Leeds gets £500,000 conference funding boost

Marketing Leeds has secured more than £500,000 of funding from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to grow tourism and conferencing in Leeds.

Leeds gets £500,000 conference funding boost
Leeds gets £500,000 conference funding boost

The funding is designed to increase visitor spend and boost employment in the events sector and is part of ‘Growing Tourism Locally’, a three-year programme coordinated by Visit England.

Visit England will be working with Marketing Leeds, hotels, travel companies and visitor attractions in Leeds and the wider city region to create marketing campaigns around themes, including Christmas, food, music and culture.

The programme is designed to create 9,100 jobs nationally and more than 300 in Leeds. In the process it aims to grow the value of international conferences, events and conventions.

The tourism and the hospitality industry supports more than 45,000 jobs and contributes nearly £1.13bn to the city’s economy every year.

Lurene Joseph, chief executive, Marketing Leeds, said: "The visitor economy makes a huge contribution to the prosperity of Leeds and there is real potential for further growth. The funding is fantastic news both for Leeds and for the tourism businesses that help make our city the success it is. 

"As well as creating hundreds of new jobs in the tourism sector, Leeds will be positioned on the national and international stage as a leading destination for short breaks, meetings and conferences."

Gordon Jackson, general manager of Thorpe Park Hotel and Spa & chair of the Leeds Hotels & Venues Association, added: "The city also has a great offer for business tourism and is the perfect destination for academic, professional and business conferences. The further we can spread this message, the better, and the funding will give much greater reach and impact to our promotion of the city."

James Berresford, Visit England’s chief executive, added: "The RGF money is a huge boost for tourism in England. This project enables our public and private sector partners to work together to stimulate tourism and ultimately grow jobs throughout the country, with particular emphasis on some local areas.

"This is a great time to launch and we hope that by riding on the crest of a wave of a successful London 2012 Olympic Games we will harness the swell of national pride and inspire Brits to take the home advantage and holiday at home this year and beyond."

The investment is funded through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and contributions from Visit England and the private sector. 

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