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New Focus on Lancashire Produce

Wednesday, 1st February 2012

Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board (LBTB) has been awarded funding to help promote Lancashire produce and producers, which follows the board’s recent Taste Lancashire food and drink activity that successfully highlighted the county’s appeal as a destination for food lovers.

LBTB will receive £120k in 2012/13 (up to March 2013) from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), for which Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) is the managing authority, part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for rural development: Europe investing in rural areas.

The new focus will see LBTB working with producers and businesses in rural areas of Lancashire, with the aim of raising awareness and encouraging the use of local produce amongst industry partners.  Other initiatives within the project include the establishment of Taste Lancashire dining experiences, working alongside quality establishments including: The Millstone at Mellor, The Redwell Inn at Carnforth, Sparrowhawk at Fence and Twelve in Thornton Cleveleys, to name just a few.  LBTB will also attend and support a number of trade and consumer food events, with the priority of introducing Lancashire producers and produce to new markets. 

 A significant investment will also be made online, with the development of a new food section and full integration of food related content across the consumer website visitlancashire.com

LBTB’s corporate website lancashireandblackpool.com will also benefit from new food information aimed at industry partners.

Mike Wilkinson, LBTB Managing Director said “The tourist board has already helped raise awareness of the quality of Lancashire food and drink outlets, through marketing campaigns and accreditation schemes.  This new funding will enable us to work more closely with those working in our more rural communities; the producers who put incredible and distinctive produce on our tables and perhaps have had limited recognition for their great effort and commitment to Lancashire.

 “Our aim is to raise awareness of Lancashire’s produce and producers both locally and nationally. In the last month alone we have developed a new programme of Taste Lancashire evenings, committed to attending a major trade show and started discussions with a number of food festival organisers and national media.

"We all care about what we eat,  but we don’t necessarily know who grows it or where it comes from and many people will be amazed at the quality and wealth of producers we have on our doorstep.  We look forward to helping change that and to giving them the recognition they deserve.”

Environment Minister, Richard Benyon, said “British produce is amongst the best in the world, and last week we launched a new Food Exports Action Plan to sell more of our food and drink to growing global markets.

“We’re helping rural businesses thrive at home too; allowing new firms to compete with the best and knocking down barriers to growth in the countryside.

“Our £120,000 investment will help Lancashire’s producers speak with one voice, letting eateries across the North West know about the quality goods on their own doorstep.”

<<ENDS>>

Media enquiries: Anna Izza, Communications Manager, Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board on 01772 426459 or aizza@lbtbltd.com

Notes to Editors

1.         Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board (LBTB) was set up in April 2004. It supports tourism businesses in the Lancashire and Blackpool sub-region by representing their interests regionally and nationally, by co-ordinating marketing activity, developing the tourism product and working in partnership with industry. Our activities in marketing and communications, commercial membership, `Welcome to Excellence` training and visitor services are all designed to improve quality and the visitor economy.

In 2010 the Lancashire and Blackpool area attracted 60 million visitors who contributed £3.25 billion to the local economy and helped support 55,227 jobs.

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