Marketing Cheshire’s Rural Cash Boost hits the 1.2M Mark

June 28th, 2011

Marketing Cheshire has played a major role in driving more than £1.2million in vital investment to support tourism businesses across rural Cheshire, new figures have revealed.

Its work in helping deliver the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) has helped businesses expand and job creation in rural communities across the sub-region.

So far 16 major projects in Cheshire and Warrington have been supported through £463,000 of grant money, levering in £740,000 of private sector investment, the new figures show.

They include the conversion of redundant farm buildings into B&Bs, hotel refurbishment, increasing the grading of camping and caravan parks, creating a children’s play area and supporting the growth of local events.

The programme delivers money from the EU and government department Defra via the European Fund for Rural Development. It has been set up to support and assist rural businesses to maximise their contribution to sustainable growth.

Marketing Cheshire is responsible for place marketing and promotion, as well as traditional visitor economy support. It has driven the initiative forward through two specially-created programmes.

“Tourism Connect” aims to improve accommodation, whilst “Tourism Vitality” looks to improve events and attractions across Cheshire and Warrington.

Chris Brown, Chief Executive of Marketing Cheshire, said: “These figures show just how much is being delivered into rural communities through this initiative which is playing an important role in helping to raise quality standards in our visitor economy.

“The funding is helping to set new benchmarks at attractions and events across rural areas of Cheshire and Warrington.

“Grants are helping to attract major sums of private sector investment and the project is also driving up design and accommodation standards as well as the performance of visitor attractions in rural Cheshire.

“We are delighted with the very tangible results we have seen so far and the boost that is being given to the rural economy.”

Research by Marketing Cheshire has shown the impact of the RDPE funding across Cheshire and Warrington.

Approved projects to date include work to improve Cholmondeley Pageant of Power and the funding of a new visitor event at Bolesworth Castle

Other successful projects include the funding of the final phase of refurbishment at Inglewood Manor, near Chester, and the upgrading of rooms and creation of meeting rooms at award-winning Harrop Fold Farm at Rainow, near Macclesfield.

Barns and redundant farm buildings have been converted into holiday accommodation in a number of projects, including Hollins Farm near Holmes Chapel.

The Tourism Vitality project offers grants of up to £10,000 and encourages training and marketing within the business.

Grants of between £25,000 and £60,000 are on offer under Tourism Connect. It assists operations offering tourist accommodation through the use of professional design, business planning and environmental advice, as well as encouraging training and marketing.

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