Wednesday, 16 November 2016 09:08

£4m for rural tourism in Cumbria

Written by  Ruralcity Media
£4m for rural tourism in Cumbria

THE government has unveiled a £4m fund to repair damage caused by winter storms in Cumbria last December.

The Cumbria Countryside Access Fund will help reinstate and improve public rights of way across the Lake District and rural Cumbria.

It will reopen connections between rural towns and villages, and making it easier for visitors to explore attractions and long-distance trails on foot.

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has awarded a total of £3m to repair the Lake District National Park's network of walking trails.

A further £1m will be spent on work in rural areas of Cumbria outside the National Park.

These grants will boost tourist confidence that the Lake District is back open for business, as well as benefiting Cumbrian residents.

According to research by Cumbria Tourism, in 2015 the county's 43m visitors brought £2.62bn to the local economy and created the equivalent of 35,000 full time jobs.

Defra minister Thérèse Coffey said: "Recovery work in Cumbria continues apace, with £150m spent across the county this year to get communities back on their feet.

"This new £4m fund to repair and improve trails and footpaths across the county will mean visitors and residents can continue to enjoy all parts of the Lake District.

"It was encouraging to read local figures showing a record summer for occupancy rates of holiday accommodation.

"We're committed to continuing to help the people and businesses of Cumbria recover from the devastating winter floods.

Repairing some of the areas most affected by the floods has been a challenge, according to Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park.

The funding would enable the launch of an extensive recovery programme that would reconnect flood-damaged public rights of ways – and make them more robust and resilient.

"We are confident 'Routes to Resilience' will benefit everyone who enjoys the Lake District and also bring a much-needed boost to the local economy.

"Our park rangers are ready to get started and reconnect the Lake District."

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