CUMBRIAN MPs have taken part in a discussion over the future of the county’s tourism industry.

The county’s five Conservative MPs met with Cumbria Tourism last week to discuss the state of the sector, and to consider ways to work together to support its recovery.

The joint meeting was co-ordinated by Carlisle MP John Stevenson, attended by Cumbria Tourism’s chairman Jim Walker, vice chairman Dan Visser and MD Gill Haigh, as well as Copeland MP Trudy Harrison, Workington MP Mark Jenkinson, Penrith and the Border MP Neil Hudson and Barrow-in-Furness MP Simon Fell.

Topics discussed included the importance of tourism to Cumbria’s economy and the impact of the pandemic.

Carlisle MP Mr Stevenson said: “Tourism is such an important part of the Cumbrian economy — and so it is vital that the county works together to ensure that the when things start to re-open, the industry can succeed once more.

“This is why I co-ordinated this meeting between MPs and Cumbria Tourism, as the response has to come from all levels — from local authorities and organisations like Cumbria Tourism right through to the national government.

“The Cumbrian MPs will continue to work together — and with local industry representatives like Cumbria Tourism — to ensure our county can thrive beyond this pandemic.”

Jim Walker, chairman of Cumbria Tourism added: “We have been grateful for the support of all our county’s MPs to date.

“This is the first time we have been able to come together in this way and it was a really valuable hour covering a wide range of issues. What I took away was a genuine desire to all work together.

“There was real depth of understanding of the challenges faced, lots of commitment for joined up working and an understanding of the need for a clear roadmap — and some changes and additional support now — in order to ensure Cumbria’s visitor economy thrives once more.”