Cumbria Crack

Tourism and cultural industries working together to encourage greater economic success for World Heritage Lake District

Abbot Hall Exhibition

[T]he Lake District National Park was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status for its cultural landscape in 2017 and work is underway to create more opportunities for cultural tourism to boost the regional economy.

According to the Arts Council, arts and culture directly generates spending by tourists, both domestic and inbound and the economic contribution of the arts and cultural sector has grown since 2008.

It is estimated that just a one per cent increase in cultural visitors spending more on accommodation, leisure activities, and food and drink could boost the economy by about £20million.*

Lakes Culture, working in partnership with Cumbria Tourism, has put together a range of Signature Experiences for local people and visitors to discover more about the rich cultural offer in the Lake District.

These experiences, which are hosted on the Go Lakes website, aim to excite and unearth more treasures and let people really explore the Lake District’s identity, its role in conservation and how it has inspired so many artists and writers to produce great work.

The Signature Experiences are based around the iconic geographical locations and landscapes in the region plus one for the Lakes Ignite 2018 arts event.  The Signature Experiences aim to offer visitors a culturally rich journey.

They are part of a wider cultural destinations project led by Lakes Culture, a consortium of local arts organisations, public bodies and tourism businesses, which aim to strengthen the relationship between the tourism and cultural sectors in the region to promote the Lake District as the UK’s leading rural cultural destination.

Usha Mistry, from Lakes Culture, said: “The Lake District is uniquely placed to become one of the UK’s great cultural tourism destinations further endorsed by the award of the UNESCO World Heritage Status. Visitors are increasingly looking for authentic experiences when they go on holiday; our Signature Experiences provide a way for locals and visitors alike to understand and enjoy what makes our cultural landscape unique.”

Gill Haigh, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism says, “Our county not only has a rich, diverse and world class cultural offer, but it is set against the backdrop of a world class environment. Now, with a second World Heritage status for the Lake District, in addition to Hadrian’s Wall, there is a huge opportunity to further amplify the county’s reputation as the UK’s leading rural destination.”

The cultural story continues in 2018 with the Lakes Ignite festival, which sees six contemporary artists showing new pieces of work in response to the World Heritage status.

Each installation provides a different perspective on the World Heritage story using very different media including metal, wood, mirrors, inflatables, performance and virtual reality. The artworks are free to visit at six different locations in the Lake District.

*World Heritage Status – is there an opportunity for economic gain?’ Rebanks Consulting

The Lakes Ignite Festival runs from January to July. Find out more here

Find out more about the Signature Experiences

If you are a tourism business and want to find out more please contact Usha Mistry at Lakes Culture [email protected]

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