Cumbria Tourism has teamed up with Electricity North West to help the county’s tourism industry become more sustainable and work towards its net zero ambitions.

Electricity North West is on the lookout for a range of small tourism operators across the county who would like to provide Electric Vehicle (EV) charging for their visitors, including small hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses. 

The power network operator is launching a scheme to support and fund power network upgrade work for up to 100 sites, targeted at those business with off-road parking suitable for Electric Vehicle charger installation.

Electricity North West will also provide businesses meeting the criteria with up to three 7kW charging units per site - up to a maximum of 30 chargers – as well as providing expert advice and support on how to use and maintain these.

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Steve Cox, Director of Operations at Electricity North West, said: "To meet the region’s environmental targets we will need to support over a million electric cars and vans on North West roads by the end of the decade.

"This means we all need to think how we will make EVs viable and affordable to use.

"As the power network operator for Cumbria, it’s our job to make sure that everyone living and working in the county can continue to depend on the network, just as they do now, even with all the changes."

Accommodation owners typically charge for the cost of the electricity used by their visitors in a room rate or EV parking bay charge.

This avoids the costs associated with more complex ‘pay as you go’ rapid charging systems, which can cost businesses tens of thousands of pounds.

For successful organisations, the installation process is likely to start in late August, with charge points expected to be in operation within a maximum of 28 days.

Cumbria Tourism’s Sustainable Travel Lead, Gemma Procter, added: "It’s really important that we enable businesses to do their bit to help visitors looking to reduce their carbon footprint and protect our world-class landscape. 

"The aim of this scheme is to show small tourism operators, including those in more rural locations – that there are affordable ways for them to install EV charge points and support customers who want to arrive in electric vehicles."