Lancashire cultural tourism gets boost from Arts Council England grant

Marketing Lancashire has been awarded £50,000 from Arts Council England National Lottery Funded Grants For the Arts programme, to commence work on a new initiative to help raise Lancashire’s profile as a cultural destination.

The Dukes outdoor walkabout production of Oliver 2015, Lancaster

Over the coming months, the project will help establish the county’s cultural offer as one of the leading reasons for people to visit Lancashire, a key ambition expressed in the county’s new Visitor Economy Strategy.

As well as enabling Lancashire’s art organisations to reach new audiences, it will also strengthen Lancashire’s cultural reputation with arts practitioners and investors, acting as a catalyst for further developments and investment.

Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, said: “Lancashire is such a diverse county with a rich and varied cultural offering that can sometimes get lost in the national arts landscape.  However inspiring and unique the work that’s created here, Lancashire is not generally seen as a cultural destination.

"The activity that we can now start, boosted by this award, will pull together and develop a distinct cultural narrative for Lancashire.

“I’m truly delighted that Arts Council England is supporting this new initiative, the aim of which is to achieve greater collaboration between visitor economy businesses and Lancashire’s vibrant arts sector.  It will contribute to a healthier and more sustainable future for cultural tourism across the county, as well as influence future programming that will help raise visitor numbers to 70 million (per annum) by 2020.”

Grants for Arts is ACE’s lottery-funded grant programme for individuals, arts organisations and other people who use the arts in their work.  Awards range from £1,000 to £100,000 and support a wide variety of arts-related activities and help artists and arts organisations in England carry out their work.

Commenting on the award, Neil Harris, senior relationship manager at Arts Council England, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting this project that will further promote the rich cultural offer in Lancashire to a wider audience.” Marketing Lancashire worked with a county-wide steering group on the application which was submitted in September 2015 and, going forward, will manage the project.