Happy Visitors Will Visit Again

26 March 2014

Helping to transform the Bay in 700 days

Welcome to Morecambe Bay, a new and bespoke customer service training course, was launched on Monday 24 March at The Midland Hotel, Morecambe by Marketing Lancashire, Cumbria Tourism and the Morecambe Bay Partnership, as part of the partnership’s 700 Days to Transform The Bay and Headlands to Headspace Programmes.

The inaugural Welcome to Morecambe Bay one-day training course kick-started a series of training days aimed at further developing the reputation of Morecambe Bay as a destination that excels in customer service, as well as in natural beauty.

Funded from Morecambe Bay Partnership’s Coastal Communities 700 Days to Transform the Bay and the Headlands to Headspace Heritage Lottery programmes, Welcome to Morecambe Bay training will put Morecambe Bay businesses at the forefront of first class customer service, offering a big warm welcome to our visitors old and new, helping to sustain and create new jobs in the area.

Susannah Bleakley, Executive Director, Morecambe Bay Partnership says:

‘This is an exciting time for Morecambe Bay. Partners and businesses are working together to make Morecambe Bay one of the fastest developing destinations in the UK.  We want visitors to Morecambe Bay to feel our love for the area and come back again and again.  The Bay area has so much to offer visitors awe-inspiring land and seascapes, fascinating stories about our heritage and culture, world class wildlife and species – and our businesses need to be at the forefront of attracting and welcoming new and returning visitors.’

Ruth Connor, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire said:

“The timeless appeal of Morecambe Bay, its unique landscape and far-reaching vistas means that it continues to be one of the must-see places to visit on any trip to Lancashire and the South Lakes. To secure this unique position in the hearts and minds of future visitors we do have to work harder and smarter, to keep visitors coming back and to make each one an ambassador for the area because of their experience whilst here.  As destination management organisation for Lancashire, Marketing Lancashire is proud to promote and support the Welcome to Morecambe Bay training course.” 

The course is designed to benefit customer-facing staff working in the hospitality, tourism, leisure, transport and retail sectors, as well as students preparing for employment in the industry. It also meets National Occupational Standards for Customer Service, combining essential product knowledge of the beautiful Morecambe Bay area with the very latest in customer service skills and techniques.  Welcome to Morecambe Bay delegates benefit from a much reduced rate for the course, paying £30 instead of the national rate of £90, thanks to subsidy from The Coastal Communities Fund.

Tailored from the acclaimed Welcome Host Gold training course, this new destination-specific course benefits from the nationally recognised Welcome to Excellence quality assurance and branding. Once completed, the delegates receive a Welcome to Excellence badge and certificate and have the option to take the examination for the City and Guilds Level 2 Award in the Principles of Customer Service in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism.

Businesses who train 50% of their staff on the programme can use the national Welcome to Excellence logo on any marketing materials including their website, thereby highlighting their commitment to excellence in customer service.
Richard Greenwood, Head of Operations, Cumbria Tourism said

“It’s good to see partners and businesses from both sides of the Bay working together to raise the profile and quality of the visitor offer. Together we have put together a great new course to improve the visitor welcome and raise awareness about what a fascinating place Morecambe Bay is – from its vast intertidal seascapes to limestone crags, historic towns and villages, to its lovely trails and cycle routes. There is something for everyone”

The Forum, Barrow-in-Furness will be host to the next Welcome to Morecambe Bay Training Course on Thursday 3 April. To book your place or for more information on the Welcome to Excellence suite of training courses please contact:  Helen Heyworth or Helen Aldous on
Tel: 01772 426454.

Further Welcome to Morecambe Bay training courses will be delivered over the next 12 months – see www.morecambebay.org for more details.

Photo attached shows, left to right:
Helen Aldous (Training Manager,Marketing Lancashire), Mark McTigue (Marketing Officer- Lancaster City Council), Richard Greenwood (Head of Operations  Cumbria Tourism), Susannah Bleakley (Executive Director – Morecambe Bay Partnership), Justina Ma (Business Manager, Marketing Lancashire), Janet Barton (700 Days Co-ordinator – Morecambe Bay Partnership) and Roger Carter (Bay Tourism Association and Welcome to Excellence trainer)


Media enquiries: Anna Izza, Head of PR and Communications, Marketing Lancashire 01772 426 459

Notes to Editors

  1.  Marketing Lancashire is the new name for Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board (from 1st April 2012)Our activities in marketing and communications, commercial membership, `Welcome to Excellence` training and place marketing are all designed to grow the visitor economy and develop the destination as a great place to visit, live and work. Lancashire attracts 62 million visitors who contribute around £3.4 billion to the local economy and help support 54,804 jobs. 
  2. Morecambe Bay Partnership is a small charity making big things happen in the Morecambe Bay area. We are a place based charity with the aim of securing resources that will bring jobs and growth to the area.  Our target for the next 5 years is to secure £10m of investment that will create or safeguard over 8,000 jobs, increasing visitor numbers by 3% equating to an increase in the visitor economy of Morecambe Bay of £15m.
  3. The Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) aims to encourage the economic development of UK coastal communities by awarding funding to create sustainable economic growth and jobs. Since the start of the CCF in 2012 grants have been awarded to 104 organisations across the UK to the value of £53.6 million. This funding is forecast to deliver 7,655 jobs and help attract around £90 million of additional funds to coastal areas. The Big Lottery Fund is delivering the CCF on behalf of UK Government and the Devolved Administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
  4. 700 Days to Transform the Bay – This £0.5 million Morecambe Bay Partnership Scheme will support over 260 tourism-related jobs and safeguard many thousands more.  The funding will be used to connect and sign a 200Km ‘Bay Cycle Way’, deliver events, develop trails and apps to improve information for visitors and provide over 300 training places to support tourism businesses.  The Scheme title ‘700 Days to transform the Bay’ reflects that there is just two years to deliver.
    700 Days will create new opportunities for visitors from near and far to explore and enjoy this fascinating area.  Focusing on four clusters around the Bay, the Scheme aims to develop a distinctive, yet diverse offer within each cluster, and support the marketing of a more compelling destination.  We want to bring more visitors who stay longer, travel sustainably, spend more, and repeat their visits.
  5. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) gives grants to sustain and transform our heritage that will make a lasting difference for heritage and people. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions HLF invests in every part of our diverse heritage. The Landscape Partnerships programme is for schemes led by partnerships of local, regional and national interests which aim to conserve areas of distinctive landscape character throughout the UK.
  6. Headlands to Headspace (H2H) is a major new initiative for Morecambe Bay Partnership, funded by HLF and motivated by a community desire to protect and celebrate the Bay’s rich heritage. This exciting Scheme will deliver training, improve access, and present the Bay’s heritage in fresh, new ways. It will bring local people and new audiences together by delivering engaging activities, high quality events and meaningful volunteering opportunities. All in all, it will significantly improve understanding of the natural and cultural heritage and help conserve that heritage for future generations. In so doing, it will bring new visitors, increase pride, and raise aspiration among the community. It will achieve a wide range of benefits – for heritage, for the Bay’s communities, and economic benefits too.We intend it to be a catalyst for community renewal and sustainable heritage management into the future.
    Headlands to Headspace will transform the way people think about Morecambe Bay. Its lasting legacy will be to deliver much greater profile and appreciation of the Bay’s unique heritage.

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