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Six figure funding to boost cultural tourism in Lincoln

  • Date: 16 January 2014
  • Area: Midlands

Arts Council England and VisitEngland have awarded more than £290,000 to a group of nine organisations who have joined forces to help increase the number of visitors enjoying the wealth of art and culture Lincoln has to offer. 

The £293,400 funding has been awarded as part of Arts Council England and VisitEngland’s £3 million Cultural destinations programme which supports arts venues to work with the tourism sector to maximise the impact arts and culture has on local economies.

Each year the arts and cultural sector contributes at least £856 million to the UK economy through cultural tourism but there is plenty of unexploited potential in the sector to do even more.

Led by Lincoln Business Improvement Group, the nine organisations which have joined together to improve tourism to Lincoln include Visit Lincoln Partnership, Lincoln Drill Hall and Lincoln Cathedral.

They will work in partnership with University of Lincoln’s School of Art and Design, Bishop Grosseteste University and Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as local authority partners, Lincolnshire County Council and City of Lincoln Council.

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “Lincoln is a fantastic place to visit. It’s steeped in history and each year it showcases some fantastic contemporary art. In the current economic climate it’s really encouraging to see these nine organisations working together to raise Lincoln’s profile to attract more tourists and I’m pleased that Arts Council England in partnership with VisitEngland can support this.” 

To make it easy for people to take advantage of all the art and culture Lincoln boasts, part of the funding will be spent on improving digital signage around the city and producing a free app for visitors to download.

Money will also be invested in creating new holiday packages built around the cultural events and activities happening in the city, as well as supporting market research, audience development, marketing and training.

Matt Corrigan, Chief Executive, Lincoln Business Improvement Group, said: “This is excellent news for Lincoln. We have moved on a long way in the last few years and are starting to build a really strong cultural offer that brings a real buzz to the city. The funding will enable us to join up our activity across a number of organisations and venues, including Lincoln BIGs Festivals and Street events. It means that we can do some really exciting and innovative work, and shout about what’s happing in Lincoln. It’s really exciting and we are delighted that that the Arts Council have recognised the potential that Lincoln offers to be a great cultural destination for residents and visitors.”

At least £856 million of annual spending by tourists visiting the UK can be attributed directly to arts and culture, and the Cultural destinations programme enables the sector to do even more with tourism organisations to attract visitors.

Emma Tatlow from Visit Lincoln Partnership, said: “Cultural activity is a vital component in promoting the City, and the Arts Council and Visit England's support will help us to reach a much wider audience, particularly around the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta in 2015. It means that Lincoln is going to be a great place to visit, or come to study, over the next few years with lots going on.