Funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF), East Coast trains and Leeds and Partners, the campaign’s initial aim is to grow tourism in the city, increase visitor spend, and boost jobs and skills in the sector. The programme will then be developed over three years to work on the international stage, promoting key business sectors and featuring some of those who have helped to shape the city and wider region.
Leeds and Partners secured £500,000 of matched funding in August 2012 as part of Growing Tourism Locally, a project led by VisitEngland. The Regional Growth Fund Tourism Investment Project aims to stimulate the domestic visitor market to grow local economies through increased tourism activity by UK residents. The investment in Leeds is expected to create more than 300 jobs in the city.
Chief executive of Leeds and Partners Lurene Joseph said: “This first phase of the campaign demonstrates Leeds and the wider city region driving forward its place in the domestic market, using real people and real lives as the centrepiece.
“With so much investment in Leeds this year, including the opening of Leeds Arena and Trinity Leeds, the opportunities to grow the visitor economy are enormous. The further we can spread this message the better and the campaign will give a welcome boost to the economy and increased awareness of the city’s unique offer.”
VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford added: “2013 is clearly a significant year for Leeds and this first campaign, helped by the RGF funding, will encourage many potential visitors to find out more about the city. We are excited to work together on it to stimulate tourism and ultimately grow jobs in the city.”
With the opening of the UK’s only major shopping centre and the new 13,500 capacity Leeds Arena, 2013 is expected to be a significant year for the visitor economy in Leeds.
For more information on the campaign go to www.visitleeds.co.uk