy is worth more than £2.6bn to the region and supports tens of thousands of jobs. As such it is a priority sector for the LEP. The broad, countywide scope of Destination Lincolnshire enables synergies between the tourism sector and other initiatives within the LEP which can bring benefits to many areas of our economy. I look forward to working with Destination Lincolnshire and other partners in delivering an exciting destination management plan.”

Sally Jackson, co-owner Pink Pig Farm, Scunthorpe, added: “As a visitor attraction in North Lincolnshire, the LVEP status awarded to Destination Lincolnshire creates a unified approach to tourism, which will benefit the 1000s of visitor economy businesses operating across the entire county. By working together, the various councils can benefit from a wider reach in terms of support from central government and recognition from people all over the country and abroad that Lincolnshire is an amazing place to visit and stay.”

Karl McCartney MP (Lincoln), said: “It is great news that Destination Lincolnshire has rightly been accredited as the official organisation across Lincolnshire and Rutland with the responsibility to boost local tourism. This not only comes with extra support from the Government, but it will also help us to better take advantage of our wonderful Wolds; our fantastic coast, countryside and market towns; and of course, our heritage like Lincoln’s Cathedral and Castle. This is why I organised a letter from local MPs that was sent to the government in supporting Destination Lincolnshire and I am pleased this helped. I look forward to working with them over the coming years in taking advantage of the real opportunities this accreditation brings.”

Portfolio Holder for Tourism at Rutland County Council, Cllr Paul Browne, commented: “We share the belief and ambition that Rutland and Lincolnshire have the potential to be a leading visitor destination in England, and this partnership will offer the coordination and capability to achieve this goal. Discover Rutland and Destination Lincolnshire have a history of collaboration already and we look forward to strengthening these links with a shared vision for the area through a joint Destination Development Plan.”

Cllr Colin Davie, Executive Councillor for Economy at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “LVEPs are a national initiative to give some consistency to how the whole of the UK is marketed to visitors. They offer benefits from local, regional and national partnership-working and Lincolnshire will join 30 other areas in having such an arrangement. There are clear benefits to this in utilising larger-scale expertise and funding, however, at a local level we already have good partnerships to promote our tourism offer in Lincolnshire. As a council, l we remain entirely committed to evolving, developing and investing in our visitor economy to benefit our residents and businesses.”

Cllr Ric Metcalfe, Leader of City of Lincoln Council, said: “It’s great news that Destination Lincolnshire has gained Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) status with VisitEngland. The city and county’s local visitor economy is an incredibly important sector and the opportunity to work collaboratively with other local, regional and national LVEPs can only be a positive. We have much to be proud of in the city and by working together to ensure robust destination management, build strong stakeholder relationships and create clear plans for the future, we will unlock significant opportunities. I look forward to seeing the partnership grow and develop over the coming months and years.”

Neil Kempster, chair of the Boston Town Deal, said: “Congratulations to Destination Lincolnshire for achieving this accreditation. Destination Lincolnshire have been an active member of the Town Deal Board assisting our work to maximise the benefits of the visitor economy. This will really help promote our tourism offer in Boston and give further creditability to our plans to build on the tourism potential of the town.”

Councillor Hayden Dawkins, Portfolio Holder for Tourism and the Visitor Economy at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “The visitor economy is critical to seaside towns such as Cleethorpes. The footfall throughout the year supports hundreds of businesses around North East Lincolnshire and provides thousands of jobs for local people. We have an amazing resort at Cleethorpes, with additional investment from the Government’s Levelling Up Funds kickstarting projects to improve the town centre. We have long, and strong, links with our neighbours across Greater Lincolnshire, working in close partnership on many things. By working together, we can make sure that we get the best, not only for our local area but for the county as a whole.”

Alan Gray, North Kesteven District Council Economic Development Manager, said: “It’s fantastic that Destination Lincolnshire has earned accredited LVEP status from VisitEngland, we’re very pleased to have supported the application for this as a proactive partner committed to working with them. Achieving LVEP status for Destination Lincolnshire is a vital step in ensuring the visitor economy across Greater Lincolnshire can continue to grow, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the team. The accreditation also reflects the efforts of everyone involved daily in welcoming and providing for visitors. In addition, the Council is also developing a new tourism strategy setting out its steps for the visitor economy in North Kesteven and encouraging more people to enjoy it, including its aviation history and its heritage venues, services and hospitality, sports facilities, open spaces and more.”


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