Joining Forces Will Bring Tourism Cash; Report Says Partnerships Are the Way to Win New National Funding

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Byline: Paul Tully

JOINT tourism partnerships will increase the chances of winning national funding, Northumberland tourism chiefs believe. Two new partnerships, including one for Hadrian's Wall, are being put forward as the way ahead for an industry that generates more than pounds 600m for the county economy.

Northumberland Tourism chief executive Giles Ingram and Northumberland County Council head of tourism Lynne Turner say in a joint report that the extra efficiency of tourism partnerships will bring all-round benefits.

The new Northumberland and Hadrian's Wall tourism partnership would combine the work of Northumberland Tourism, Hadrian's Wall Heritage, Northumberland National Park and the county council.

A wider tourism alliance for the North would link together Northumberland Tourism, Visit County Durham, NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Hadrian's Wall Heritage.

They would be business-led, in line with the Government's Tourism Policy launched by Tourism Minister John Penrose earlier this month.

Tourism bosses in Northumberland, facing substantial funding cuts, have been in talks before and since December's annual regional conference.

The report to go before the county council's Economic Prosperity Committee on Wednesday says: "It is recommended that two wider partnership opportunities are realised. …