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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

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Huge cash blow to Cumbrian tourism body

The tourism industry in west Cumbria has been hit by a funding blow.

Britain’s Energy Coast (BEC) has announced that from April it will no longer fund West Cumbria Tourism – the organisation dedicated to promoting the area to visitors and businesses. The cut roughly amounts to about £100,000 per year.

A board meeting of WCT was due to be held yesterday to decide the future of the organisation but the outcome is not yet known.

Chairman Eric Robson said the tourism organisation was disappointed by the decision, which is due to “new strategic direction” that will support more nuclear projects, according to its chief executive.

Since 2011, WCT has been a partnership of Cumbria Tourism and BEC. BEC’s grant, which allowed WCT to attract other public and private sector funding, has helped to “create and develop high-profile marketing and PR initiatives” for the area.

Mr Robson added: “WCT has helped to build awareness of west Cumbria as a place to visit and has made great progress in raising the quality of the visitor accommodation, attractions and events programme.”

Hotelier Harry Berger, who owns The Woolpack and Stanley House in west Cumbria and is a WCT board member, said: “This short-sighted decision will have a devastating impact on tourism on the west coast.”

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