Marketing Lancashire and VisitBlackpool awarded new national status to maximise the potential of the local visitor economy

15 November 2023

Local Visitor Economy Partnership will support growth and development of the region

Marketing Lancashire and VisitBlackpool have announced that a collaborative bid has been awarded Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) status by VisitEngland, placing them among the country’s leading organisations for destination management.

The new Lancashire LVEP is a partnership between Marketing Lancashire and VisitBlackpool with the support of all the county’s 15 councils.

This new national portfolio of strategic and high-performing LVEPs will work in collaboration locally, regionally and nationally on shared priorities and targets to support and grow the visitor economy.

As well as achieving a nationally recognised official status, LVEPs will provide strong leadership and management of their destinations. Working collaboratively with the public and private sector, they will help to shape and deliver national strategy and activities to promote sustainable growth.

As an LVEP, the Marketing Lancashire and VisitBlackpool partnership will also have access to resources and guidance from VisitEngland on product distribution, business support and the opportunity to bid for funding and marketing.

Aidy Riggott, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Growth for Lancashire County Council, said “In Lancashire, we are committed to generating sustainable growth through the creation of value-added jobs, attracting new talent and stimulating innovation across the region which is underpinned by the Visitor Economy and the quality of life that offers residents.

“The role of LVEPs will be promoted across government and national agencies to ensure that the Lancashire visitor economy is an active and valued contributor to Levelling Up and the wider economy.”

Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “VisitBlackpool is responsible for marketing and promoting the UK’s most popular seaside destination and we are delighted that this partnership gives national recognition of the importance of tourism to our local economy.

“On the back of significant investment in marketing and events, we have delivered a spectacular post-pandemic recovery here in Blackpool and we will continue to deliver investment and initiatives that build on that growth. There is now an opportunity to complement that by developing closer working relationships at both regional and national level.”

Vikki Harris, Marketing & Partnerships Director, Marketing Lancashire said: “As the official voice of tourism for the county, the whole team were thrilled to receive the news of our LVEP status. It is testament to the innovation, commitment, and collaboration over recent years that this has been achieved. A massive well done to everyone involved.

“This is an exciting time for Lancashire and we are now looking forward to working with partners at VisitBlackpool to deliver the tourism growth strategy which sets a target of £1bn growth by 2027.”

VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: “Local Visitor Economy Partnerships (LVEPs) are at the heart of transforming the visitor economy landscape in England and we are delighted to welcome Marketing Lancashire onto the programme.

“We look forward to continuing our close collaboration with Marketing Lancashire as the LVEP is established, providing ongoing support including a dedicated VisitEngland regional development lead.

“Having the right national and local infrastructure in place to grow our visitor economy, in an inclusive, accessible and sustainable way, will ensure England continues to be a compelling destination for both domestic and international visitors.”

Tourism is one of Lancashire’s key sectors, pre-COVID, Lancashire’s visitor economy was worth £4.41 billion per year, attracting 68.7million visitors and supporting over 60,000 jobs, making it one of the largest visitor economies in the North West.

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