"Bitter disappointment" at Visit Britain cuts recognised by Lib Dems

Liberal Democrat co-chair of the DCMS parliamentary committee Don Foster has pledged his support for the business events sector amid 34% cuts to Visit Britain's budget.

Don Foster MP says Visit Britain cuts were a tough decision
Don Foster MP says Visit Britain cuts were a tough decision

Visit Britain yesterday (20 October) learned its budget would be cut from £28.8m this year to £21.2m in 2014/15 as part of the comprehensive spending review. 

Meanwhile, events sector figures including Excel chief executive Kevin Murphy, ISES UK president Richard Foulkes and MPI UK chapter president Fiona Pelham joined 43 MPs at a Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) reception at the House of Commons.

 Former shadow secretary of state for culture Don Foster told guests, including Visit Britain’s Simon Mills and Joss Croft: "Each and every one of you is bitterly disappointed that within the comprehensive spending review there has been a cut to the budget of Visit Britain. No one in the coalition is pleased with that."

Chancellor George Osborne announced major departments would all lose a third of their budgets as part of the spending review.

BVEP chairman Michael Hirst urged a total of 150 delegates including 43 MPs to continue to support the meetings and events industry during the reception, sponsored by International Confex.

Hirst presented the body’s meetings and events manifesto and said: "Conferences, exhibitions and trade fairs enrich the economy."

He highlighted BVEP’s latest report, out this week, which reveals the business events industry is worth £36bn to the UK economy each year.

The event formed part of this week’s Britain for Events 2010 campaign and the BVEP’s 10th anniversary. 

Foster added the cuts to Visit Britain’s budget had been a "very difficult decision".

However, he added that his colleague Vince Cable, secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, was working within his department to find ways to help the industry.

See photos from the BVEP House of Commons event here.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
Ruby Hotels' first UK property to open in Southbank in 2020

Ruby Hotels' first UK property to open in Southbank in 2020

The carnival-themed Ruby Lucy will bring 'lean luxury' to London in January and have a Marshall guitar amp in every room.

Five ways ICC Belfast and the wider city is mastering sustainability.

In pictures: 10 ideas for events in Scotland

In pictures: 10 ideas for events in Scotland

Luxurious castle hotels, modern event complexes and the real Hogwarts Express make Scotland a top MICE destination.

How to protect your events from destination boycotts

How to protect your events from destination boycotts

Panel of experts at IMEX America offer five contingency tips for event organisers planning global meetings in volatile times.

Freeman gets new EMEA leadership

Freeman gets new EMEA leadership

Brand experience agency appoints new managing director to be based in its London office.

5 trends shaping the future of business events

5 trends shaping the future of business events

What do delegates want from their events? Top tips from IMEX America for the future-focused planner.

How 'happy accidents' can lead to great experiences

How 'happy accidents' can lead to great experiences

At IMEX America, a comedy improv group revealed their trick to keep you creative and help you solve event planning problems.

European meeting spend expected to rise 2.1% despite 'Brexit instability'

European meeting spend expected to rise 2.1% despite 'Brexit instability'

American Express Meetings & Events 2020 Forecast also finds number of incentives increasing in North America.

Who are the challenger event agencies of 2019?

Who are the challenger event agencies of 2019?

A look at the agencies that didn't make the Top 50 but are doing great things in the world of events.

Case study: Samsung Galaxy Note10 launch

Case study: Samsung Galaxy Note10 launch

INVNT worked with Samsung to produce the high-tech UNPACKED 2019 at the Barclays Center in New York.

LATEST JOBS