Ministerial visit to discuss the future of Cornwall’s Tourism Industry

February 05th, 2015

Helen Grant the Minister for Tourism, pictured here with the Conservative MP for St.Ives Derek Thomas, visited Cornwall today to meet key local representatives and discuss the future of the industry in the county. During her day Mrs Grant was also able to visit some locations normally frequented by holidaymakers , particularly those at this time of the year enjoying last minute Cornwall cottage holidays.

The one day visit began at Tate St Ives where the Minister met John Pollard, the Leader of Cornwall Council; Lord St Levan, Chair of the Visit Cornwall Partnership and Malcolm Bell, Head of Visit Cornwall.  She then visited the Eden Project, Lakeview Country Club and Newquay Cornwall Airport.

Welcoming her visit, Cornwall Council Leader John Pollard confirmed that the Council is in advanced negotiations with the private sector over the transition of Visit Cornwall to a private sector led delivery model.

“I am delighted to welcome the Minister to Cornwall to discuss the future of the industry” he said. “I am particularly pleased she is visiting Tate St Ives, which has played such an important role in attracting year round visitors to Cornwall over the past 20 years. Cornwall Council has made a significant investment in the current project to double the size of the gallery space at Tate St Ives and I am pleased the Minister will see the progress that is being made on site.”

The Minister also visited Newquay Cornwall Airport which is owned by Cornwall Council. John Pollard went on to say “Everyone knows that we’ve had to make some difficult decisions in setting our budget over the next few years but I hope that people will recognise that by maintaining funding in areas such as the airport, lifeguarding and improving our road and rail links we are supporting the tourism sector in a number of ways.”

“Since the Council set its budget in November it has been working with the private sector with the aim of ensuring that the activities of Visit Cornwall continue after Cornwall Council funding stops in April and both parties are close to agreeing to a model of delivery which will see the private sector take a lead on marketing Cornwall as a tourism destination in the future.

“The private sector have been extremely positive and proactive in coming forward with a new model of delivery and I would like to thank members of the Visit Cornwall Partnership for working so hard, over a short period of time, to work with the Council to develop a new model of delivery which is not dependent on the public sector in the long term. We have reached an agreement in principle and I am confident we will conclude negotiations in the near future.”

Lord St Levan, Chair of the Visit Cornwall Partnership added “The time is right for the tourism industry in Cornwall to have control of its own destiny and in particular to take on the responsibility to develop further the hugely successful Visit Cornwall website. It is greatly to the credit of Cornwall Council and Cornwall Development Company that on their watch Cornwall’s digital media strategy has become such a market leader and we in the private sector relish the challenge of building on this.”

Minister for Tourism Helen Grant said “It was great to visit Cornwall today with its fantastic scenery and wonderful attractions that make it a standout UK tourist destination. The new model for tourism in this area will be one that I will take a close interest in.  It’s crucial that it is sustainable and can help deliver growth and jobs and I wish the Visit Cornwall Partnership the best of luck for the future.

“The Government is supporting places like Cornwall via schemes such as the Coastal Communities Fund, the GREAT campaign and a new £2 million challenge fund that destinations from across the country can bid from. I want people from across the world to experience the best of Britain and come and experience Cornwall for themselves.”