Village resident is the recipient of grant funding

Claire Bates of Landbaby & Co receives support through the Wirral Visitor Economy Network

Media release
Date of Issue: 10th November 2016

Support for Wirral’s visitor economy has been paying dividends with a number of new tourism events taking place – and more to come in 2017. Grant funding to the Wirral Visitor Economy Network has already supported events such as the Dinosaur Exhibition at Birkenhead Priory in October and the ‘Sponsor a Light’ Christmas curtain-raiser at Carr Farm Garden Centre.

It is also helping to fund two more events in November – the Fabulous Frost Fair at Pacific Road Business Hub from 18-20th November 2016, and ‘Make Do and Merry’ at the Old School Room at The Lyceum in Port Sunlight on 26th November 2016. Created by Port Sunlight resident, Claire Bates of Landbaby and Co, the fair showcases the best in unique, contemporary, handmade crafts, and is the perfect antidote to the chaos of the high street.

The grants are part of the Wirral Visitor Economy Network’s vision to increase the value of Wirral’s visitor economy to £550 million by 2025. It is currently estimated at around £385 million.

Working closely with Wirral Council, the network now has more than 100 members drawn from the food and drink, accommodation, golf, history and heritage and attraction sectors.

The last round of applications for grants to stage new events or help expand existing ones closed at the end of September. The successful bids had to show evidence that their planned event was likely to attract in excess of 500 visitors. In total, 10 applications were successful.

Lorna Tyson, Chair of the Wirral Visitor Economy Network, said: “We share the council’s ambition to grow the tourism economy in Wirral and make it an even more attractive destination to play, eat and stay. Events such as those we are supporting through our grants all help to put Wirral on the map and the feedback we have seen already from the Dinosaur event shows that they do create a positive impression.”

Kathy Heywood, Learning Officer at Williamson Art Gallery and Birkenhead Priory, which hosted the recent Dinosaur exhibition, added: “By bringing the Dinosaur exhibition to The Birkenhead Priory, the council team, volunteers and curator created an unique event which attracted whole new audiences to the venue, with a clear focus on promoting a family friendly experience.

“The exhibition was a great success and was visited by nearly 3,000 people over five days. This was a fantastic response and will encourage the team to develop future family friendly events.”

Cllr Tony Jones, Wirral Council’s Pledge Champion for ‘Vibrant Tourism Economy’, said: “We are committed to building on the strong reputation Wirral has as a tourism destination and we have pledged that our visitor economy will be worth £450 million by 2020.

“By doing this, we will be creating more jobs for local people – the sector already supports more than 5,000 full-time-equivalent posts in Wirral – and supporting businesses by attracting increased numbers of customers.

“Staging events such as the ones supported with the WVEN grants give people a reason to travel to Wirral and spend time here. And when they get here, they will see that there is much more on offer and will return again.”

The new Wirral Visitor Economy Network event grant will be launched in early 2017.

For further information about joining the Wirral Visitor Economy Network visit their website.

Media contact
Carol Darlington
T: 0151 644 4815