A newly-formed Carlisle and Cumbria Conference Group has received
backing from local business leaders and £140,000 from the Northwest Regional
Development Agency and Cumbria Tourism to drive meetings business to the
from Carlisle, Kendal, the Lakes, Penrith and Maryport attended the inaugural
meeting of the new cross-Cumbria group, as they aim to build on the £120
million a year of business tourism in Cumbria. This is still dwarfed by
the £1.1 billion brought in overall by leisure tourism to the county.
attractions and meeting venues include Carlisle Racecourse, Rheged, Muncaster Castle and Maryport’s Wave.
CCC Group director Marie
Whitehead says the county can take on
the likes of Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester, “because Cumbria offers something different
to a traditional city destination. We have great modern venues in superb
locations and a proper chance to fully unwind afterwards whether that’s on a
lake, a fell, a spa, a corporate box or at a racecourse. Carlisle is Cumbria’s only city and is easy to get to by
road or rail and close to the Lakes and Hadrian’s Wall.
There can be no better way to inspire staff and delegates than a meeting set
against the backdrop of our beautiful scenery.”
The group’s funding
is to be matched up to 2012 by businesses, explains conference officer for the
new initiative Steve Carruthers and initial plans include a website, expanded PR and marketing and
attendance at major national trade events. The group is also to introduce AIM
(Accreditation in Meetings) Cumbria
to provide an official seal of approval for venues. Businesses will be asked to
meet 60 criteria to demonstrate to conference bookers that they can offer a
high standard of services.